The show goes on: Temporary Bancroft stage for Territory Days May 27-29
That's because of a January fire that scorched the stage, walls and roof. Repairs by a Colorado Springs Parks contractor are not slated for completion until July.
But Territory Days organizer Jim Wear is coming as he close as he can to the traditional event layout by having his company, Pro Promotions, rent a 24x18-foot temporary stage that will be transported to the site and placed in front of the bandshell. While it's smaller than the bandshell, he's sure it can handle all 17 acts that are scheduled for Bancroft over the three days.
This includes the 30-piece 101st Army Winds band. “It will be very crowded, but we will make it work,” Wear said.
Outside of Bancroft, the festival will close Colorado Avenue between 23rd and 27th streets all three days for about 200 vendor booths, entertainers at multiple locations, two beer gardens with bands and various activities/kid rides.
The event is free, although the rides, several activities and vendor offerings cost money.
Most Old Colorado City shops, restaurants and taverns will also be open.
Adding to the event's Old West flavor will be the Gathering of Spirits (a music/dance group from the Colorado Springs Indian Center), the Northern Wind Dancers (an American Indian group), roaming actors in costume (chiefly from Red Herring Productions), “gunfights” by the Free Range Regulators, demonstrations by blacksmiths from Rock Ledge Ranch and hands-on programs about the Plains Indians by Clint Chartier (returning with his tepee to the event after participating from 2012 to 2014).
Featured among the festival's 27 total bands will be Seth Ennis, a 23-year-old recording artist out of Nashville. He will play in Bancroft Park Monday, May 29 at 12:30 p.m.
Giving an encore performance will be the U.S. Air Force National Drill Team, which debuted its synchronized rifle-tossing act at Territory Days in 2015. The group will be part of the festival's traditional Memorial Day ceremony in the park May 29 at 3 p.m.
A free event shuttle service will again be provided. People can park at the Coronado High School parking lot, with buses running back and forth roughly every 15 minutes.
Not returning this year will be Brulé, a popular American Indian band that used to be an annual feature but missed 2015 and then was back last year. Wear said he hopes to reschedule Brule in 2018 as part of a new plan to have them every other year.
In Brulé's place on the north side of 25th Street will be the Northern Wind Dancers, which performed with Brulé last year.
Pro Promotions contracts with the Old Colorado City Associates (OCCA) business group, for whom the festival is its most profitable event of the year, with earnings used primarily for marketing the historic shopping district. The promoter's 24-page program with event details (including performer bios, a schedule and vendor/show locations) has been distributed and is available for free at various locations around Old Colorado City.
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