EDITORíS DESK: Positively Territory Days
The 30th annual Territory Days is coming up May 27-29, and the organizers would like to keep the focus on the positive aspects of the event. Not a bad idea. The
line-up of activities seems better than ever, with a reawakened emphasis on history and, in that vein, new attractions ranging from foolery (the Gaming Parlor) to finery
(the patriotic morning ceremony on Memorial Day).
Still, no consideration of this year's street festival would be complete without also noting the efforts behind the scenes to lessen the event's impact on the residents around Old Colorado City. Several of them stepped forward in the past year to air their grievances. Starting with the Organization of Westside Neighbors (OWN), the residents described illegal parking, piles of trash, trampled flowers, surly drunks and disinterested police officers. Angry? Yes. Strident? At times. But they were also willing to listen, some of them even offering to help the city by painting the curbs to show where parking is not allowed. OWN deserves a hand for facilitating the discussion, and City Parks Director Paul Butcher merits praise for his straightforward approach. He took the residents' issues one by one and sought solutions (albeit short of the ultimate goal of some of the aggrieved, which was to eliminate Territory Days from Old Colorado City altogether). Finally, in handing out daisies here, let's not forget the merchants themselves, represented by Territory Days organizer Lynda Dunne. Their/her response was not to deny the allegations, but to beef up police enforcement and trash pickup and, in hopes of reducing neighborhood parking impacts, to make the shuttle service between Coronado and the event free.
If it's true that a fresh and honest look at even the most successful of activities can yield results, then this may very well be the best Territory Days yet. How positive would that be?