EDITORíS DESK: Another kind of T-Days fast draw
This is one of those times of the year I find myself looking forward to... the one time of the year that many thousands of the region's residents turn excited faces toward our often-forgotten corner of the world. What else could I be talking about but Territory Days?! Not only is Old Colorado City's annual Memorial
Day weekend festival probably the biggest event in the region year after year, its very name - stemming from Old Town's brief fling as the territorial capital in 1862 - opens possibilities for conjuring various lively aspects from those colorful days of yore.
Now true enough, as many a skeptic will be quick to point out, the festival for the most part focuses on selling food and drink and various low-denominator products to people who have no sense of the Westside's history. In truth, one has to wonder why such folks brave the traffic and the crowds, dragging the kids along on days that can be brutally hot or thunderstorm-drenching? Maybe they like it that the event is free (except for the concessions and the booze and the kiddy rides). Maybe they come for the bands - for example, this year we get Thompson Square, fresh off a number-one country hit. I'm sure some discerning types might be looking to find among the vendors some true artisans (and they exist) offering eye-opening handicraft for incredible discounts. (Tip from a seasoned Territory Days veteran: The best time for that purpose is in the last two or three hours of the last day of the event.)
It's also true, the skeptics will continue, that even in its historical aspects, Territory Days is pretty non-specific. It offers up generic Wild West, with gold-panning, cowboy duds and a fast-draw competition... though the Old Colorado City Historical Society does its level best to tell the true local history for those who step into the old Bancroft Park cabin.
A worthy addition this year is Old Colorado City artist Jason Baalman, coloring Old Westside stories onto a wall. If anyone can make history come alive for Everyman at Territory Days, it's the guy who can make art out of barbecue sauce.