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Members of the Team Bearsheart Hoop Dancers perform while Inka Gold (Oscar and Santiago Morales) plays on the Bancroft Park stage May 26. The band, whose music was reminiscent of the popular Brulé (last at Territory Days in 2016), played five sets in all during the three-day festival. Team Bearsheart is a family group that has performed in the United States and Canda.
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OCC's 43rd annual Territory Days thrives on good weather, behavior

A drone, hovering about 20 feet above Bancroft Park, took this Territory Days photo looking west up Colorado Avenue at about noon May 28.
Travers Jordan, drone operator; exclusive to the Westside Pioneer
May 28, 2018
       Blessed by sunny weather (with just a few passing clouds), the 43rd annual Territory Days lived up to its reputation as one of the region's biggest events by attracting its usual thousands of visitors over Memorial Day weekend, May 26- 28.
       As always, the festival closed off Colorado Avenue between 23rd and 27th streets, filling the space with 200-some vendor booths, performers in various locations and kids rides.
       The Old Colorado City Associates (OCCA) business group organizes the event as a fundraiser to help cover the costs of marketing the historic shopping district.
       Jim Wear, the OCCA's event coordinator through his Pro Promotions company, reported only minor problems, other than a "few incidents" with attendees during the warmer weather of the first two days. "Heat and alcohol don't mix," he commented. As for the residential neighborhood surrounding Old Colorado City, Wear happily announced that he'd only gotten one complaint.
       Started as a barbecue and small parade in 1975 by merchants seeking to revitalize "Old Town," the event is a nod to 1862, when the original Colorado City was briefly the capital of the Colorado Territory.
       As such, this year's Territory Days offered its traditional Old West emphasis, including a tepee with artifacts by Indian specialist Clint Chartier, the Northern Wind Native Dancers, interactive gold-panning, roaming actors in 19th century apparel and Old Colorado City Historical Society (OCCHS) volunteers in period costume manning Bancroft Park's 1859 Garvin Cabin.
       In addition, the OCCHS' History Center (across the street from the park) was again set up with a model-train set styled after the early/mid-20th century, supplied by Chris Fox, who's also involved with the restoration of the 1909 roundhouse in Hugo.
       Missing for unfortunate reasons were three Territory Days regular acts - the Rock Ledge Ranch blacksmiths (a hand injury), the gunslinging reenactor group (illness) and the petting zoo (car trouble and a hotel reservation mix-up), explained Wear.
       A tradition he's started since taking over as coordinator is organizing a ceremony in Bancroft Park around the National Moment of Remembrance (observed at 3 p.m. on Memorial Day), which honors those who've died fighting America's wars. Performing in conjunction with the ceremony was the 101st Army Winds of the Colorado National Guard and the U.S. Northern Command Color Guard from NORAD.
       Charlease Elzenga, an OCCHS volunteer who demonstrated a spinning wheel and loom outside the Bancroft cabin while dressed in old-time garb, attracted questions from many festival attendees. The one she said she liked best came from an older woman whose mother had been a weaver but never had the chance to try the craft herself. So meeting Elzenga gave her the long-desired opportunity.

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The brass quartet for the 101st Army Winds leads a song by the group on the Bancroft Park stage. The music included an arrangement that uniquely combined "When the Saints Come Marching In" with "The Hallelujah Chorus."
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A view from 27th Street, at the west end of Territory Days, provides a snapshot of the crowd May 26. The building in the foreground was provided by the Orthodox Church.
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Two photos on the Bancroft stage during Territory Days. LEFT: Sean Hedding of the 101st Army Winds plays "Taps" as part of the Memorial Day ceremony May 28. Standing close by is Jim Wear, the Territory Days event coordinator, who shortly after gave a summary of the significance of the holiday and the military sacrifice behind it. RIGHT: Whiskey Kate, a solo act, performs May 26.
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Three of the Old Colorado City Historical Society volunteers manning the Garvin Cabin for Territory Days were (from left) Terry and Marilyn Lee and Carolyn Hatch. A photo of its namesake, Dr. James Garvin, is on the wall by the door. Society volunteers spent hours beforehand cleaning out the cabin, which had suffered a break-in and a mess from people camping inside it for several days over the winter.
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While not historically correct (like the model set that was in the Old Colorado City History Center), the "train" ride on 24th Street south of the avenue was popular with young families during Territory Days.
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Setting up near the Bancroft cabin through Territory Days was a woman who stood completely still until someone put money into the box in front of her (as seen at right), when she'd hand out a fortune. She declined to give her name, just the name of her act: A Rose Moment: A Statuesque Experience. She added that she's originally from the Springs, but now lives in New Orleans.
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Stationed outside the Bancroft cabin, Charlease Elzenga demonstrates weaving on a spinning wheel with a loom - which was a common thing in the 1800s.
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