Rainfall slows, doesn't stop Territory Days; now Bancroft work will start
Colorado Springs Parks had agreed to hold off on repairs to the fire-damaged Bancroft Park bandshell until after Territory Days over Memorial Day weekend, May 27-29.
Evidence of the imminent project could be seen during the Old Colorado City street festival. On the front lip of the closed-off bandshell stage were stacked numerous sections of chainlink fencing, which the contractor - Murphy Constructors - intends to use to seal off its construction area during the work, starting May 31.
Despite bouts of rain Saturday and Monday, the 42nd annual Territory Days attracted the usual tens of thousands of attendees to Bancroft and closed-off Colorado Avenue between 23rd and 27th streets.
A 24x18-foot mobile stage, delivered to the park two days before the event, was employed for the acts that normally would use the bandshell.
As always, there were about 200 vendor booths, more than 30 performing acts, various activities/kid rides and several Old West aspects (including Rock Ledge Ranch blacksmiths, gold-panning, Indian dancers, roaming actors in costume and a tepee with artifacts by Indian historian Clint Chartier).
An event highlight was the return of the U.S. Air Force National Drill Team, which had first displayed its tightly synchronized rifle-tossing act at Territory Days in 2015. The group was part of the traditional Memorial Day ceremony in the park, which also includes event promoter Jim Wear reading the history of the holiday and its intent to honor those who've died fighting America's wars.
At the Old Colorado City History Center (across the street from the park), model-train builder Chris Fox from Limon was just glad he was able to make it this year. After he'd brought his 28-foot-long set with historically correct old-time trains for three years (2013-2015), muddy roads had prevented him from hauling the set in from Limon in 2016.
Fox has been active in restoring a train roundhouse in Hugo (south of Limon) that is similar - except being made of brick - to the locally quarried 1880s Midland Railroad building at 21st Street and modern-day Highway 24.
Wear is the owner of Pro Promotions, which contracts with the Old Colorado City Associates (OCCA) business group to organize the festival as a fundraiser to help cover the costs of marketing the historic shopping district.
Westside Pioneer article