Band proves popular at annual Westside picnic
The soft, intermittent rain during the first hour proved to be more of a nuisance than a problem as a crowd estimated at up to 400 partook of the eighth annual
Westside Neighbors Picnic July 19 at Bancroft Park.
They enjoyed the food and drink, featuring barbecued bratwursts and hotdogs, donated side dishes and lemonade that used water from Manitou's 7-Minute Spring. And they enjoyed the entertainment, topped by music from Floyd Frame's Midland Brass Band and supplemented by children's activities (face painting, games and a “bounce house”).
The roughly two-hour event was coordinated by the Organization of Westside Neighbors (OWN), the volunteeer advocacy group for Colorado Springs' older Westside; with help from staff and volunteers from the West Center, the city-operated community center at 1628 W. Bijou St.
OWN President Welling Clark described it as one of the best picnics in the eight-year span and expressed a hope that Frame can return with his band next year. He was also impressed at how patiently people stood in line for food - 10 minutes or so at the high point, and in spite of occasional raindrops. “Everyone was nice and orderly,” he said. “It went very well.”
Westsider Michelle Goedel, a repeat picnic attendee who came with several family members, was among many diners who lingered afterward to listen to the music. “Our daughter [Jasmyn] had more fun running around to the band,” she laughed. “And our son [Trystian] got upset every time they stopped playing.”
Among those in attendance were City Council members Randy Purvis (a Westside resident) and Larry Small and County Commissioner (also a Westsider) Sallie Clark.
The principals of three older-Westside schools - Terry Martinez (the new West Elementary), Clay Gomez (West Middle School) and Manuel Ramsey (Bristol Elementary) were also present, fielding questions from families with questions about a coming school year that will have major school and boundary changes.
OWN board member Terry Brunette was the picnic's unsung hero, manning the barbecue almost single-handedly. He said he started cooking about a half-hour early, which allowed him to keep ahead of the food demand.
After the picnic, there was an effort to pinpoint attendance through the math of food and drink. For example, OWN and West Center had obtained 300 hotdogs, 200 bratwurst and a like number of buns, and afterward all of the meat had been cooked with fewer than 10 brats/dogs left uneaten. As for beverages, there were soft drinks and the Manitou lemonade. The latter ran out just before the end. OWN board member Travers Jordan, who was event director this year, said that according to his calculations he had mixed 27 gallons (enough for 216 servings of a pint each).
Westside Pioneer article