History, bands replace fiddle contest for Founders’ Day

       Facing a dearth of entries in a planned fiddle contest for its annual Founders' Day celebration Saturday, Aug. 12 in Bancroft Park, the Old Colorado City Historical Society (OCCHS) has replaced the contest with musical and historical acts.
       “We had a 'plan B' last week,” said Jo Cervone, lead organizer for the event. “We were already starting to think worst-case scenario.”
       And when the Aug. 1 deadline came up, as feared, with just one paid entry in a contest that was to give prizes for the first three placers in each of five age categories, the OCCHS agreed with co-contest sponsor Black Rose Acoustic Society to pull the plug and go in another direction.
       Some details are still being put together, but most of the new scheduling is in place for the event, which will go from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
       Live music, featuring songs and styles in keeping with the late 1800s, will start at 10:30 and continue through the day, Cervone said. Bands will include the Serendipity Peak Dulcimers and groups with the Acoustic Society.
       Historical vignettes, each lasting about 15 minutes, will take place at half past the hour starting at 11:30 am in front of the park's Garvin Cabin. These will include local actors portraying John Nelson, a white man adopted into the Lakota nation; and Polly Pride, a Denver Post reporter during the “Wild West.”
       Founders' Day is the first half of a weekend historical celebration sponsored by the OCCHS. On Sunday, Aug. 13, will be the non-profit group's ninth annual Cemetery Crawl, in which OCCHS members portray - and tell the stories of - historical figures who are buried in Fairview Cemetery. The crawl will take place at the cemetery, 1000 S. 26th St., from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. This year eight individuals will be portrayed, including Colorado City co-founder Anthony Bott and famous madame Laura Belle. Tickets are available at the History Center, 1 S. 24th St. The cost is $5 for adults ($7 at the gate) and $3 for ages 12 and under.
       Cervone said she felt grateful at the willingness of the new participants - including the Serendipity Peak Dulcimers, who have played at Founders' Day in the past - to come on such short notice.
       “We don't know what happened” in terms of the contest, she said. “We thought there would be fiddlers in the area. Maybe it was summer scheduling, or people don't want to get on a stage and perform, or there were other conflicts. We don't have a clue.”
       From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., the OCCHS will also be celebrating the ninth anniversary of the History Center building it operates - across the street from the park at 1 S. 24th St. - by offering free cake and punch in the center.
       For more information on either Founders' Day or the Cemetery Crawl, call the History Center at 636-1225.

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