Stroll through the wares and foodstuff lining Colorado Avenue over Memorial weekend and you’ll find a contemporaneous event of history and current culture. There is local flavor to experience whether you are hungry, or simply go to people-watch. According to the OCCA website, Territory Days began in 1975 as the “Rampart Range Sertoma Territory Days Parade and Buffalo Barbeque”. In 1976, the named was changed to Territory Days to commemorate Old Colorado City as the first capital of the Colorado Territory in 1861.
We enjoyed browsing the vendor booths filled with leather, metal art, jewelry, and paintings by local folks. There was something for the whole family, including pets, as the hats for dogs were pretty popular. Although, I’m not sure the dogs were as eager to don their new headgear, as their owners seemed to be.
Midway through our two-hour trek perusing the long line of tents, we stopped for a funnel cake. Museum enthusiasts, of course we were interested in the history of funnel cakes. This particular stand posted the history for us to read while standing in line, so we were not disappointed. The young cashier was the daughter-in-law of the family who has been making funnel cakes for more than 30 years. Apple, chocolate, are sugar-cinnamon varieties were available, but we opted for the powdered sugar standard (extra powdered sugar, please).
Instruments and music types from several eras played among the hum of the crowd and walking-weary toddlers. Funnel cakes, balloon animals, and shiny objects can hold a little one’s attention just so long when a nap is in order.
It was heartening to see a steady flow of patrons around the booths supporting wounded Veterans, honoring those who have served. The reminder of the holiday’s purpose was refreshing to see in the middle of all the festivities of music, feasting, olde tyme costumes, and shopping opportunities. For a great article about the importance of Memorial Day, go here.
As our adventure came to a close, we had two “take-aways” from our time at Territory Days in Old Colorado City. 1. It was far more enjoyable with good weather (last year was a mess with the rain). 2. Don’t eat funnel cake while wearing a black shirt and standing in a strong breeze—it will leave lasting evidence.