We had a fun day at 43rd Annual Territory Days in Colorado Springs which took place in the historic Old Colorado City location, west side of Colorado Springs. With over 150 food and craft booths, live music, a kids play area and Wild West gunfight reenactments, you will surely find something of interest. This small neighborhood festival has turned into a well-attended free celebration held every Memorial Day weekend with over 100,000 guests visiting.
The history behind this event started in 1886 when the Colorado Midland Railroad made their home office and yard in this area of Colorado Springs. Later, other major companies such as Anheuser Busch and Glass Works laid down their foundation and began production. When gold was discovered in 1891, prosperity brought many new residents and fame which lead to the tourist area it has become today.
As we entered the festival, K9-Kool Hats had these adorable dogs chilling out with their canine hats. The dogs seem to enjoy the cool mist that was being sprayed on them as they demonstrated their “kool hats”.
Novelty socks are always fun to wear and are great gifts to give someone. Foozy’s offered a ton of options such as food, sports, characters, as well as holiday socks that could speak to you!
Several of the booths had items available for kids such as crocheted winter hats with funny characters, colorful flowered tulle headbands, and bright foamed dinosaurs that you could walk alongside you during the festival.
Juanita’s Pepitas is a company that sells an all natural roasted pumpkin seed. Some of the seeds are seasoned to your liking and they also have breakfast bar that is gluten free. We stopped and had a few samples and walked way purchasing a bag of the original flavor.
Next to the Sweet Elephant at Vino Colorado Winery, a group of Native Americans performed a traditional dance in colorful costumes. After watching the performance we sipped on refreshing glass of ice tea at Sweet Elephant.
Several different artists offered festival goers a chance to watch them create their art.
A sketch artist drew the image of a photograph of a small child as onlookers watched. Decorative designs were being created on a person’s body using a paste like paint from henna called Mehndi. Another artist was drawing cartoon images of on-goers as they sat laughing and trying to be still so that the artist could get their full expressions.
We stopped into Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, which is a business located on Colorado Street, to see what candies we could sample. As we entered the store, delicious chocolate covered strawberries that had just been dressed with melted chocolate where laying on the counter. Alongside the strawberries, which I had never seen before were chocolate covered jalapenos. We decided to play it safe and had hazelnut clusters for our afternoon treat.
The opportunity to experience panning for gold was something I had never considered. At Territory Days, several stations with sand and water were set up and festival-goers could take a pan and swirl the water around until they could see small flakes of gold rise to the top. We didn’t collect any gold but we did have fun trying to be gold diggers!
The Colorado Parks and Wildlife held a bird presentation sharing information about the Barn Owl and Hawk. These birds didn’t seem to mind the crowd as the ranger shared information about each specimen of bird. Young kids enjoyed seeing such beautiful birds up close.
As we continued down the street we came across several craftsmen whittling a design on wood, spinning clay on a wheel, or heating glass into a decorative bowl. While each craftsman worked on his art, he would share how the process was being conducted and encourage everyone to ask questions. You could tell each one took great pride in their work and in educating onlookers about their craft.
One of my favorite booths, Rocky Mountain Bear Ball Soap, that attracted me was due to their “clean” smell. With bears being a common game for hunting in this region many times the fat is thrown away by the meat processing plant. These ladies decided to churn this fat into soap. These make a great men’s gift!
Knights, pirates, and other interesting characters were dressed in costume to promote the Colorado Renaissance Festival which is held June, July, and August.
Several vendors were scatter about roasting corn, serving baked potatoes, turkey on a stick, hamburgers and other delicious food items. Several beer gardens were available to purchase local beers as you were entertained by music ranging from country to folk songs.
We enjoyed our day looking at the various items in each booth, sampling food, and listening to great music.
Territory Days in Old Colorado City is fun for the whole family.