Local(-ish) strawberries return to Strawberry Days | PostIndependent.com

Local(-ish) strawberries return to Strawberry Days

Will Grandbois
will@postindependent.com

THURSDAY

FamilyFest Stage

5 to 6:30 p.m.: Strawberry Princess Party

Community Events

5:30 to 7:30 p.m.: The Bighorn Toyota Miss Strawberry Days Fashion Show at the Glenwood Hot Springs

Friday

Main Stage

5 to 6 p.m.: Glenwood Springs Post Independent Locals’ Choice Awards

6 to 7 p.m.: Crowning of Miss Strawberry Days and Strawberry Princesses

7:30 to 10 p.m.: The Fab 4 tribute band

Community Events

9 a.m.: Valley View Hospital Auxiliary Pie Day at First United Methodist Church, 824 Cooper Ave.

Noon to 6 p.m.: Colors of Colorado Quilt Show at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church,1630 Grand Ave.

Saturday

Main Stage

Noon to 3 p.m. 101st Army Rock Band

3:30 to 6:30 p.m.: Ashley Red

7 to 10 p.m.: Brothers Keeper featuring Jono Mason and John Popper

FamilyFest Stage

11 to 11:45 a.m.: Chad Juros Show

Noon to 12:45 p.m.: Strawberry Princess Celebration

1 to 1:45 p.m.: Chad Juros Show

2 to 3 p.m.: The Low Flying Knobs

3 to 3:45 p.m.: The Jammin Jim Show

4 to 4:45 p.m.: Emma Marie

5 to 5:45 p.m.: Chad Juros Show

Community Events

9 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Colors of Colorado Quilt Show at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church,1630 Grand Ave.

10 a.m. to noon: Strawberry Days Parade on Grand Avenue, Eighth Street to South Hyland Park Drive

After the parade until supplies run out: Free strawberries and ice cream at Sayre Park

Sunday

Main Stage

9 to 10 a.m.: The Dance Companies from the Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts

10 to 10:45 a.m.: Earthbeat Children’s Choir

11 a.m. to noon: The Low Flying Knobs

Noon to 1:30 p.m.: The Logan Brothers

1:30 to 2 p.m.: Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Folkloriko

2 to 2:30 p.m.: Salda dance lesson with Ricardo and Tere Hernendez

2:30 to 5:30 p.m.: Quemando Salsa

FamilyFest Stage

10 to 11 a.m.: Family yoga class

11 to 11:45 a.m.: Chad Juros Show

Noon to 1 p.m.: Kids’ obstacle course

1 to 1:45 p.m.: Chad Juros Show

2 to 2:45 p.m.: The Jammin Jim Show

3 to 3:45 p.m.: Chad Juros Show

Community Events

7, 8:15 and 9:30 a.m.: Annual Strawberry Shortcut 5K, 10K and 1-Mile Fun Run starts at Centennial Park, Ninth and Grand

7 to 11 a.m.: Annual Rotary Pancake Breakfast at the FirstBank Food Fair, Sayre Park softball field

2:30 to 3:30 p.m.: Kiwanis Ball Race, North Hyland Park Drive and Blake Avenue

In many ways, Strawberry Days retains the spirit that inspired its foundation more than a century ago.

It remains a chance for locals to get together and celebrate and for visitors to discover the best that Glenwood Springs has to offer. It is, as a column in the Glenwood Post a week before the debut celebration on June 18, 1898, asserted, “a day wherein old acquaintances may be renewed.”

“Let every ranchman in Garfield County take a day off next Saturday, hitch up and bring the whole family to Glenwood and enjoy Strawberry Day,” it extolled. “Let us show our visitors that we are not behind other towns when it comes to making our visitors feel at home and enjoy themselves.”

Angie Anderson, vice president of operations for the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association, put it more simply.

“I think our entertainment is probably the biggest we’ve ever had. It’s nonstop throughout the weekend.”

Angie Anderson vice president of operations, Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association

“It was a day to get the community together and attract visitors to town,” she said.

The official program this year includes an arts and crafts fair, food court, beer garden and live music at Sayre — or Strawberry — Park, as well as a parade down Grand Avenue and a carnival in the parking lot of the West Glenwood Mall. Numerous other organizations pitch in with related events, such as Pie Day or the Strawberry Shortcut footraces, that are also inextricably linked with the weekend.

“It allows for all this community collaboration and a jumping off point,” Anderson said.

Of course, there are always slight differences. The park layout has been tweaked a bit this year, with local food vendors added to the lineup, a more comfortable beer garden, and more corner spaces at the arts fair. Anderson doesn’t expect construction related to the Grand Avenue bridge to affect the parade, but it might alter some of the detours. Although there’s competition from Food and Wine in Aspen and Country Jam in Grand Junction, the music lineup — headlined by Brothers Keeper with John Popper of Blues Traveler fame — should prove a draw.

“I think our entertainment is probably the biggest we’ve ever had,” Anderson said. “It’s nonstop throughout the weekend.”

As a special treat this weekend, Seventh Street, which has been closed most of the year between Colorado and Bennett avenues, will be open to traffic. Contractors with the Grand Avenue bridge project made an extra push to temporarily open the street for the festival, said Kathleen Wanatowicz of PR Studio, which is helping manage communications for the construction project.

Generally, Strawberry Days organizers only get one real complaint from festival newcomers.

“Everybody always comes to the information booths and asks about strawberries,” Anderson said. “They’re not grown around here commercially anymore, so it’s something we haven’t had in a long time.”

The Kiwanis club still provides free strawberries and cream, but there’s nowhere to get the fruit from a local source.

Colorado farmer Darrell Speights hopes to change that.

“If you’re going to have a theme, you ought to stick to it,” he said. “I’ve been to watermelon festivals and they always have watermelon. I’ve been to peach festivals and they always have peaches.”

Speights, who works at Antelope Hill Orchards near Montrose, helped bring cherries back to the Paonia Cherry Festival, and plans to bring a load of strawberries to Strawberry Days.

“As hot as it’s been … it may be skimpy,” he said. “I’d love to have all local, good looking, perfect fruit, but we’ll see how that goes. Mother nature isn’t always consistent.”

Whether or not Speights’ crop would have stacked up in the competition for largest and finest fruit in Strawberry Days of yore, it’s a way of completing an already beloved local event.


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