Chamber column: Strawberry Days 2016 is jam-packed with non-stop fun
Inside the Chamber
The third weekend in June of every year, Sayre aka Strawberry Park magically transforms into a tent city almost overnight. The community festival claims to be one of the oldest and longest-running this side of the Mississippi, marking the official beginning of summer in Glenwood Springs. The weekend includes live music and entertainment, FamilyFest, a parade, an arts and crafts fair and of course delicious food. Strawberry Days celebrates its 119th anniversary June 17, 18 and 19, and this year’s celebration is sure to go down in the books as one to remember.
The festival officially opens at noon Friday, June 17. Main Stage entertainment begins Friday night at 5 p.m. with the Post Independent’s Locals’ Choice Awards, followed by the crowning of the Bighorn Toyota Miss Strawberry Days and an appearance by the adorable Strawberry Princesses. The Fab 4, A Tribute to the Beatles, headlines Friday night. The 101st Army Band will begin at noon on Saturday followed by Strawberry Days favorite Ashley Red. Saturday night, Blues Traveler front man John Popper and NYC Rock and Blues Pioneer Jono Mason join Brothers Keeper for an incredible show. Sunday entertainment includes the dance companies from the Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts, Earthbeat Children’s Choir, The Low Flying Knobs, The Logan Brothers and Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Folklorico. Get your dancing shoes ready at 2 p.m. to learn new moves from Ricardo and Tere Hernendez in preparation for the finale of the weekend, Quemando Salsa Band.
FamilyFest provides fun for the whole family. Enjoy children’s amusements, pony rides, a petting zoo, Vern’s Mini Train, a caricature artist, face painters, the Bubble Fairy, Sopris Soarers aerialists and more. The FamilyFest stage offers entertainment Saturday and Sunday. Don’t miss Chad Juros, an award-winning entertainer who has shared his magic and inspirational story for audiences across the world for over 20 years. There will also be family yoga, the Low Flying Knobs and the music of Emma Marie, an 11-year old singer songwriter. Local entertainer Jammin Jim will provide non-stop laughter throughout the weekend as he emcees and performs as well.
This year’s “Back to the Future” parade will include the traditional Miss Strawberry Days entourage, community floats that never cease to amaze, live music and more. It all takes place starting at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 18, on Grand Avenue. Grand marshals are former Citizen of the Year Don Vanderhoof and 2015 Citizen of the Year Steve Vanderhoof. The Kiwanis Club will serve free strawberries and ice cream at Sayre Park after the parade until supplies run out.
A mixture of over 100 local, regional and national artisans will be selling their one-of-a-kind creations, including this year’s featured artist Mary Noone. In addition to selling her colorful and vibrant artwork, this year’s T-shirt displays her original design and will be for sale at the information booth.
Some people come to the festival just to partake in the delicious food and drink. From Gyros to funnel cakes, Navajo tacos and giant turkey legs, the choice of what to eat isn’t easy. In addition to many long-time favorite food vendors, local restaurant Big Daddy’s will be serving up some of its specialties, as well as Jo Ma’s Eatery featuring creations from Basalt’s Epicurious Catering. There will be fresh, Colorado-grown strawberries for sale this year, and the beer garden will be open throughout the weekend with an assortment of beer and a new addition of refreshing wine slushies for those over 21 years of age.
The Brown’s Amusement Carnival means fun for everyone at the Glenwood Springs Mall parking lot from Wednesday, June 15, through Sunday night. Unlimited ride, one-day passes can be purchased for a discount now through June 14 or until supplies run out at the Glenwood Springs Chamber, located at 802 Grand Ave.
Other community events include the Miss Strawberry Days Fashion show at the Glenwood Hot Springs on Thursday, June 16, where contestants will model clothing from local stores. The annual Valley View Hospital Auxiliary Pie Day takes place on Friday at the First United Methodist Church at 824 Cooper from 9 a.m. until the pies run out. The Colors of Colorado Quilt Show will be happening adjacent to Sayre Park at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church throughout the weekend. Sunday begins early with the Strawberry Shortcut Race and Rotary Pancake Breakfast, and of course the Kiwanis Ball Race takes place Sunday afternoon.
See you at Strawberry Park June 17, 18 and 19 for a celebration to remember. For more information and a full schedule of events, visit strawberrydays.com.
Angie Anderson is vice president of operations for the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association.
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