Five ways to make the most of Strawberry Days
The 125th Strawberry Days festival in Glenwood Springs comes with a decidedly new look this weekend.
There’s a completely new venue for the main festival grounds — Two Rivers Park, instead of Sayre — which offers a lot more space to spread out, but comes with a few logistical considerations.
There’s also a new route for the Saturday parade — Pitkin Avenue, instead of Grand — which means viewers will need to find a new vantage point from which to watch.
But much is the same with the quasquicentennial anniversary festival, including a full slate of arts and crafts vendors, food booths, live music, children’s activities and lots of side action.
Strawberry Days opens Friday and continues through Sunday at Two Rivers Park. The “Hometown Parade” begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday, proceeding north on Pitkin from Glenwood Springs High School.
Here are five things to consider to make the most of your Strawberry Days visit.
The main parking lot at Two Rivers is reserved for vendors and ADA parking, but there are a couple of nearby options. Two lots just across Devereux Road to the west, at the Colorado Department of Transportation building and the commercial building across the street, are available.
Otherwise, any of the various downtown parking lots, including the city lot on Seventh Street and the lot at Glenwood Springs Elementary School, are within reasonable walking distance.
“We encourage anyone who can, to walk or bike to the festival,” said Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association President and CEO Angie Anderson.
Bike corrals are available at both of the main park entrances, and Glenwood Springs Bicycle Advocates will be on hand to greet riders and answer bicycle questions.
“One of the best parts about Two Rivers Park is its convenient location along the River Trail (Rio Grande),” Anderson said. “The new Devereux Trail also makes the park very accessible from Sixth Street.”
The Ride Glenwood bus service is also free for the weekend and has extended hours until 10:20 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.
Tip: Ride the bus to the Traver Trail stop on Sixth Street and walk to the park along the Devereux Bridge. The Traveler has also extended its hours until 10:30 p.m. and is available on request for seniors and those with disabilities who cannot take regular public transit.
Pitkin Avenue is narrower than the old traditional parade route on Grand Avenue, and has a lot more private residences. Parking on Pitkin is prohibited from 5 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, and any violators are subject to being towed.
One perk for parade watchers is that there’s also a lot more shade, which could be really nice.
The parade route begins at Glenwood Springs High School and proceeds north on Pitkin to Eighth Street, turning right in front of the courthouse and left on Colorado, finishing on Seventh Street near the city parking lot.
KMTS news and sports guy Ron Milhorn is the parade emcee and will be announcing from the parking lot at Summit Bound Church in the 1100 block of Pitkin Avenue.
Tip: There are plenty of places to watch in front of the Garfield County Courthouse on Eighth Street, along Colorado between Seventh and Eighth, and along the final stretch on Seventh Street.
Roam the many arts and crafts booths in Two Rivers Park to find that perfect gift or a little something for yourself. Booths open at noon Friday and 10 a.m. Saturday, and will be open until 8 p.m. Sunday hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Here is a sampling of some of the returning vendors: glenwoodchamber.com/arts-craft-fair.
And a few in particular that are definitely worth checking out include Portraits by Cecelia, Earth Spirit Designs, Busted Barrel Furniture, Monkey Spur Arts, Mesa Lavender Farms, Colorado Hammock and Crystal D’llusions.
Tip: Take in the arts and crafts booths in the morning on Saturday and Sunday, or later in the evening, to avoid the afternoon heat. Take note that Colorado weather is unpredictable, so be prepared for the elements, including having sunscreen and a bottle of water handy, and a rain jacket for those potential afternoon thunder-boomers. Also, please leave the dogs at home, no glass containers and no outside alcohol. Bags will be checked at the entrances.
Free strawberries and ice cream
Following the Saturday parade is the Strawberry Days tradition of free strawberries and ice cream, served up by the Kiwanis Club at Two Rivers Park in front of the bandshell (approximately 11 a.m.).
Tip: There are approximately 3,000 servings available to give out while supplies last, so your chosen location along the parade route could be rather strategic to make sure you get toward the front of the line.
As with the arts vendors, there are a variety of food booths on site at Two Rivers Park serving up a culinary cornucopia of tastes. The Food Court opens at noon Friday until 10 p.m., from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, and from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sunday.
For the full list of food vendors, visit glenwoodchamber.com/food-vendors.
Tip: Pair your food choice with a brew from the Glenwood Canyon Brew Pub and/or Ball Brewing, which will both be featured Saturday evening starting at about 4 p.m. Also, the Chamber beer garden offers up some of the usual beer choices and other libations. It’s open from 4-9:30 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Saturday; and 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sunday.
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