Food, fun, family at Strawberry Days in Glenwood Springs
Post Independent Intern
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – Imagine the year 1897. Try and think of the differences. No cars, no computers, no amusement park rides, no whipped cream spray cans, no sunblock.
This weekend’s 112th Strawberry Days will bring the wealth of time, and along with it fun for the whole family.
Strawberry Days is billed as one of the oldest civic celebrations west of the Mississippi River.
Opening today and continuing through Sunday, Sayre Park (known as Strawberry Park for the weekend) will have plenty of activities for the whole family. Live music on the Main Stage, a beer tent, food and merchandise booths, pony rides for the kids, and arts and crafts vendors will keep everyone busy for the weekend.
Food booths open at 11 a.m. Friday, and the arts and crafts fair begins at 4 p.m. Miss Strawberry Days will be crowned from among 12 contestants at 5:30 p.m. at the Main Stage.
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The Glenwood Springs Mall will also host the Brown’s Amusements Carnival this year, with all new rides in the parking lot. Ride Glenwood buses will pick people up at various locations and bring them to the park throughout the day.
This year’s “A Chinese Celebration” theme gave the main organizers, the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association, the chance to get interesting entertainment, said Marianne Virgili, chamber president and chief executive.
Among the featured attractions at the festival will be a lion dance and a Kung Fu performance. Look for China-themed entries in the Strawberry Days parade, beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday and proceeding up Grand Avenue from downtown to the park.
“We are expecting big crowds throughout the weekend,” Virgili said. She has been involved in some way with the event for more than 20 years and gets excited every time because there is always something new to look forward to.
The theme was decided on last year and was solidified when the Glenwood Chamber was invited on a trip to China. Later this year, several chamber representatives and members of the community will take a guided tour of China. The trip is open to anyone who wants to sign up.
The Ride the Rockies bicycle tour, which finishes today in Glenwood, will have the festival grounds opening early to give a special welcome to the riders. The chamber wants to show its support for the community members and especially the ones riding in on Friday, Virgili said.
“People come home for Strawberry Days year after year,” she said. “It’s a community celebration.”
Members of the Glenwood Springs High School football team will be deemed the grand marshals of the parade. The team won the state championship last fall, and Strawberry Days provides an opportunity to continue the celebration.
Free strawberries and ice will be served after the parade on Saturday, just like when all this started in 1897. In the old days, the ladies of the town presented strawberries to residents and visitors.
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