Special downtown Glenwood events in the works | PostIndependent.com

Special downtown Glenwood events in the works

Work continues on the Grand Avenue pedestrian bridge with hopes of making a March 2017 opening deadline. Glenwood Springs is working with a private events planner to honor the occasion with an Earth Day celebration in April.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent |

A grand opening celebration for the new Grand Avenue pedestrian bridge in conjunction with Earth Day in mid-April is in the works as one in a series of special downtown Glenwood Springs events this year.

The city has established a $50,000 budget and is working with a private events planner on several events designed to bring “positive attention” to the Grand Avenue bridge project and increase downtown business, especially during the shoulder and off-season periods.

In addition to the April 22 Earth Day event, Emily Arredondo of Roaring Fork Events brought City Council up to date last week on two other events that are already slated.

One will be a Harvest Festival, slated for Sept. 29-30 to celebrate the end of harvest season.

Then, on the Friday after Thanksgiving plans are in the works for a larger downtown holiday lighting and wine walk in conjunction with the Hotel Colorado’s lighting celebration and fireworks display.

Another possible event, pending approvals from the Colorado Department of Transportation, would be a bridge closing celebration on Aug. 14.

That’s when bridge project officials plan to officially close the old Grand Avenue highway bridge and start the 95-day detour along Midland Avenue and Eighth Street. Soon after, the historic old bridge structure is to be torn down to make way for the final segment of the new bridge.

Event planners have several ideas in mind for how to commemorate that occasion, Arredondo said.

In the meantime, the Earth Day/pedestrian bridge event is expected to include events on the new walkway itself, as well as a fun run and displays and demos by nonprofit organizations that work on sustainability issues.

The September Harvest Fest would be in conjunction with local growers and will likely include live music and family activities, Arredondo said.

The Holiday Lighting and Wine Walk, as it is being called, has been talked about in the past as a way to expand on the Hotel Colorado event, she said.

It also would make use of the pedestrian bridge, possibly including a “tunnel of lights” with wine vendors at various locations throughout the downtown area, live music and other attractions.

“We really think there is an opportunity to make this a city of lights for the holiday season,” Arredondo said. “This is an opportunity to really amp it up.”

Council gave the direction to continue planning the events, in keeping with the city’s goal to sponsor more downtown activities both during and after the bridge construction.

The events will be in addition to other regular events sponsored or supported by the city and other organizations, including Strawberry Days in June, the weekly Tuesday Night Market, a Fourth of July celebration, and a beer brewers tasting festival in early July that proved popular last year.

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