Longtime traditions, newer crowd favorites mix
Strawberry Days began in June 1897. Glenwood Springs was a rough-hewn town seeking to refine itself. The luxurious Hotel Colorado and the Hot Springs Pool had replaced brothels and gambling halls. Polo was surpassing poker in popularity, and in general, Glenwood was becoming a tight-knit community dominated by hardworking families.The first strawberry picnic was a small neighborly gathering, a chance to get reacquainted with old friends and make new ones, an opportunity to share the bounty of the strawberry harvest and celebrate the warm days ahead. As the years passed, those humble community picnics gained momentum, and it wasn’t long before Strawberry Days was an event that drew crowds from as far away as Rifle. Women competed for best strawberry pie; the famous “Human Fly” from Kansas awed onlookers as he scaled tall buildings in downtown Glenwood; and carnivals captured the imaginations and pocket change of the youngsters. Not much has changed in 107 years. Now the crowds flock to Glenwood Springs from Denver and beyond. Though the Human Fly is long extinct, mimes, magicians and storytellers mesmerize audiences instead. As for the carnival, it is a blur of flashing lights and loud music that continues to lure for a few moments of exhilaration.New to Strawberry Days in 2000 was Brown’s Amusement from Mesa, Ariz. Danny and Sherry Brown are second-generation in the outdoor amusement industry. Brown’s Amusements is a carnival built for the family, a beautifully painted, clean show certain to amuse in a safe environment. Since those early days, new traditions have evolved. Dueling for the most popular award are the Artisans Fair and the Main Stage Entertainment. The craft fair features more than 150 crafts from people from around the country. Applicants are juried, and only the best of the best make it into the space-limited fair.All crafts are American handmade items. Offerings include hand-wrought jewelry, hand-thrown and painted pottery, mouth-blown art glass, fine woodwork from furniture to accessories, custom quilts, leather goods and much, much more. All crafts are American handmade items. Offerings include hand-wrought jewelry, hand-thrown and painted pottery, mouth-blown art glass, fine woodwork from furniture to accessories, custom quilts, leather goods and much, much more.
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UPDATE: Both westbound lanes and one eastbound lane of Interstate 70, according to a 12:20 a.m. update from Garfield County.