Finally! Get ready for the 125th Strawberry Days in Glenwood Springs
It may have been delayed for two years due to the pandemic, but Glenwood Springs is getting ready to put on a big party for the 125th Strawberry Days festival June 17-19, including a new venue and parade route.
One of the longest-running community festivals in Colorado, Strawberry Days was canceled altogether in 2020 and came back on a very limited scale last year with the “Berry Special Weekend” events downtown.
Organizers with the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association wanted to wait until the festival could return in full for the big 125th anniversary celebration.
It was also an opportunity to regroup and look at some tweaks and changes to some of the long-standing traditions.
The biggest is a switch in the main venue from Sayre Park on Grand Avenue — also known as Strawberry Park — to the much larger Two Rivers Park at the confluence of the Roaring Fork and Colorado rivers.
In addition, the Hometown Parade, taking place at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 18, will begin at Glenwood Springs High School and proceed down Pitkin Avenue to Eighth Street, winding counter-clockwise around the Garfield County Courthouse toward the river trail leading to Two Rivers Park for the traditional free strawberries and ice cream.
“During the two-year pause, the Glenwood Springs Chamber was able to reflect on the goals and purposes of all the chamber’s events, including Strawberry Days,” chamber officials said in a recent news release.
That also led to the decision to end the long-running Miss Strawberry Days event, and to begin planning for a “more modern” replacement competition in 2023 open to all young people, the chamber also announced.
The new competition is intended to be one “that symbolizes the values of leadership, excellence and community service among all young people in Glenwood Springs,” the release stated. “Over the next year, the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association Board will develop a new, modern scholarship program that will inclusively and appropriately celebrate the great diversity of young people in the Glenwood community.”
Here’s a brief rundown of what all is on tap for this year’s Strawberry Days, including several lead-up events.
Decorating contest: Residents and businesses in Glenwood Springs are invited to participate in the community decorating contest — storefronts, business windows, residential front yards or porches — in the spirit of the anniversary theme, “125 Years of Awesomeness.” There is no entry fee, but the contest is open to both businesses and residences with a 5 p.m. June 13 entry deadline. First place in each category is to receive $500 in Glenwood Gold. Peoples’ choice voting begins June 14 and concludes at 5 p.m. June 19. Winners are to be announced the following week.
Kick-off concert: The city of Glenwood Springs is bringing the Bell Creek Band to perform at Bethel Plaza on Seventh Street from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday, June 16.
Friday Pie Day: The Glenwood Noon Rotary Club’s Pie Day fundraiser takes place the morning of Friday, June 17, at the First United Methodist Church, corner of Ninth and Cooper.
Strawberry Days opens: The festival begins in earnest at 4 p.m. Friday, June 17, Strawberry Days officially begins in Two Rivers Park, including an arts and crafts fair, live music, a food court, and a Family Fest area with games, activities and entertainment for children.
Hometown parade: 10 a.m. Saturday, June 18. The parade will begin at Glenwood Springs High School, travel down Pitkin Avenue, turn right on Eighth Street, left on Colorado Avenue and left on Seventh Street, ending at Eighth Street. Ron Milhorn of KMTS radio is this year’s parade emcee. Free strawberries and ice cream to follow at Two Rivers Park, until they run out.
Strawberry Days main stage: Throughout the weekend, a variety of local and regional bands and musicians are on tap, including Cody Jeffryes, The Queen Bees, A Band Called Alexis, Skinny Eggs Benny, Wild Flight, Thunk, Martini Shot, Rodrigo, Silent Chihuahua and Rodney Rice.
MarchFourth headlines: Scheduled to perform the evening of June 18 is the national touring group MarchFourth Marching Band; described as brassy funk, rock and jazz. In 2016, 15 MarchFourth musicians traveled from Portland, Oregon to New Orleans to record the group’s fourth studio album, “Magic Number.”
Strawberry Shortcut foot race: The traditional Strawberry Shortcut 10K, 5K and 1-mile run/walk takes place the morning of Sunday, June 19, returning to its traditional Father’s Day slot. The races begin and end at Bethel Plaza on Seventh Street. More info at strawberryshortcut.org.
Kiwanis Ball Race: The Glenwood Springs Kiwanis Club has its benefit ball race on Sunday afternoon at Two Rivers Park. See any Kiwanis member to purchase balls.
For a full schedule of events, visit strawberrydays.com or call the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association at 970-945-6589.
Senior Reporter/Managing Editor John Stroud can be reached at 970-384-9160 or email@example.com.