42nd Annual Territory Days draws big crowds

42nd Annual Territory Days draws big...

OLD COLORADO CITY, Colo. - The 42nd annual Territory Days in Old Colorado City is officially in the books. It's a tradition that brings in vendors and people from all across the state.

"Oh, it was busy this year," said Angela Talbert from Colorado Springs.

Driving into Old Colorado City and finding parking, not so easy.

"We parked far. I'd say almost 3/4 of a mile," Talbert.

That gives you an idea of just how many people attend the annual event.

"By time it's all over, I think there was somewhere around 100,000 people. We usually we get about 150,000," said Jim Wear, event organizer.

Territory Days is unique.

"I like that it shows you about our past history," said Danica White, from Colorado Springs.

The event shows you a piece of history and a taste.

"We got chicken on stick, gyros, lamb, chicken, steak and more," said Gabby Wilson, a food vendor from Las Vegas.

There were over 300 vendors who participated in the event and while many are local, a majority of them also travel from across the state.

"I came from Steamboat Springs to sell this bear fat soap. It is unique. I get it from the meat processor in northwest Colorado, they would just throw the bear fat away so I get it and make soap," said Dana Haskins, owner of Mountain Meadow Soaps.

Organizers say Territory Days generates more sales tax to the city of Colorado Springs than any other event in southern Colorado.

"We're talking between $30,000 and $50,000 in sales tax. Which at a 6 percent rate you multiply that out, it is millions of dollars that are spent just with the vendors," Wear said.

While it's great for economy, Wear says he wants people to remember the true meaning of the weekend.

"What Memorial Day is really about is honoring our fallen U.S. service men and women," he said.

Organizers say they think more people turned out last year because of better weather, but they're still finalizing numbers.

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