In 1897, the town of Glenwood Springs had evolved from its brief gambling and gun slinging past, The Hotel Colorado had established itself as a luxury destination, and the medicinal hot springs pool was becoming known around American aristocracy as the spa of the rockies. During this time, the humble beginnings of the annual Strawberry Days Festival took root as a way to re-connect the towns people, welcome new neighbors into the growing community, celebrate the bounty of the strawberry harvest and to kick off the warm summer days ahead.
The Strawberry Days Festival started as a community picnic, but soon gained momentum given Glenwood’s popularity as a high end vacationing spot. Women competed for the title trophy for the best strawberry pie and the infamous “human fly” was brought in from Kansas to thrill the festival goers. He scaled the tallest buildings in Glenwood providing death defying entertainment for the annual festival for a few years around 1917.
The festival has continued to attract visitors from near and far, and retains its down home feel despite the fact that it’s a big 3 day extravaganza. Although the “human fly” has long since departed, the festival boasts a Carnival, the Strawberry Pie Contest, the Strawberry Princess pageant-celebration, Glenwood Idol singing competition, Battle of the Bands, Main Stage Music Performances, Parade, face painting Family Fest, Food Fair and everybody’s favorite, the Free bowls of Ice Cream and Strawberries on the “strawberry” Sayre Park lawn.
The long standing Strawberry Festival Fine Arts and Crafts Show has gotten a significant upgrade this year as the organizers selected over a 100 artisans to exclusively sell work handmade by each of the artists.
And just a few weeks after the last vestiges of Strawberry seeds are swept up, the Glenwood Hot Springs Pool celebrates its 125th birthday (July 4). To honor its big day, the crowning of Miss Strawberry Days will return to its original location at the Glenwood Hot Springs Pool. And word on Grand Avenue is that a fairly “splashy” float will be in the Strawberry Festival Parade to mark this landmark amenity’s history . It’s top secret, though, so you’ll have to be in Glenwood to see what the Hot Springs Pool people have in store for this over a century old celebration.
For all of the details and the BERRY fun event schedule, visit the Glenwood Springs’ Strawberry Days festival’s website.
(A special thanks to the https://www.facebook.com/strawberrydaysfestival page for the photos!)