A completely new layout, some different vendors and a home-improvement alley will kick off the 10th anniversary of the Denver Days festival this week.
This also marks the third year the Denver-Lake Norman Rotary Club has been responsible for the event, Club member Bob Hecht said. Learning from last year, Hecht is confident with the new set-up of the three-day event that he hopes will help draw in the crowds.
Last year, booths were separated from the rides — something the club changed this year. As patrons walk in, a welcome tent will be near the rides, with vendors on the right and a food court straight ahead near the entrance. The entertainment area where bands will perform also was pushed forward this year, too.
“I think this will be the best set up we’ve had,” Hecht told the Times-News last week.
“It’s more open this way, and was more divided last year.”
And with the family-friendly atmosphere, there is also an underlying cause that will benefits from the proceeds of the countywide effort — Rescue Park.
A 32-acre park is in the works, which will be located across from the Lincoln Charter School Denver campus. The county Parks and Recreation Department has approved the plan, which officials hope will break ground this fall or next spring at the latest. The Rotary Club has been preparing for the addition for more than three years, as funding was getting collected and plans were drawn up.
Rescue Park, as named after the former-East Lincoln Rescue Squad that started in the mid 1970s and closed shop about four years ago, will receive 100 percent of the proceeds from Denver Days, Hecht verified.
Besides the eventual park, the club member has other plans in mind for the annual festival.
“My long-range plan for Denver Days is for it to eventually be Lincoln County’s fair,” Hecht said. “It’s a smaller event, but 15-16 rides will be available, and depending on how many people come, the more rides will be brought next year.”
As for the rainy-weather mishap of last year, Hecht is hopeful for breezy, fall weather to keep local residents dry this time around.
Many previous-year favorites, such as funnel cakes, various repeat-vendors and the Ferris wheel will also be peppered throughout the grounds starting Wednesday, along with the annual talent show. Everyone is welcome to take part in the competition, and can submit videos to the Rotary Club’s website for consideration prior to the fall festival.
Other areas of interest to keep in mind:
Special Needs Kids Day, 1 to 3 p.m., Thursday, will offer free rides for children with disabilities and $5 worth of free food and drinks. Those interested must respond by 5 p.m. on Wednesday to be able to participate. Short ride lines is one of the several reasons Hecht encourages those eligible to attend the free event.
The Farmer’s Market will be neighboring the festival at the south side of Rock Springs Elementary School, in the bus parking lot.
A half-and-half raffle will take place every night, along with silent auctions on Friday and Saturday, which have never been done before.
For more information, call (704) 483-1996.