Tribute to the American Veterans Rally moving forward with a new home in Woodland Park
Controversy persists on event site
It’s just over five weeks away from the highly anticipated Salute to American Veterans Rally, scheduled for August 19-21.
This year will be the first time the event has taken place in Woodland Park, instead of Cripple Creek, since the event’s inception almost three decades ago. There was a period of several years, however, when the rally was held in Winter Park.
Moving an event of this magnitude to a new location was not without difficulty. The main venue for the event will be at Woodland Park, Memorial Park. A dispute arose when ProPromotions (the event organizers) and the Woodland Park Farmers Market board of directors argued over rights to the park on Friday, August 20. The Farmers Market board claimed to have rights to the park. The whole park this Friday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., ProPromotions, meanwhile, wants to start preparing its event on Thursday, August 19 and launch the event on August 20.
Due to this conflict, planning for the event was in limbo for almost 30 days. Wear said it would cost ProPromotions a substantial sum of money if it were to change its plans to move to the park.
The dispute eventually made its way to city council. Council debated whether the Farmers Market had rights to the entire park under its temporary use permit. It was the first time in history that the question of who had rights to the park under a temporary use permit arose, with another event wanting to use the park on the same day. In the end, the council gave overwhelming support to the Salute rally and allowed them to settle down on Thursday and roll out the event on August 20.
Jim Wear, President of ProPromotions, said, “We are moving forward as directed by the board. We no longer had contact with Farmers Market. After that last city council meeting, the message we got from council was to move on. “
End a long-standing tradition
The town of Cripple Creek has long supported and hosted the Salute to American Veterans Rally. In 2020, the event was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And the city council during its budget discussions at the end of 2020 decided not to sponsor any special events for 2021, except for their celebration of July 4. As a result, no funds have been allocated to the Salute rally for this year. Wear and the Cripple Creek City Council had several discussions about keeping the event in Cripple Creek, but they failed to come up with a satisfactory solution. Wear then decided to look for another location for the event.
Keeping the event in Teller County was the main focus, according to Wear. and thus, negotiations began with Woodland Park.
The new location of the rally, however, created some confusion.
Cripple Creek Director of Marketing and Events Jeff Mosher told TMJ News in an email, “There will be NO activity during the Salute to the American Veterans Rally August 19-22. Pro Promotions has decided to host all activities at Woodland Park. However, the drive from Woodland Park to Cripple Creek is still scheduled for the 21st. We will have the large American flag (provided by Pro Promotions) hanging over Bennett Ave at the fire hall, but the drive will only go through town. around 11am before returning to Woodland.
According to Mosher, the town still gets a lot of calls from people, still believing the event will be in Cripple Creek.
All the controversy over the Salute rally created a great social media war for months between supporters and critics of the event.
But the town of Cripple Creek, in an official statement, made it clear that it still supports the rally, but simply cannot fund the event in 2021. They have left the door open for funding in the years to come. .
Sources say some civic leaders are unhappy that Wear has moved the event from Cripple Creek, as they argue that the city has never taken the position that no special event, including the Salute rally, can take place this year. Executives have said they don’t want to be in a position to pick winners and losers for special event funding this year, with significant budget cuts looming. The city government had to cut its spending budget by almost 30% for 2021, compared to the previous year.
Additionally, at the time of budget approval (2021) at the end of 2020, concerns were still circulating about the pandemic.
There are still questions regarding the future of the rally, and if it will return to Cripple Creek in the years to come, or continue indefinitely at Woodland Park.