ParkerFest benefits businesses, residents

Posted 5/7/09

You know it’s summer in Parker when the streets come alive with the sound of people. Every Sunday for the next 23 weeks, downtown Parker will be …

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ParkerFest benefits businesses, residents


You know it’s summer in Parker when the streets come alive with the sound of people.

Every Sunday for the next 23 weeks, downtown Parker will be home to a bustling street fair known as ParkerFest. The festival combines a merchant showcase with a farmer’s market, and has evolved to include activities for the entire family.

Starting May 10, between 40 and 60 vendors will descend on Old Town Parker to sell their wares and delicacies to the crowds. Booths piled with fresh jam, crafts, art pieces, pet merchandise, produce and other items will line East Mainstreet between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. each Sunday. Organizers estimate that 2,000-3,000 people will attend the event every week, providing a boost for struggling businesses and bringing people to a revamped and enchanting part of town.

ParkerFest 2009 will take over a portion of Pikes Peak Drive and East Mainstreet between the Victorian drives, resulting in street closures through mid-October to allow for more pedestrian traffic. Vehicle traffic will be detoured around the Victorian Loop.

The recently remodeled downtown corridor, complete with new light posts, signs and a revamped streetscape, serves as the perfect venue for a weekly festival, said Nicole Jarman, event coordinator.

“Mainstreet represents Parker well,” she said. “It’s great for the businesses when people see what’s down here.”

The idea for ParkerFest, originally dubbed SummerFest, was born out of meetings of the Downtown Development Council, a group of Parker business and property owners who tried to find a way to attract more people to the downtown area.

“The festival brings tax revenue to the city, and events like this are about bringing the community together,” Jarman said.

Now in its third year, the family friendly event is poised to grow as the population expands and more vendors flock to Parker. A stage was added this year for live entertainment, which will change every weekend. Local bands, chef demonstrations and dance groups specializing in Flamenco, Aztec, ballet and Celtic styles will grace the stage and offer something different for festivalgoers. Rotating weekly special events, including a vintage car show, art exhibition, fashion show and an officially sanctioned Smokin’ Brew BBQ competition will introduce a fresh element to the developing festival. A calendar of events is available at

Jarman, an event coordinator with 10 years of experience, said local interest groups, like the Parker Arts Council and a theater company called Inspire Creative, have come forward and helped build the entertainment line-up. Community involvement is paramount to the long term success of such a large summer festival series, she said.

David Van Landschoot, owner of Parker Station Professional Offices and director of the Downtown Development Council, said downtown business leaders ponied up $20,000 to sponsor the events and fund the essentials, such as insurance, restrooms, trash service and marketing. A portion of the proceeds from vendor sales will be fed back into ParkerFest, which was established as an official entity.

For more information about ParkerFest or to rent a booth, call the DDC at 303-841-8155 or visit


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