ThorntonFest moves to June 8

Chance of better weather leads organizers to reschedule annual event

Posted 5/15/19

Thornton will reschedule its annual one-day spring celebration to June 8, surrendering the weekend before Memorial Day spot it held for 22 years thanks to two years of lousy weather. “We’re …

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ThorntonFest moves to June 8

Chance of better weather leads organizers to reschedule annual event

Posted

Thornton will reschedule its annual one-day spring celebration to June 8, surrendering the weekend before Memorial Day spot it held for 22 years thanks to two years of lousy weather.

“We’re trying to find a safe weekend, but we know nothing is ever safe in Denver,” said Chris Steinke, Thornton’s recreation program and facilities supervisor. “We are just trying for a better chance of good weather.”

ThorntonFest is scheduled to run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 8 at Carpenter Park with the familiar mix of events — live entertainment, shopping and fun demonstrations.

There’s one big exception, however.

“We lost Dock Dogs because of the move,” Steinke said.

Rocky Mountain Dockdogs was a competition Thornton hosted for several years featuring a huge pool of water that trained dogs were allowed to jump into. The dog’s jumps are judged in categories like big air, extreme vertical and speed retrieval.

“It’s already scheduled to be in Vail that weekend,” Steinke said. “We know there are a number of events that are scheduled the same weekend and that’s why it’ such a big deal to move.”

Instead, the Thornton Police are scheduled to host a K9 demonstration. The festival will also host a Ninja Warrior obstacle course.

“We’re trying to make it an event for everyone,” he said. “We have a car show, kids attractions like a climbing wall and a bungee trampoline, a drone demonstration and a bunch of other things.”

ThorntonFest is a one-day celebration with an extensive list of attractions, a mix of live entertainment and shopping at the park at 108th Avenue and Colorado Boulevard. Organizers had planned for more than 40,000 people to attend for the past two years.

But the city has not managed to pull off its signature spring festival since 2016, thanks to rain. Heavy rain leading up the event left the Carpenter Park fields too soggy for the event in both 2017 and 2018.

The festival would normally be scheduled for May 18 and long-range weather forecasts so far are making the decision to reschedule look like a good one, Steinke said.

“When I looked it earlier, the forecast was calling for 66 degrees on the May 18,” he said. “That would be good, but there is rain scheduled for the three days before, so we’d be in the same situation. But you know how weather forecasts work out.”

A Thornton’s Got Talent competition will be back this year. The talent competition features performers ranging from 8- to 65-years-old in a wide array of talents from noon to 4 p.m.

In all, 20 acts will compete on the Carpenter Park Amphitheater all day throughout the festival, watched by a team of judges. Winners will win a cash prize as well as bragging rights: First place wins $1,250, second $875 and third $375.

The “Art<$100” show, a showcase of affordable local crafts and designs.

Most of the favorite venues from past years will be back.

Pet lovers can also check out Paw Fest. There will be an AniMall where they can buy special products and have their pets vaccinated for minimal costs. The pet clinic is open from 9 a.m. to noon and also from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. The services are provided by Huron Animal Hospital.

The Thornton Fire Department is hosting Healthy Town, offering healthy eating tips, life safety education, and they will give you active wellness advice as well.

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