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Reader: The Denver I've Known Forty Years Is Disappearing

The 2018 People's Fair: going, going, gone?EXPAND
The 2018 People's Fair: going, going, gone?
Brandon Marshall
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When the news broke yesterday afternoon, it seemed like the end of an era: The People's Fair will not be back in 2019. That makes three major changes in this summer's festival lineup: Velorama had already announced it was ending its run after two years and Grandoozy says it is taking a "hiatus" after just one year. But in contrast, the People's Fair is a Denver institution that's almost fifty years old.

This notice is now posted on peoplesfair.com: "The longstanding tradition of the People’s Fair will be taking a hiatus in 2019 and will look to return in 2020. We would like to thank all of the past supporters of the festival as we work to make People’s Fair even more unique, interactive, and a standout festival in the Denver community."

Readers are now debating whether the fair will actually come back...and whether it should. Says Keith:

So sad...the Denver I have known for over forty years is slowly and surely disappearing. This is just another step on the way to Denver losing its uniqueness.

Adds Jerome: 

Sign of the times, horrible!!

Responds Rachel: 

I’m so disappointed. I looked forward to the People’s Fair every year. I hope it comes back for 2020.

Says Sean:

This is bullshit! They need to find a way to keep it going.

But Sarah says:

 Recent ones were nothing liked they used to be. Nothing original. Sad.

Adds Ellie: 

The last few it has sucked anyway. Every booth is at every festival and it just keeps getting more expensive but there’s nothing new or cool about it. Oh well. This is what happens when commercialism takes over.

Kurt elaborates: 

The Taste of Colorado sucked last year too, and so did Pride. It seems like all the Denver fairs have just turned into themes they can slap on a lunch box and sell to you at triple price. They use to be fun.

Monte suggests:

 Let's just hold our own festival in Civic Center Park this summer.

And Joanna concludes:

 Denver is not Denver and Colorado is not Colorado. ANYMORE.

Keep reading for more on the festivals that won't be back in Denver this summer:

Reader: The Denver I've Known Forty Years Is Disappearing
Danielle Lirette

"Grandoozy Taking a 'Hiatus' in 2019"

Reader: The Denver I've Known Forty Years Is Disappearing
EmeryHouseMedia

"Velorama Won't Be Back in 2019"

Reader: The Denver I've Known Forty Years Is Disappearing
Ken Hamblin III

"Changes Coming to People's Fair and Oldest Registered Neighborhood Group"

Reader: The Denver I've Known Forty Years Is Disappearing
Brandon Marshall

"People's Fair Will Not Be Back in 2019"

The People's Fair got its start in 1972 as a community festival, the Capitol Hill People's Fair, and grew over the decades into a major event as well as the primary fundraiser for Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods, Denver's oldest registered neighborhood group, which was started in 1969. From its longtime home at the East High School Esplanade, it moved to Civic Center Park decades ago, dropping "Capitol Hill" from its name.

But increased costs and competition made it more difficult to run a profitable fair, and when longtime CHUN executive director Roger Armstrong had to step down because of illness, the 2017 and 2018 fairs were outsourced to Team Player. Armstrong passed away in 2017. In response to yesterday's news that the fair is taking a break, Dean Allman left this comment: "I hope we recognize in many ways the loss that all of us suffered when Roger Armstrong left this world. He was the glue that held so much together. I will celebrate his legacy, and hope one day the People’s Fair will return."

What do you think about the People's Fair? Should it come back? What do you think about the fairs in Civic Center Park in general? Post a comment, or email your thoughts to editorial@westword.com.

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