Street festival turns out to be grand event

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There were no thunderstorms, tornado warnings or downpours to mar this year's Grand Olde West Days street festival Monday.

Instead, the festival-goers who packed Yampa Avenue and Victory Way were greeted with blue skies, a slight breeze and temperatures in mid-60s.

"It couldn't be better," said Denise Whitney, of Craig, as she strolled down Yampa Avenue.

Whitney, who was downtown Monday singing with the local all-women's singing troupe Sweet Adelines, said it was great to have nice weather for the street festival.

Some locals call Grand Olde West Days "Grand Olde Wet Days" because the Memorial Day weekend celebration is regularly doused in spring rain.

There was a tornado warning, and lightning knocked out some of the power during last year's street festival.

Festival organizers said the weather plays a major role in whether people come to the street festival.

"We had great vendors last year, we had great music last year, but we didn't have very good weather," festival organizer Carol Wilson said.

The good weather was part of reason there was a much better turnout this year than last year, she said.

The festival had about 30 booths this year, Wilson said, with vendors selling items including jewelry and turkey legs.

For Mark Olsen, of Craig, those turkey legs were the first thing he wanted to get at this year's festival.

The best part about the street fair -- aside from the turkey legs -- was the weather, Olsen said.

"It's not raining," he said. "It seems like it rains every year."

Lory Campos, of Craig, has been selling jewelry at the street fair for five years.

Campos, the owner of Lory's Creations in Craig, said the street festival is a great community event.

"The people are always really happy and friendly," she said.

Campos has been through festivals like yesterday's when the sky was blue and the weather was great. But she has also been through festivals, like last year's, when the weather didn't cooperate.

No matter what the weather does, Campos said she plans to come back every year.

"I'll be here until my hands quit making jewelry," she said.

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