By Jeffrey V. Smith
With another season of rock blasting at the Twin Tunnels expansion project, not to mention a rich history of mining, it was an easy decision to bring Dynamite Days back to the streets of Idaho Springs this year. The free, family-friendly outdoor music and street festival, returning for its second year, takes place in Citizens Park and along the Idaho Mall, Aug. 16.
The event, geared towards promoting community and tourism in the mountain town, features live music all day, children’s activities, vendors and local brews. “With Dynamite Days, the idea is to have a whole day of just having fun. We want the locals to feel like they can come and enjoy themselves. It’s a free concert, come buy a beer, eat some food, have a good time. Bring you kids,” Chamber President Jason Siegel said.
In an effort to create some goodwill from Miner Street merchants, the festival has been moved, slightly, to Citizens Park and the Idaho Mall, a brick pedestrian mall running behind the buildings on the south side of Miner Street between 15th and 16th avenues. Last year, Miner Street was closed to accommodate the festival. “We wanted to shift focus away from Miner Street, partly for political reasons… and so we have less exit points for people to try and walk off with alcohol. This reduces the need to recruit as many volunteers as last year. Hiring a private company to work the kids bouncy house also helps limit the need for more volunteers.
Other changes to this year’s event include an earlier start to the music. A magic show kicks off the event at 11 a.m. and live music begins at noon. Last year the music started in the late afternoon and had to end earlier due to rain. Also, the county recreation district has purchased a large, inflatable canopy for their stage that should reduce problems created by weather.
Ultimately, Dynamite Days is about giving residents and visitors something to do in donwtown Idaho Springs. “It’s all about putting out there we’ve got this fun-loving vibe and we want people to enjoy themselves,” Siegel said. “If this is how we can give back to the community, by throwing a free concert, that’s what’s the chamber is for, to provide for the community and provide a network for the businesses. It’s all about the community vibe we build with these types of events. It’s a good thing, just for the morale of the town.”
Start the day with the little ones at the Bunnie & Birdie Magic Show, 11 a.m. The Acoustic Mining Company, a bluegrass act from Denver plays at noon while Marc Morris’ Gipsy Cattle Drive takes the stage at 2 p.m. Idaho Springs-based Damaged Goods plays at 4 p.m. and the Trevor Jones Band, from Summit County and Denver, perform at 6 p.m. Denver funk band Jakarta, which was a hit at Idaho Springs’ Independence Day celebration in July, headline beginning at 8 p.m. “They play the hits everybody likes to hear, and they’re really good at it,” Siegel said.
Jakarta, Denver’s “hottest” old-school funk and R&B band, is led by Isaac Points. For the past 35 years, he has been “creating the groove that gets people on the dance floor” and his “expertise of funk has been proven time and time again.”