Aug 222004
Authors: Luke Kobilan

The 16th Annual Michelob Ultra New West Fest in

Historic Old Town Fort Collins kicked off the fall

season with a bang, celebrating the city’s 131st


“This is the first time I went to the New West Fest

and I thought it was very interesting,” said Airn

Tolnay, a sophomore microbiology major. “I liked

walking around and checking out all the different

shops and listening to the different types of music.”

With more than 120,000 people attending the event, the New

West Fest is Northern Colorado’s largest festival.

“It’s became very popular because all of Northern

Colorado can come together and be a part of the

festivities and have a good time viewing all the fine

arts and crafts as well as seeing all the talented

entertainers from all around the Northern Colorado

Region,” said Peggy Lyle, event coordinator for the

Downtown Business Association. “It presents people

with the opportunity to give back to the community and

go out and do something nice for the place they call


People filled Old Town Square to see the entertainers

and listen to music on the main stage. Cabaret

Diosa took the stage Saturday evening

as the audience salsa-danced through the rain.

“They brought energy and entertaining music to the

area,” said Junaid Subzwari, an electrical engineer for

Texas Instruments. “They’re very talented musicians,

and I thought they were the best part of the


Other musicians included Kelly Aspen,

Mojo Mama, Kenny Cordova and the Olde Rock Band, Bayou

Folk, the Lighthouse Band and several other artists.

Andes Fusion, a band with musical roots in South America, was one of the many bands to bring an ethnic flair to the stage.

“We’ve been coming here to the New West Fest for about

five years now,” said Carlos Valdez, member of Andes

Fusion. “We have a lot of fun every year and enjoy

playing our music for the people here.

Continuous entertainment on four stages and

two beer gardens catered to those of age, while the

First National Bank Kids’ World, a children’s

carnival, entertained the kids with inflatable dragons

and carnival rides.

“We had over 300 shops and booths with a variety of

arts and crafts as well as several permanent shops so

everyone could really take advantage of the variety of

shopping,” Lyle said. “We also had just about

every type of food anyone could imagine, from eastern

Indian Cuisines to food from local restaurants.”

The New West Fest brought thousands of people together

among the preserved historic buildings that date

back to the 17th century.

“The New West Fest showed everyone a good time as well

as promoting the downtown area and raising money to

support future events like the holiday lights, Santa’s

house, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, downtown concerts

and a lot more,” Lyle said. “The event brought

people from all around and really showed them the

vitality of Fort Collins and what a wonderful place it


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