With July 4 having brought the usual flurry of festivals (if not fireworks), it’d be easy to overlook the Freedom from Poverty Community Celebration being put on by Catholic Charities of Colorado Springs on Thursday. But given how much effort has gone into it — and that the proceeds are going to support the Marian House Soup Kitchen — it would be a shame to do so.
Here are a few things you should know about the celebration at America the Beautiful Park, made possible in part by title sponsor Freedom Financial Services:
• It’s free. But according to Catholic Charities spokesperson Rochelle Schlortt, all the profits from Bristol Brewing Company’s beer garden, the brats and dogs, and from Keva Juice sales will go to Marian House. Other vendors are donating part of their profits. And there’ll be barrels out to collect straight donations, too.
• Though the active.com signup expires on Sunday, you can sign up for the 63-mile Freedom from Poverty bike ride anytime before it starts at 8 a.m. Just call Schlortt at 866-6443 in the days leading up to the ride, or show up on the 8th with your registration fee and bike.
• The kids' bike rodeo will probably warm your heart. Beginning at 1 at the USOC Sport House Building adjacent to America the Beautiful Park, the "rodeo” will include helmet fittings and giveaways. But 32 kids, chosen by Catholic Charities’ partner organizations, will also receive bikes procured via Metro Rides grants.
• Shawn Mullins is playing the festival because, well, Catholic Charities asked him to. Schlortt says CEO Jason Christensen just likes Mullins’ music, and his propensity to write social-justice-themed songs, so he contacted the one-time Grammy nominee’s manager and made it happen.
• Catholic Charities has timed this festival to coincide with the return (for one day) of Christensen, who’s taking part in the 100-day, 5,000-mile coast-to-coast Cycling for Change ride. He and his fellow riders, all of whom want to raise awareness of poverty issues, are scheduled to be coming down from Castle Rock that afternoon. It’ll be the first time Christensen’s been in town since before Memorial Day. You can follow his blog from the road here.
To get a good rundown on all the events Catholic Charities has put together for this day, visit ccharitiescs.org/c4c and look at the “Dig Deeper” box.