Everything You Need to Know About OCC in Bloom
Are you ready to cast off the final remnants of the drab Colorado winter and step into the welcoming embrace of spring? You’ll get your chance on Saturday, May 13, when Old Colorado City kicks off the season with OCC in Bloom. OCC may have Territory Days coming in hot for Memorial Day weekend, but that won’t stop the town from hosting a citywide celebration of the new season. OCC in Bloom is an ode to the arts, a big, huge welcome back to our spring and summer visitors and a perfect opportunity to say farewell to cold and dreary days.
The whole town is in on the action, but we’ve highlighted a few special opportunities you won’t want to miss when you come to visit. These are just a snapshot of the events that will be going on all day at shops and galleries throughout the city. Let’s get planning!
OCC in Bloom Events
This artisans’ block party offers a whole lot of entertainment for all attendees. Many of the galleries and shops are offering activities and discounts all day long, which is just one more reason not to miss this event. Let’s take a look at some of the top places to stop:
Live Demonstration with Karen Storm
Pop into Squash Blossom for live painting with local artist Karen Storm. Storm is an award-winning artist who captures the beauty of nature with moving landscapes and breathtaking wildlife photography. Storm often paints outdoors, right in the heart of the wilderness she is creating on canvas. Squash Blossom is in the midst of its 50th anniversary, so you can also score incredible deals on art throughout the store.
Jewelry Making Demonstration with Julie Collins
Do you love the intricate craftsmanship it takes to create a stunning piece of jewelry? Jeweler Julie Collins will be working her magic from noon-2:30 p.m. at the Colorado Creative Co-op. Even cooler, she may be able to whip you up something special just in time for Mother’s Day. Don’t worry if she’s too busy; you can also find more pieces inside, along with works and items from other member of the Colorado Creative Co-op.
Paint a Pot with Hapke’s Hortum
Plants are the hot new accessory, whether you’re out in the garden or whispering sweet encouragement to your favorite pothos. Pay a visit to Hapke’s Hortum during OCC in Bloom and you’ll get a chance to paint a pot for just $15 — and take home a new, small plant of your choice to go with it. Your purchase includes a terra cotta pot, the aforementioned new plant BFF and all the supplies you need to deck it out. It goes without saying that this would make a great Mother’s Day gift. Your art, plus a new plant? She’ll be sooo proud.
Places to Eat in Old Colorado City
OCC has a huge list of top dining spots ranging from fast casual to finer dining. You can absolutely make a day of it in Old Colorado City, including making time for a mid-day lunch stop or a post-event dinner.
Something Different: Monse’s Pupuseria
Monse’s brings Salvadoran comfort food to the Pikes Peak region with their specialty pupusas — thick, warm corn tortillas topped with your choice of meat or vegetable. Monse’s is an entirely gluten-free restaurant with an excellent list of vegetarian and vegan options. It’s a perfect place to go if you have dietary restrictions but still want the mouthwatering deliciousness everyone else at the table is eating.
Fast and Easy: Slice 420
If you’re hustling from gallery to gallery and do not have much time to eat, Slice 420 has lunchtime covered. Visit their Colorado Avenue location for New York Style pizza, by the slice. There’s nothing better than folding up a slice of your favorite pie, made hot and fresh. If you don’t mind a wait, you can order from their extensive list of pizzas, too. Carry out a whole pizza on your way home from OCC in Bloom and be the hero your family needs.
Romantic Fine Dining: Carlo’s Bistro
You’ll want to make a reservation in advance for this popular restaurant located just outside of downtown OCC on 21st Street. Their menu features Japanese Wagyu and Kobe beef, tomahawk steaks, elk, pheasant and lamb, as well as rich pasta dishes like chicken carbonara and alfredo. The price point is definitely higher than average, to Carlo’s leans hard into the “fine” in fine dining. If you want to make your post-event dinner into a celebration, we suggest you buy some art first.
Family-Friendly: Front Range Barbeque
For a restaurant that will make you and your small humans feel right at home, Front Range Barbeque is a definite favorite. With a wide variety of sides and meats, kid-friendly options and one heck of a cocktail menu, everyone is going to leave full and happy. The restaurant frequently hosts live music, which means you’ll have great accompaniment to your ribs, brisket, mac and cheese and mashed potatoes.
Where to Park in Old Colorado City for OCC in Bloom
Old Colorado City has ample metered street parking for visitors. Be sure to pay attention to time limits so you don’t end up with a ticket. If you park along residential streets, take care not to block driveways. Old Colorado City also has several parking lots located right next to the main shopping and dining areas:
Vermijo Parking Lot
298 S. 26th St.
2613 W. Cucharras St.
Free Public Parking
S. 27th St. and Cucharras St. (behind Alchemy and across from SP+)
If you do not want to drive into OCC or use a rideshare, you can also park downtown or other areas nearby and use a PikeRide. The Midland Trail will deliver you to OCC from downtown Colorado Springs or Manitou Springs. There are multiple PikeRide parking racks, so you won’t have to dock it on a street sign or post.