Following the recent years of drought, who could ever rue rain? The 10,000 folks expected at the Independent's 12th anniversary celebration, Hoopla '05. Last Saturday, two hours and three inches of flash flood-inducing rain commenced just prior to Hoopla, forcing its cancellation.
It's a shame, because everything else was perfect: the incredible, interactive Elope Hats' Kids Kalliope arts and science extravaganza; the Bristol Beer tent in front of what promised to be an amazing showcase of Colorado musicians; and the remarkable collection of traditional American Indian baskets inside the Pioneers Museum.
Despite the downpour, plaudits for an incredible organizing effort go to event coordinator Chris Gorman, who was assisted by recent Colorado College grad and soon-to-be MBA student Elena Imaretska; the Indy's Carrie Simison-Bitz; Kevin Johnson and Grace Moore from Elope; Mike Bristol and Josh Ostehoudt from Bristol Brewing; Carol Kennis from the Pioneers Museum; Brinah Acton from the Center for Nonprofit Excellence; and Adam Leech from The Leechpit.
Deep-felt appreciation also is in order to the nearly 100 nonprofit, art, food and other vendors and acts who were absolutely wonderful in setting up, then taking down, their booths and venues in the deluge.
Another bummer about the day: the largely non-existent proceeds from Hoopla '05. Money raised was to go to two wonderful charities, Compassion for Kids and the Independent Community Partnership, which nurtures emerging community-building nonprofits. (See last week's pages 10-11, or click on the ICP banner at csindy.com.)
If you would like to help either or both of these worthy nonprofits, please send donations to: ICP, c/o Pikes Peak Community Foundation, P.O. Box 1443, Colorado Springs, CO 80901; and Compassion for Kids, Attn: Brenda Smith, P.O. Box 62824, Colorado Springs, CO 80962.
-- John Weiss
Photos by Sean Cayton