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Summerfest almost 360 degrees from its start

Written by Linda Kirkpatrick on .

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When Summerfest relocated from Heritage Grove to Buchanan Park a few years ago, many were saddened to see the shift from the familiar, intimate setting. But being able to spread out on the ball fields has enabled the festival to become bigger and better.

This was the 38th annual Summerfest – started in 1979 just a stone’s throw from where it is now, the 11 acres that initiated the creation of the larger Buchanan Park. “Sterling Nelson headed up entertainment, and we had some Denver jazz names on a tiny makeshift stage that first year,” recalls Jenise Harper, organizer of that first event. “After the first year Sheila Clarke led the drive to rescue Heritage Grove (next to Hiwan Homestead) from development, and Summerfest was relocated to the grove the second year.”