Broncos rally can use chalk, but Occupy Denver can't
This afternoon, residents are invited to participate in something referred to as a "spirit rally:" Come down to Bannock between 14th and Colfax sometime between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., hang out with the cheerleaders and Mayor Michael Hancock and use blue, white and orange chalk to transform the street into "Broncos Boulevard." But wasn't Occupy Denver told it couldn't use chalk next door in Civic Center Park? Yep. But there's a difference: The city has permission.
Although organizers only applied for a permit to stage the event a few days ago, Public Works rep Christine Downs says, they do, in fact, have one. Good thing, since they are attempting to create what the press release calls "the world's first good luck card 'printed' on a concrete street." Alert the Guinness Book of World Records folks.
Occupy Denver does not have a permit, however, and though its own political chalking took place only one street away on Broadway, it was more long-term. That is, until Public Works officials visited to the park to clean away both the chalk and some graffiti that appeared in the area during the occupation.
"We'll have it swept up as soon as it's done later this afternoon, and it won't just stay there," Downs says of the rally artwork. "It will be gone tonight."
With the permit comes regulations regarding security and safety, in addition to a timeline. As Civic Center Conservancy Executive Director Lindy Eichenbaum Lent points out, the Occupy chalk in Civic Center Park was also on some of its historical structures, which adds another degree of difference between the two events.
Kelsey Whipple City workers power-wash the sidewalk in front of Civic Center Park.
Bannock will be shut down between Colfax during the entire event, but it will open again by 2 p.m. Chalk will be given to fans who visit the area, and they'll be joined by Hancock, the Broncos cheerleaders, Miles the mascot and the Stampede drumline. Fans are asked to bring canned foods to donate to the team's "Cans from Fans" food drive, and the Civic Center Conservancy is bringing in food trucks to provide lunch across the street in the park.
"Let's hope we're all back in the park again soon after a Super Bowl win," Eichenbaum Lent says.
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