photo -

So many times we hear that technology and the fast pace of modern life has robbed us of many of the traditions and the feeling of community that our nation once had. If you look, you can still find that spirit in local events such as Territory Days in Old Colorado City or the Black Forest Festival.

The year's Black Forest Festival will be from 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday at the Black Forest Community Center/Log School Park on the northwest corner of Black Forest Road and Shoup Road.

The festival has the feeling of the unique community 20 miles north of Colorado Springs. It's a small closely knit area known for its forested acreage and wildlife.

It's also a community still recovering from a devastating 2013 fire that challenged the area's residents to rebuild and rekindle their sense of camaraderie.

As summer ends and school starts, this is an ideal time to celebrate traditions and Western heritage.

This year's theme is "Black Forest or Bust" and partners with the Western Mining Museum and multiple local ranches to provide many hands-on activities, including gold panning demonstrations.

The parade and the always popular outhouse races will begin at 10:30 a.m. This festival will feature many Western-themed activities, such as: a donation-based pancake provided by R&R Cafe; a pioneer town with children's activities; arts, crafts and local business services; ranch activities for all ages, including pony rides, a petting zoo and a goat milking and soap making demonstration; an evening barn dance with instruction; a silent and live auction; a sawmill demonstration and wood sale; a Native American dance performance; a guided tour through Black Forest's historically registered one-room school house; and several live music performances.

If you are ready to sample small town life at its best, the festival is the place to find it.

The event is free and open to the public. On-site and off-site parking are available. Free shuttle services will also be provided by the First Baptist Church of Black Forest.

For more information, click here.