As a cool, autumn breeze blew softly through Terri Huntsman's hair, Paul Huntsman relaxed in the shade of the green, leafy tree towering over him.
For the Huntsmans - whose home burned in June during the Black Forest fire - summer came and went without anything as enjoyable as this.
One week into fall, the couple joined hundreds of people in Old Colorado City for Harvest in the Park, a food- and beer-tasting festival at Bancroft Park off Colorado Avenue.
"We're not worrying about anything for the first time in about three months," Paul Huntsman said.
The event, which was hosted by the Old Colorado City Foundation, rang in fall as well as provided the means to fuel future improvements to the park through the $30-$35 ticket price.
Neighborhood business leaders formed the foundation in November as a way for people to make tax-deductable donations for projects throughout Old Colorado City.
Foundation officials plan to start with the park, where proceeds from Sunday's event will go to opening the restrooms, said Dave Van Ness, the nonprofit's vice president. Eventually, he would like to see the organization fund the construction of a water fountain similar to the Uncle Wilber Fountain in downtown Colorado Springs.
"There's just a long, long laundry list of things that need to get done," Van Ness said.
On Sunday, breweries from across the state poured cold beer, Old Colorado City restaurants offered samples and musicians laid down some blues and rock.
Four chefs competed to make the best dish in 30 minutes using ingredients made or grown in Colorado - potatoes, apples, goat cheese and arugula, to name a few. Top honors went to Jay Gust, executive chef at TAPAteria and Pizzeria Rustica, who created a mock butternut squash cappellini with a Swiss chard and honey goat cheese sauce.
"You have some blowups," said Gust, of speed cooking. "But with time and practice comes experience."
Most of all, the afternoon offered a chance to turn the page on a turbulent summer and spring.
The Huntsmans have yet to decide whether or not to rebuild their home off Homestead Road. Their's was one of the 488 houses destroyed in north El Paso County. They lived there for the pine trees - trees that now stand ashen and dead.
The question vexed them all summer.
On Sunday, they decided not to think about it.
Instead, they sipped wine, ate carrot cake and welcomed autumn by basking in leisure.