Date changed for ColorFest celebration

As we look to grow our local events to attract tourists, we must also look at our regional competition. Telluride’s Blues and Brews Festival is always scheduled two weeks after Labor Day. This event in Telluride now falls on the third weekend of September, which is when we have typically hosted our ColorFest activities.

With the increasing growth of the ColorFest weekend, we have decided that it would be event suicide to compete with Telluride’s well-established event. We are competing for similar vendors with our Bands, Brews, Etc. Festival, which proved very popular for us, with good attendance as well as attracting regional microbreweries. However, we would not be able to do this if we kept ColorFest on the same weekend. The Telluride Festival is just too well established with.

We have made the decision to move the balloon rally and the ColorFest activities to the second weekend of September — Sept. 11-13. We highly encourage any lodgers or business owners who know people who are planning to attend (and may have already booked rooms) to call their clients and notify them of the change now.

We understand there may be some confusion, but we feel that the change can only help our community. We cannot compete for attendees and vendors; we believe that this weekend will work even better for the balloon pilots; and while this event might occur before the peak of fall colors, we hope the weather will be a little more cooperative and we can continue to attract vendors and more attendees from the Front Range and New Mexico.

We did not make this decision lightly, since we know it affects the community. However, September as a whole is becoming a great month for activities. Four Corners Folk Festival will be held the first weekend of the month, ColorFest the second, there is a weekend break (someone can create another event!) and, finally, Mountain Chile Cha-Cha rocks and runs into Pagosa the fourth weekend. We are working hard to grow our ColorFest weekend and bring tourism to Pagosa. The success of the 2008 festival is testimony to this effort.

If you have any questions, contact the Chamber of Commerce at 264-2360. We look forward to making ColorFest an even greater event this year and in the years to come.

Community events

As we mentioned last week, there are a lot of community activities scheduled the next couple of weeks. Some events will coincide with the big spring break in Pagosa and we encourage all businesses to let their visitors know of them. If you missed last week’s article, here is a recap of the events for you to mark down on your calendar. Many are free or offered at low cost, so take advantage of these opportunities.

New Works Festival. Square Top Repertory Theatre presents the 2009 New Works Festival at the Community Center March 19, 20 and 21. Three new plays will be read with the playwrights present. Today’s play is “Anathema,” by Joseph Frost. Tomorrow, “Taking Flight,” by Joan Dunayer takes to the stage. Then on Saturday, March 21, the suspense play, “Contrapositive,” by John Philpot closes the show.

Tickets for these plays are only $5 each. All plays begin at 7 p.m. with doors opening at 6:30. Our visitors to Pagosa should enjoy these high quality presentations. For more information about the plays, see the article in this week’s PREVIEW or go online to Square Top’s Web site at www.squaretoptheatre.com.

Lifelong Learning. The Lifelong Learning Series begins at 3 p.m. Saturday, March 21, at the Ruby Sisson Library. Since there will be three playwrights in town, the Lifelong Learning Series takes advantage of their presence by having them as the initial speakers. Meet the playwrights and find out about their challenges and the excitement of writing for the theatre. They will also perform readings from their current plays. If you couldn’t attend all three plays at the community center, this is a perfect opportunity to meet the playwrights.

Water in the San Juan Basin. Join experts as they talk about Water in the San Juan Basin. Speakers include Peter Butler with Colorado Water Quality Control Commission; Denis Reich, CSU Extension water resource specialist;, Meghan Maloney with the San Juan Citizens Alliance; Jerry Archuleta with the Natural Resource Conservation Service; and Gene Tautges with PAWSD. The seminar is Tuesday, March 24. It begins at 6 p.m. and lasts until 9. The discussion will be held at the Extension Building. Please call Kim at 264-5931 to reserve your seat. Find out more about our water and its sources, and become educated on upcoming projects in our county.

“Windows to the World.” On Wednesday, March 25, the Education Center will host its annual luncheon. This year the theme is “Windows to the World” and topics such as the new charter school, Mountain Career Academy, will be presented. Another topic will concern the work done towards establishing a rural learning network via teleconferencing technology.

The keynote speaker will be Dr. Teresa Chasteen, CEO and president of Worldwide Interactive Network. Chasteen will present information on ACT, Inc.™ WorkKeys® assessments and the opportunities this education provides to individuals seeking career and work-related educational opportunities, and to our county as a whole for elevating the employment opportunities.

This is a very important luncheon to attend for several reasons. This is one of the Education Center’s big fund-raisers but, more importantly, this luncheon will provide information on what people in Archuleta County and Pagosa Springs are doing to address our educational needs. Tickets are $50 each or you can purchase a table. To reserve your space, contact Renee Haywood at the Center at 264-2835.

Marketing for Smarties. The first of three sessions is Wednesday, March 25, in the Chamber Conference Room. The classes begin at 5:30 p.m. and go until 9:30. This class is straightforward, step-by-step and brief, helping business owners adopt a new, proven marketing and sales process. The class is excellent and will guide you in looking at your business in a whole new way, identifying what your business is, and who are you trying to attract and sell to. The cost of the three-part class is $149 and includes all the books and materials. Seating is usually sold out, so book early with Patsy Lindblad at 731-9074.

Back to Basic Gardening. On Thursday, March 26, the Extension Office is offering Back to Basics Gardening. There will be two opportunities for you to learn more about gardening in general and especially here in Archuleta County. On March 26, “The Very Basics” will take place. Session 2 on April 9 will deal with “Location” — container gardening, soil, grow domes, cold frames, etc. “Getting Your Hands Dirty” will be conducted April 16 and will include planting cycles, rotating crops, watering and more. The final session will be held April 23 and will deal with “Stayin’ Alive” — bugs, pruning, and trouble shooting. The sessions are free and will be offered twice on designated days: 10 a.m. to noon and 6-8 p.m. at the Extension Building. Please R.S.V.P. your space request to Kim at 264-5931. It’s amazing how a little knowledge can increase the production, beauty and life expectancy of your plants and crops, especially in our cold climate and with our short growing season.

Fish fry

Don’t forget the Knights of Columbus are still holding their annual Friday Fish Fry, every Friday until April 3. A delicious dinner of fried catfish, homemade french fries, coleslaw, hush puppies, dessert and beverages is served at a cost of $9.50 for adults and $5 for children 12 and younger. The dinner is served from 5-7 p.m. at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish Hall on Lewis Street. You can dine in or take out.

Tax service. The time is also drawing to a close when the free tax service for middle- to low-income individuals, families and seniors will be offered. The service is offered every Thursday, by appointment. You can sign up for a space at the Senior Center Dining Hall in the community center building. Preference is given to those with appointments. Reservations will not be taken at the community center or at the Senior Center; you need to sign up at the dining hall.

This free service takes into account tax credits, low income credits and all the current tax laws. For more information, you can contact Bob Henley at 731-9411.

As you can see, there are a number of wonderful opportunities to learn more about our community, expand your mind, and have fun. Get the word out, and enjoy all these offerings.

Membership

We have two new members this week.

Let’s begin with Capturing God’s Creations, and Maria Kolpin. Primarily a self-taught artist (aside from taking workshops in photography and painting), Maria shoots what her heart sees. Maria’s prize-winning work has been featured in exhibitions and can be seen at The Made in Colorado Shoppe at 2105 Eagle Drive and at the Rocky Mountain Wildlife Park and Art Gallery at 4821 A U.S. 84, or go online to www.KolpinFineArt.com and view a number of her pieces and learn more about the artist and her work. Welcome to the Chamber, Maria.

Next we have Robert Ralis, who is opening up the Boulder Center in Aspen Village. The Boulder Center is Pagosa’s newest and most exciting retail and office location. With multiple convenient accesses to this frontage setting, the Boulder Center offers a new standard for mixed use complexes by combining design and function in a user friendly environment. If you currently have a business with approaching lease expiration, or you are thinking of starting a new business or would like to expand to a new high visibility location, Boulder Center at Aspen Village is ready for your consideration. Call Bob direct at (773) 457-4763 for more information or to set up a showing. Or you can contact Robbie Pepper at P.S. Properties, 946-2352.

We welcome the following renewing members: Buckskin Towing and Repair; Harms Photo/Graphic Associates and SelecPro School Photography; Big Sky Studio and Carl Nevitt; Jerry La Quey and the La Quey Funeral Home; Valerie Green and Canyon Crest Lodge; Pagosa Springs Inn and Suites; International Photonics Consultants, Inc.; Jim’s Lock and Key; Pagosa Power Sports; Paint Connection Plus, Inc.; Professional Insurance Resources; Southwest Colorado Mental Health Center; and Tess Challis Design and Catering.