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September, a busy month in Pagosa Country

School is just around the corner, the leaves are about to display shades of fall color, and the community is busy getting ready for a month of big events aimed at bringing visitors to Pagosa.

With both town and county lodging tax dollars up for the year, Pagosa continues to market and attract visitors from nearby communities. Shorter trips, and many trips perhaps arranged more frequently, are encouraged. Trips are made to Pagosa so visitors can take part in high quality events and also revel in the glorious weather and beautiful change of seasons.

Get ready for September!

Folk festival

Labor Day weekend, Sept. 4-6, will bring the town and Reservoir Hill alive with the sounds of music as the Four Corners Folk Festival returns for its 14th year. A cadre of quality musicians is on tap in this year’s lineup. Many Pagosans are thrilled that Eddie from Ohio will return to our mountain town, taking the stage Sunday evening, Sept. 6. Other well known musicians, such as Tim O’Brien, Darrell Scott, Pete and Anne Sibley, and the Greencards, are scheduled. Sure to get the crowds up and dancing will be groups such as the subdudes, the Infamous Stringdusters and the Quebe Sisters Band.

Tickets are available for a single day, for two days and for the full three-day festival. Children under 12 are free and there are even more kids’ events planned for this year. There are also VIP tickets (limited and not available at the gate), and don’t forget you can purchase a camping pass for a spot on for Reservoir Hill. You can purchase tickets online at www.folkwest.com, at Moonlight Books and ReSport.

While the main stage is where most of the action is, don’t miss the late-night stage with performances by the Quebe Sisters, the Infamous Stringdusters, Anne and Pete Sibley, and the Wiyos.

If you have never been to the Four Corners Folk Festival, this is the year to treat yourself. For more information, go online or call (877) 472-4672.

ColorFest

We barely recover from the folk festival before the ColorFest activities kick into full gear.

Another weekend of music is scheduled, this one with musical talent competing to win some great prizes and recognition.

The weekend starts off on Friday, Sept. 11, at 6 p.m. in the athletic field at Town Park with the Passport to Pagosa Wine & Food Festival. With the purchase price of $35, event goers will be issued tickets allowing them to enjoy food from numerous Pagosa restaurants and caterers, and wines from New Mexico, Colorado, California, Chile and Argentina. Classic and Southern distributors, as well as the wineries themselves, will accommodate the latest rages in wine enjoyment. Food establishments will compete for awards such as the Best Presentation, Most Colorful, Best Vegetarian and the People’s Choice award.

Tickets are available by calling the Chamber at 264-2360 or by stopping by the Chamber Visitor Center. Passport veterans are already purchasing their tickets prior to coming to Pagosa, in order to ensure a space. The Passport to Pagosa event has a limited number of tickets available.

On Saturday, Sept. 12, the tent in the athletic field at Town Park changes from wine to custom brews from microbreweries and a live music competition. More than 15 microbreweries from southwest Colorado and New Mexico will have their brews available for an extensive tasting. There will also be four or five regional bands (groups with three or more members) competing for $1,000 in prize money. Along with formal judging, there will be a “People’s Choice” award. This is a great family event; there will be lots of free activities for the children, including the Bounce House, face painting, crafts and an Italian Cream Soda Bar.

Admission to the event is $5, with children under 12 free. To partake of the microbrewery tasting, buy a ticket for $15; the unlimited Italian Cream Soda Bar tasting is only $5. Wine by the glass will also be available and there will be delicious food provided by vendors associated with our non-profit sector.

The festivities continue Sunday, Sept. 13, with the musical competition switching from bands to singles and duos. The grand prize is five hours of studio recording time. The people will choose their favorite performers on this day, too. While the microbreweries will not be in attendance, Pagosa Brewing and a Durango brewery will be our beer hosts for the day. Wine by the glass will be available, as well as food from vendors. All the children’s activities listed for Saturday will take place on Sunday as well, making it another great family day. Single-day tickets for Sunday are $5 for adults and children under 12 are admitted free. Two-day passes are available for the Bands, Brews, Etc. for only $8. You can stop by the Chamber, or call 264-2360 to purchase your tickets.

Other weekend events include the colorful morning mass ascension of hot air balloons. On Saturday they will fly from the downtown area. Sunday, they will launch at the airport. On Saturday evening, Sept. 12, the balloon glow will take place at the airport at dusk, weather permitting. The glow is always a special event for adults and children alike. If you would like to crew for a balloon at an ascension, make sure you are at the site at 7 a.m. and that you are fairly familiar with the surrounding streets. If you would like to volunteer for any of the events, or enter your musical group into the competition, call the Chamber at 264-2360. Your efforts will be appreciated and rewarded.

Chile Cha Cha

The folks at FolkWest barely have time to catch their breath after the Four Corners Folk Festival before they produce the Mountain Chile Cha Cha on Saturday, Sept. 26.

Another local organization, GECKO, will produce the third in the Pagosa Peak Trail Series. The Mountain Chile Cha Cha race wraps up the inaugural GECKO race season. This competition has challenging 15 mile, 7 mile, 3 mile courses, and a kids’ race in the Town park area. The longer races include a loop with street, dirt and climbing terrain, along with a track on beautiful private property. You can register online at www.joingecko.com. Cash prizes are dolled out to the top three winners in the men’s and women’s categories.

Watch the runners finish in Town Park, then stay around from 2-6 p.m. to enjoy the free music and chile tasting in the Patty Aragon Chile Cookoff and the Mountain Chile Cha Cha. There will be food vendors, a beer garden, and kids’ activities. This event is another reason to stay in Pagosa, enjoy the community’s gracious hospitality and celebrate the sights, smells and tastes of fall in southwest Colorado! To find out more about the cookoff, call (877) 472-4672.

Labor Day events

With the full moon rising over the Labor Day weekend, Chimney Rock Archaeological Site has activities planned.

Enjoy a Full Moon Program at the Great House Pueblo site, including flute melodies by Charles Martinez. The program takes two to three hours and is suggested for children over 12. You can go earlier than the 6:30 p.m. scheduled program time to take a tour of the lower area beginning at 4:30. For an additional $5 (the Full Moon Tour price is $15) participants can enjoy the whole site. Participants are encouraged to bring water, blankets or cushions, flashlights, and warm clothing such as a coat as the evenings are turning cool. Call (970) 883-5359 or visit www.chimneyrockco.org for ticket information and purchase. Space is limited, but visitors should put this event on their “must see while in Pagosa” schedule.

Retail merchants all over town will participate in the annual Sidewalk Sale. Closing out the summer season and getting ready for the winter merchandise, the stores will offer great deals inside and outside their establishments. Gifts, clothing, sporting goods, jewelry, accessories, home goods and much more is available in Pagosa, at great prices. Enjoy this yearly event from Thursday, Sept. 3, to Monday, Sept. 7. What a great time to purchase some presents for family, friends or yourself —for a special holiday or event. Remember — Shop Pagosa First!

There are many other happenings in Pagosa throughout September. We will remind you about high altitude cooking classes, train rides, and more Chimney Rock events in the upcoming weeks. For the latest information, visit the Chamber Web site at www.pagosachamber.com.

Membership news

Our renewals this week include FolkWest; The Pagosa Springs SUN; Tim Horning and Southwest Custom Builders; and Carol Harper Real Estate.

Don’t forget: If your business has moved or you’ve changed your e-mail, or you need to find out what your log-in code is to manage your Web site content, call the Chamber and let us know your changes. Don’t forget to attend the free Maximizing Your Membership class or schedule a personal training session with Kimberley in our office. Also, if you have received a call (or two or three) from Sandy at the Visitor Center, then it means we need to restock your business information. The good news is, that probably means that people are interested in your business and are picking up your brochures or business cards. We love to keep the business information current and available to the public, but cannot do so without you getting us the information we need. We’re here to help you get the most out of your Chamber membership, so help us help you.