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ColorFest weekend a success — rain or shine

There will be no SunDowner in September since the Chamber hosted the ColorFest weekend, including the Passport to Pagosa Wine and Food Festival and the Bands, Brews, Etc. Blowout.

And what a success it was!

We want to first thank our sponsors, the restaurants and the volunteers for making this weekend so successful. Look for our thank you ad next week as we gather all our important names. The restaurants bent over backwards to provide some fabulous fare.

The winners of the “Golden Whisk” award in the various categories were:

• Best Decorated Booth — Nello’s Bistro with great color and beautiful floral arrangements.

• Most Original Item — there was a tie between Alley House Grille for the “Deconstructed” Etouffé and 456 for the plum pecan and caramelized onion-stuffed pork loin with cognac cream sauce.

• Best Presentation/Most Colorful — to Squirrels Pub for the gumbo and wings creation.

• Most Flavorful — Plaza Grille for the ribs and mashed potatoes combination.

• Best Vegetarian — again went to the Enchanted Valley Farms for their quad creations of super spreads on a variety of breads and vegetables.

• Best Sweet — awarded again to Pagosa Candy Co. for those decadent Tuxedo Truffle Strawberries and Champagne Raspberry Peak Truffles.

The People’s Choice award went to Pagosa Brewing/Farrago Market Café for their salmon fish and chips.

At the Bands, Brews, Etc. Blowout Saturday, our own Pagosa Brewing won the People’s Choice award for best beer, with Silverton Brewing coming in second.

In the musical category on Saturday, the band Motivator, from Durango, won with last year’s winner Casey Wickstrom from Durango coming in second with his new band. In the single/duo musical competition on Sunday, the winning singer was Cyle Talley from Durango and second place was the lovely and talented Katey Laurel from Denver. There was amazing talent and great food and beverage all weekend long.

We’re already in the planning stages for next year.

SunDowner sign-ups

This year, we’ve have had some terrific SunDowners at some dynamic businesses.

We still have three more SunDowners to go this year, but sign-ups for next year will take place Monday, Oct. 5, at the Chamber.

Now is the time to consider showing off your business at some point next year. There are always certain months that businesses want for their SunDowner. If you have a business in a strip-center arrangement, it would be great to have a “block” SunDowner, so several businesses can get exposure. If you don’t have store frontage, think about combining with a business that does, and again, you get double the exposure.

Here is how the sign-up works: At 8 a.m. Oct. 5, when the Chamber office opens, sign-ups begin. Oftentimes, however, people line up to sign up much earlier. If you want a particular month for your SunDowner, arrive earlier than 8 a.m. to pull a number. The numbers will be available at 6 a.m. The lower your number, the better chance you have to choose the month you want. We also compile a waiting list; inevitably, someone has to cancel during the year.

SunDowners are great business-after-hours networking opportunities. Participating businesses are responsible for providing “eats” — it does not have to be dinner — and the Chamber provides the beverages. If you want to invite people on your mailing list, please get us the list in advance of your month and we will send out invitations. SunDowners are open to Chamber members and invited guests. Newcomers to the area have an invitation in their welcome packet.

This is a great way to get to know some of Pagosa’s businesses and those who work in our community.

For more information about the SunDowners, call the Chamber at 264-2360. We’ll see everyone bright and early Monday, Oct. 5.

Tool Belts and Tiaras

Habitat for Humanity will host a gala adult evening celebrating their 15th anniversary on Saturday at the community center. There will be dancing to Leadfoot Ruthie, hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar and silent and live auctions.

The evening is titled “Tool Belts and Tiaras.” Included in the auction will be custom birdhouses and a 6x6 children’s playhouse.

Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at the door, and are available at the Chamber and at the Habitat Office on San Juan Street. Come out for a night of rollicking fun and festivities. Call the Habitat office at 264-6960 for more information.

Calling all runners

The last race in the Pagosa Peak Trail Series will take place Saturday, Sept. 26. The Mountain Chile Cha Cha includes 15-mile, seven-mile and three-mile races. “Enjoy” a 700-foot climb, a 2,000-foot climb or just take it easy on three miles of trails. For those coming into town, many lodging facilities are offering discounts to the racers. Just mention GECKO when you make your reservations.

After the race, stay in Town Park for the awards ceremony and some kickin’ great chile at the Patty Aragon Chile Cook-off and Mountain Chile Cha Cha. There will be free live music, food booths, kids’ activities and lots of fun. For more information on the race visit GECKO’S Web site at www.joingecko.com.

Be well

With flu and cold season upon us, there are many opportunities to find out more about how you can stay healthy this winter. The health department is giving flu shots Monday-Friday from 8 to 10 a.m. until mid-October. The shots are $25.

Beginning Monday, Sept. 21, Pagosa Mountain Hospital will host “Early Detection Week.” There are a number of tests that will be conducted, including prostate blood tests, cardiac screenings with blood pressure testing, glucose and cholesterol tests, medications review, diabetic education, breast cancer awareness educational tools, and seasonal flu shots. For more information, call Kelly Johnson at the hospital at 731-9545 or pick up a schedule at the Chamber.

Air race

On Saturday, Sept. 26, the first annual Pagosa Springs 100 Air Race will start at Stevens Field. The air race will bring competitors from all over the country and Canada to race their small, mostly single-engine aircraft in a cross country race that will cover 106 nautical miles. The race will start at 10 a.m. and last about 1 1/2 hours. The public is invited to watch and talk to the pilots. For more information, call AvJet at 731-2127 or airport manager Bill McKown at 731-3060.

Membership

We have two new members to welcome to the Chamber this week.

We start off with a new store located in the Boulder Center, called Bull Chic. Owned by Phyllis Jones and Natalie Tom, this store offers reclaimed antiques and primitives from Europe and the Americas, industrial and architectural salvage, beautiful hides and horns, neat old western “stuff” and fabulous custom horse tack, jewelry and clothing. Bull Chic offers items for the home or person, all with a flair for the unique.

The other new business is Southwest Garage Door and Window with owners Paul and Shellie Hogue. Southwest Garage Door and Window offers wood and vinyl windows, doors and Wayne Dalton garage doors. They provide free estimates and will come to your house for inspection. Call 759-8109 to schedule an appointment.

Renewing members this week include: Lantern Dancer gift shop; Shang Hai Restaurant; Pagosa Glass; the Choke Cherry Tree; and John Chrzanowski with Abel Electric. Our renewing nonprofit agency is Music in the Mountains. Friends of the Chamber include Jackie Schick, and Ron and Cindy Gustafson. What a great group of renewing members this week and we thank everyone for their continued support.

September continues to offer locals and visitors many exciting events as the colors begin to change. It is still a busy season for Pagosa. Make sure you have your smiles on and your hospitality services are at their peak. Pagosa is a popular place to visit time of year.