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Renaissance and Pirate Festival slated for July 17-18

Hear ye, hear ye! All lads and lasses are invited to come to the central meeting square in town proper for a rousing good time. Buccaneers and maidens of all ages can come out to enjoy festivities, games, plentiful fare and swill, and proper attire is encouraged.

In other words, the Chamber of Commerce will host the second Renaissance and Pirate Festival in Town Park on Saturday and Sunday, July 17-18.

There will be something for everyone at this great family event. The faire will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday. The number of activities and vendors this year has increased significantly from last year and it is definitely an event for the children in the community.

The majority of the festival activities have been moved to Town Park instead of the athletic field in order to provide more shade for participants. The Gypsy Players will again perform their raucous works; the Sunken Bones Pirate Society will create havoc and look to plunder their victims; the Witch of Pittenweem will provide her songs of enchantment; Paul and Carla Roberts will perform magnificent music; and the beautiful Rakassah Jabal belly dancing troupe will entertain.

Along with a Quest, there will be activities for the children every two hours on the odd hour on both days such as a giant Jenga and Twilsy Wop. Also on board, and new this year, will be Michael Taylor the Juggler, Sir Mark Logdon the Magician, the Dragon Moon Guild Gypsy Travelers with their drumming and wares, and a pirate and Celtic concert on Saturday beginning at 3 p.m. with The Big’ns.

Town Park will be transformed into a colorful country village where the food, drink, shopping and activities represent a bygone era — the 15th and 16th centuries

Another important game at the Renaissance Festival will be the chess tournament. Interested players need to register by calling the Chamber at 264-2360 or Anthony Steventon at 731-3029. Contestants will play all day on Saturday, July 17, at the park. The final contestants will play the winning chess tournament at the large outdoor chess board at The Springs Resort on Sunday. The times will be announced so spectators can attend.

The vendors who gather in the village will have spectacular wares for adults and children. There will be face painting, henna tattoos, and angel and tarot card readings. Lotions, potions and healing goods, jewelry, clothing and even wings will be available for the female population while masks, swords, knives and wooden items will be offered to the manly men. You can also purchase tasty food items or enjoy a mug full of local brew.

Tickets this year are $2 for adults and $1 for children 5-18 years of age, with children under 5 admitted for free. There will also be camel rides, bungee ropes, the castle bounce house, and other activities located at the athletic field across from the Town Park village.

For more information about the Renaissance Festival, contact Stacy at the Chamber at 264-2360.

Art in the Garden

The theme for the third Art in the Garden event on Saturday, Aug. 21, will be “Country French,” in honor of hostess Maryse Buck’s French Basque descent. Werner and Maryse Buck will open their beautiful home and gardens in Continental Estates to the public. Continental Estates is three miles south of town on U.S. 84. The festival will be held from 3-7 p.m. with music, artists and fabulous food. The artists will be present, working plein air to demonstrate their skills. Local musicians will be on hand to entertain and there will be delicious samplings of French gourmet hors d’oeuvres.

Art in the Garden is a charitable event, the goal of which is to extend a helping hand to the needy in Archuleta County. Proceeds from the event will be used to distribute vouchers for needed goods and services through the Community Assistance Fund administered by the Community United Methodist Church. Tickets are $45 for individuals or $40 for groups of two or more. Tickets will not be available at the door this year and must be purchased in advance. Tickets are available at the Chamber and Community United Methodist Church on Lewis Street. You can find out more about the event at www.pagosaartinthegarden.com.

Small business conferences

On July 14 and 15, Fort Lewis College Small Business Development Center will sponsor two small business conferences.

The Southwest Colorado Women’s Small Business Conference is Wednesday, July 14. A “Women in Small Business” panel discusses strategic planning, exit strategies, understanding small business financials, implementing your marketing plan, business development through collaboration, and work/life balance. There will also be topics such as procurement training, how to get your women’s Small Business Certification, export assistance, and financing your business through debt or equity. This conference will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Doubletree Hotel in Durango. There will also be a networking reception from 4 to 6 p.m. The cost is $40 for attendees with breakfast and lunch included.

The second conference will be the next day, Thursday, July 15, and is important to all veterans. The fifth annual Veterans Small Business Conference is open to veterans, service disabled business owners, spouses and dependents, employees of veteran-owned companies and the public. This session will be held at the Doubletree Hotel and will run from 8 a.m.-4 p.m., with a networking reception from 4-6 p.m. The topics that will be covered are building a foundation, export assistance, procurement training, and financing your business. The cost for this conference is $40 for veterans, military and spouses, and $50 for non-military, with breakfast and lunch included.

There are three scholarships available to participants from Archuleta County. You can attend either seminar and a scholarship will cover the cost of your registration. Interested parties should either be a current business owner or be serious about starting a business. ICall Joe Keck, director of the SBDC, at 247-7611 or e-mail him at keck_j@fortlewis.edu.

These seminars offered by the SBDC are an excellent way to improve your connections, resources and knowledge for a very small price. Through one lead or business improvement you could easily recoup your cost. To register for either of the events, contact the SBDC at 247-7009 or online at www.coloradosbdc.org.

Membership news

Not only was it a busy event weekend for the Chamber, but a busy week for renewals as well.

We welcome back Pagosa Riverside Campground; AAA Propane with Rick Taylor; Frisbee Landscaping with Buck Frisbee; and Design International with Cameron Parker.

We want to thank everyone for a great Fourth of July experience. Special thanks to the Town of Pagosa Springs for a fantastic fireworks show. As I write these words, I still can hear the oohs and aahs as the fireworks lit up the sky. You are never too old to enjoy the show! The town also did a fantastic job assisting with traffic control at all the events and, of course, with constant maintenance at all the parks. The Fourth of July weekend is a success because of the collaborative efforts by the different organizations such as the Chamber, the Red Ryder Rodeo, the Rotary Club, the quilters, the community center and the Music Boosters. There was so much to do and everyone worked so hard to make this holiday one of the best and busiest for Pagosa Springs. Next year we should be back to normal with one crazy, busy day on Monday, July 4, 2011. It should be a good year! Thank you, Pagosa.