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Great Golden Retriever Roundup hitting on all paws 

Planning for the Great Golden Retriever Roundup is starting to gain real momentum.

The committee is very enthusiastic and energized in making this a “premier event,” which will attract hundreds (if not thousands) of new visitors to our community.

The event will kick off with an opening outdoor party at The Pagosa Lodge on Friday evening, June 24. A barbecue dinner with live music will welcome the Goldens and their families to Pagosa.

The following day (Saturday, June 25) at 9:30 a.m., the Gold Rush Parade (sponsored by Marsha Shields) will take place in downtown Pagosa. All dogs are invited, with the Goldens leading the parade.

Later that day, various events will take place, including an agility competition; a race; retrieving competition; owner look-alike contest; and and “Ask the Vet” informational health seminar. The play “Sylvia” will be presented Saturday evening providing the visiting guests an opportunity to experience our new arts center.                                

Homer, Pagosa Springs’ most famous Golden (who assists at The Springs Resort), will be the Grand Marshal of the Gold Rush Parade along with a “human counterpart” to be named. Bob Moomaw is chairing the event.

All information regarding the event is contained on the CDC’s website . Local restaurants such as JJ’s, The Buffalo Inn,Nello’s; and The Plaza Grille (just to name a few) are all opening their outdoor venues to accomodate the Goldens. A detailed listing of all restaurants and motels/hotels participating will be provided at the next committee meeting, set for Tuesday, March 29, at 9 a.m. at the Buffalo Inn.                                                                                                 

Even new,creative and positive events such as this attract their share of critics. This is not a “dog show” as certain critics profess, but a “celebration” of the breed. Heroics with Goldens have been occurring for years, including rescue operations at the World Trade Center towers during one of the darkest moments in U.S. history. Ever since President Gerald Ford made the breed famous, the popularity of Goldens continues to increase.

The CDC was “charged by the State of Colorado” this past fall to originate some new and creative events that will attract more visitors to Colorado and expand upon the 91 percent out-of-state visitations currently occurring. The CDC will utilize the success of this event in its business recruitment initiatives to attract canine-related businesses to Archuleta County. The canine industry has grown domestically to become one of the largest single U.S. industries, outdistancing the motion picture industry and music industries combined!. This is the “means behind the so-called madness”, which the critics fail to recognize or even acknowledge.

If the event lives up to its potential, the “barking” of Pagosa will be heard coast to coast. Anyone wanting to join the expanding committee should contact Rosie Vassallo at (601) 941-1027  or via e-mail at

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