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Unique events on tap in July

One of the challenges of creating events is the need to provide “the different” quality.

Pagosa continues to offer that quality in so many of our events: the beauty and convenience of Reservoir Hill for the folk festivals, the challenge and varying terrain for the GECKO races, plein air art and gourmet food at stunning local homes, and now the Renaissance Festival, a Native American Cultural Gathering at our archeological treasure, Chimney Rock, and the Cruise-a-Thong competition for the un-athlete!

Renaissance & Pirate Festival

The Chamber of Commerce will host the third annual Renaissance & Pirate Festival Friday-Sunday, July 15-17.

This is an event for the whole family. Watch as Town Park is transformed into a medieval village. Costuming and period dress is encouraged to make the event even more fun! The children will love dressing up as princesses, pirates, vagabond children, swordsmen or other characters. Adults can be pirates, barmaids, wenches, princesses, belly dancers, and many more characters. Or just throw an eye patch on and come out with the children.

There will be a tavern area, an activity area and a vendor area, including some delicious food options. Check out The PREVIEW for all the details and a schedule of events for the festival.

Native American Cultural Gathering

On July 23 and 24, the 17th annual Chimney Rock Native American Cultural Gathering will be held at Chimney Rock Archeological site.

Native American traditional dancers and singers from an array of tribes including Acoma, Zuni, Ohkay Owingeh and Hopi, just to name a few, will perform at Pagosa’s archeological treasure. The traditional dress alone makes it worth going to see the event, but attendees will be mesmerized by the talent and spirit that is demonstrated by these performers.

There will also be a craft show and delicious fry bread served throughout the day.

Shows will be at 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. There will be no tours of the site while the dancing is in progress.

Tickets are $10 and reservations are not required. It is recommended you bring a chair or blanket to sit on.

This event is made possible by the work of the friends of Southwest Native Cultures. For more information, contact the Chimney Rock cabin information center at 883-5359.


The highly anticipated and wacky Cruise-a-Thong — the race for the average Joe or Josephine — will take place on Saturday, July 23.

All the hardcore athletes can stay home or just come to the after party as this race is designed especially for the non-athlete. The race begins with a “cruise” on your bike around town. After the “athletes” cruise around town, they will take a leisurely stroll down the Riverwalk in their best, or worst, thongs — flipflops that is. The last leg of the event will be a float down the San Juan River.

There will be prizes galore and a Reggae “Party in the Park” in the afternoon. Remember: points will be deducted for those entries who have more than one speed on their bike, but extra points will be given for creative costuming.

On Sunday, the festivities kick up again at 11 a.m. with the third annual Bloody Mary Showdown, followed by a disc golf tournament on Reservoir Hill.

This is a weekend to remember and to document with lots of pictures. Your friends in your hometown won’t believe the antics and will want to come next year to Pagosa just for this race. Other communities are now copying Pagosa’s un-race.

More events

On the weekend of July 16-17, the Wyndham Arts & Crafts Festival will be held on the west side of town. Over 75 craft and food vendors will display their creative wares at this annual event. Why not bring home a bit of Pagosa and get some holiday shopping out of the way now. The fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The fourth annual Mike Valdez Bow Shoot will be held on July 23, honoring one of Pagosa’s young adults who died unexpectedly several years ago. Mike loved hunting and the outdoors and this event funds a scholarship fund in his honor to encourage further educational development of students in Pagosa Springs. The event will be held at 700 Honeybee Place, by Stevens Lake Reservoir.

For some evening entertainment, enjoy the second act in the Summer Comedy Series with stand-up comedian Jolly D, on July 23. There will be two shows. The first show will be held at the Pagosa Springs High School auditorium beginning at 6 p.m., with doors opening at 5:30 p.m. Tickets in advance are $10 and $12 at the door. Advance tickets can also be purchased at the Chamber, Hart Construction and First Southwest Bank. This is a family show and all are invited. Later on in the evening, beginning at 9 p.m., Jolly D will be performing a more adult version of his show at the Pagosa Center for the Arts. Tickets are available online at or at the door.

Conflict as Opportunity, presented by Rural Philanthropy Days, and taught by Beth Lamberson, will be held Tuesday, July 19, at the Pagosa Youth Center. This session will better help managers and board members manage conflict so it doesn’t manage them. Internal conflict with staff, volunteers and board members will be discussed as well as external conflict, which includes competition, adversaries, the media and donors. This is an important session for many boards in our community and Lamberson has a plethora of experience with nonprofit management. The cost for the class is $30 and registration is due by Friday, July 15. For more information, contact Deanna at 749-2017.

Membership news

We have a two-fer new membership this week with Bugle ’em Up Outfitting and Trail Rides. Preston Goetzke and Cynthia Toner run this trail riding and outfitting business out of the historic centennial Toner Ranch, about 18 miles north on Piedra Road. Outfitting includes hunting trips, drop camps, day hunts and fishing trips. Their trail rides also include hourly, half day or full day trips along the Weminuche River riding the old cattle range of John Toner, the first permanent homesteader in the Upper Piedra.

The other business that Cynthia Toner is registering is Rocky Mountain Aspen Furnishings, making one-of-a-kind custom home furnishings. Custom furnishings include bar tops, counters, door frames, trim and more. Highlighted with nature’s accessories such as antlers that are gathered from the natural shedding to unique hand picked wood, treat your home to a handmade piece of locally made furniture. For more information about either of these businesses, contact 731-5575.

We welcome back some renewing members this week including Farrago Market Cafe; The Pagosa Lodge; Mud Shaver Car Wash; and The Hillside Inn. Daryl Kuiter signed up as a friend of the chamber.

I would like to say a special thank you and goodbye to Kimberley Siler-Bradshaw who will be leaving us to go work with one of our new businesses in town, GOAL Academy. I would like to thank Kimberley for all her hard work these past five years. She has been our model for customer service skills and is a workhorse throughout the very successful Park to Park Arts and Crafts Fair and all our other events. She has grown into this job and has been a great steward for all our businesses in town. We will miss seeing her on a daily basis, but expect to see her running for the Chamber board in a year or two. Watch for her on the PLPOA board. Good luck to her in all her endeavors, and thank you.

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