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ColorFest: Passport to Pagosa tickets now on sale

Where did the summer go?

It seems like just a couple of weeks ago we were celebrating the Fourth of July weekend. However, in less than a month, we will move to two weekend events that herald the onset of Pagosa’s fall festivities. The weather still bodes well, with pleasant temperatures, and therefore entices visitors to come to Pagosa and enjoy another wonderful time of the year here.

The Chamber has announced that ColorFest weekend will be Sept. 9-11. The Passport to Pagosa Wine and Food Festival will take place on Friday evening, Sept. 9; the Bands, Brews, Etc. Blowout will take over the day on Saturday, Sept. 10, and the hot air balloon rally will take place on Saturday and Sunday mornings, Sept. 10 and 11.

We have two new activities to add to the ColorFest weekend calendar. On Thursday evening, Sept. 8, two restaurants will conduct wine dinners, partnering with some great Colorado wineries — Sutcliff’s, outside of Cortez, and Garrett Estate Winery, located in Olathe. The two restaurants hosting the dinners will be the Alley House Grille and Nello’s Bistro. Stay tuned for more information on purchasing tickets for these special dinners.

Then, on Saturday, Sept. 10, we will add Kidde Karaoke from noon to 2 p.m. preceding the start of the Bands, Brews, Etc. Blowout and microbrew tasting. We try to promote adult and family activities, and since so many families enjoy coming out to the Bands, Brews, Etc. Blowout and making it a family fun day, we thought we would highlight some of the talent and harness some energy with a children’s karaoke contest. Of course, as the day progresses, we will welcome musicians and more than a dozen regional microbreweries, then end the evening with the hot air balloon glow on the athletic field at Town Park.

ColorFest weekend is a time to stay in town and enjoy all the various activities. It is also a time to invite your friends to come to Pagosa and make the most of a fun weekend. Tickets are on sale for the Passport to Pagosa Wine and Food Festival. The food at last year’s event blew the top off the tent with delectable scallops by JJ’s, the People’s Choice Award (which was pannacotta, by Nello’s), and a new restaurant, Ajia, rolling out their pad thai and also winning several awards, including Best Presentation and the Best Decorated Booth. Of course, there were many more scrumptious selections including ribs, shrimp and desserts, and the judges had a difficult time choosing winners in the various categories. The wines were excellent and a good time was had by all.

This year will be no exception, as we have several new restaurants interested in promoting their fare and the chefs at the various restaurants will showcase their facility’s most popular items or take this opportunity to roll out something new on the menu.

We appreciate support for our local eating establishments, and we are very proud of them. Purchase your ticket now, which includes a collectable wine glass and plate, music and, of course, the exceptional wine and food. Tickets are $40 in advance and $45 at the door. As always, we are looking for volunteers for any portion of the weekend. Please contact Stacy Kirby if you are interested in volunteering.

Folk festival

One of the ways we Pagosans celebrate the Labor Day weekend is by playing host to the Four Corners Folk Festival.

This year, the musical extravaganza will be held from Friday, Sept. 2, to Sunday, Sept. 4. Every day there will be well known musicians, up and coming artists, and returning Pagosa favorites on the stages. Highlighting the music on Friday will be Natalie MacMaster, fiddler extraordinaire. Closing the show on Saturday will be Los Lobos, and bringing the weekend to an end on Sunday will be Keb’ Mo’. On Friday and Saturday nights the late night stage returns to the Ross Aragon Community Center. This addition to the festival is typically a sold-out event and this year there are a few changes to the admission to the late night stage. Check out the Folk Festival website,, for all the details about the weekend, including on-site camping, late night stage, blue grass camps and kids’ activities.

August festivities

This week is chock full of activities; here are the highlights.

On Thursday and Friday, Aug. 18-19, “A Year with Frog and Toad” continues at the Pagosa Center for the Arts. These are evening performances, beginning at 7 p.m. There will be matinee performances on the Aug. 20 and 21, at 2 p.m.

Art in the Garden returns for its fourth year as art, music, outdoor ambiance and delicious food combine to create a magical day. This year’s event will take place at the Pacharzina residence in Chris Mountain Estates where the theme will be “Memories of the Old West,” as the owners highlight generations of collectibles from their family. The event will take place from 3–7 p.m. and you can see artists working around the grounds plein air, enjoy live music and gourmet food and wine all in a beautiful setting. Tickets are available at the Chamber and Nello’s Bistro and are $40 each. For more information go to the website at

For more music and entertainment, attend an all-day concert in Town Park going under the name of the RAD concert, designed to celebrate our youth. There will be numerous bands playing all day long, food vendors and a beer garden. The cost to get in is $10 for people over 18 years of age. Children 17 and under are asked to bring a non-perishable food item. The festivities will run from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Proceeds will benefit various youth organizations. For more information, contact Cj at 264-1770

Also on the 20th is the annual auction held at the Rocky Mountain Wildlife Park just five miles south of town on U.S. 84. This event raises funds to help with operation of the park and celebrates one of Pagosa’s tourism treasures. There will be a silent and live auction, live music by Phil Janowsky, and delicious food and wine. Tickets are available at the Chamber and the Wildlife Park at $15 in advance, and are $18 at the door. Enjoy a pleasant evening at the Park and enjoy the gallery and ambiance at this special event.

Coming up the following weekend is the Mountain Chile Cha Cha on Saturday, Aug. 27. This day kicks off with a three, seven or 15 mile run in the Reservoir Hill/Levine property area, followed by a green chile cookoff and tasting, a beer garden and live music. To register for the run, or for more information about the chile cookoff, visit the GECKO website at

On Friday, Aug. 26, you can also have a fun-filled evening at the annual Humane Society Auction for the Animals. The event begins at 6 p.m. and will be held at the Ross Aragon Community Center. Anyone who has been to the auction knows that there are some fantastic silent and live auction items, great food and, of course, beer and wine. It’s a great time to catch up with your two-legged friends and help our four-legged friends. Tickets for this event can be purchased at the Chamber, the Humane Society Shelter and Humane Society Thrift Store for $25 in advance. Tickets are $30 at the door. You never know what collectable item or gift basket you can pick up for you or your favorite pet.

School is also right around the corner, so enjoy as many festivities as you can right here in our own backyard.

New face

When you call the Chamber after Monday, Aug. 22 ,you will hear a new voice on the phone and see a new face in the office. The Chamber is pleased to announce that Jan Santopietro, formerly of the Pagosa Springs Area Association of Realtors, will be joining our team as the new membership coordinator. We are excited about the skills Jan brings to the Chamber and we look forward to taking your membership to an even higher level of service. When you stop by to get your ColorFest tickets, say hello to Jan and find out what we can do to help you get the most from your membership opportunities.

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