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Sign up to participate in WinterFest activities

So, the weather is pretending that we’re not going to have a winter — but the Chamber knows we will get some snow prior to Feb. 17, just in time for WinterFest.

We may have to move some of the event locations around, but there will be plenty of activities to keep you busy over President’s Day Weekend, Feb. 16-19.

The weekend kicks off with the Hospice of Mercy Soup for the Soul dinner. The dinner will be held at the Ross Aragon Community Center beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 16. Tickets are available at the Chamber of Commerce and the Hospice of Mercy offices for $25 per ticket.

On Friday, Feb. 17, the Nordic Club will host cross-country races and activities for kids. This is a good way to get the family out and enjoying our winter activities.

Saturday, Feb. 18 is a day that has an activity for just about everyone. The Nordic Club is at it again with classic and skate ski races, a mock paint biathlon and relay races. These races are fun, challenging and for skiers of all levels. The Nordic events begin at 9 a.m. with the location to be announced.

Also on Saturday, the snow sculpting contest will be held, beginning at 9 a.m. at the Visitor Center area along the river. There will be prizes for the top three sculptures and the entry fee is only $5. You can enhance your creation with natural products or clothing, and remember — no power tools. The festivities continue until noon. Then, starting at noon, get ready to snowshoe in the Snowman Stomp Snowshoe Romp snowshoe competition. There will be fun races for kids beginning at noon with the adult race on the 1.5 mile showshoe loop beginning at 12:15 p.m. The anticipated location is the Pagosa Springs Golf Club and snowshoes for the race can be obtained at Summit Ski & Sport and Alpen Haus Ski Center for only $10. The entry fee for the adult race is $5. If you register by Friday, Feb. 17, you will be guaranteed a goodie bag.

Beginning at 2 p.m., the fast-paced activities move to Reservoir Hill where the Anything Goes Downhill Sled Race will take place. The course is fast and furious and, remember, speed is key, but so is safety and all homemade sleds will be required some form of braking system. All sleds must be homemade. The sleds will have three runs, with the fastest average time winning. There will be other prizes for best crash, most creative sled and in other fun categories. The entry fee for the sled race is $10.

On Sunday, Feb. 19 the penguins take to the San Juan River for the hilarious Pagosa Penguin Plunge. Individuals raise money and then plunge for their favorite charity. The average water temperature is a balmy 30 degrees, with participants wading into the river then plunging over Davey’s Wave. Some plungers will be in costume, others will just be trying not to freeze. There is a fantastic opportunity to get some great video footage of this crazy event in Pagosa. For those spectating and trying to stay warm, we will hold the inaugural “Hot Toddy for the Body” contest. Bartenders in both the professional and amateur categories will compete to make the best toddy. Registration forms are available. Spectators can also taste test the toddies for only $5 for three tastings — just enough to keep warm. The tasting will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., or until we run out of tastings. The toddy contest will take place along the Riverwalk where is also the spectator area for the Plunge.

You can also start Sunday morning off with more Nordic races, including the classic and skate ski races and some skate ski distance races. For more information about all the Nordic race events throughout WinterFest, go to www.pagosanordic.com.

Registration forms can be obtained online at the Chamber website at www.pagosaspringschamber.com. You can download the form, fill it out and get it back to us. Plunge forms are also available online, and we encourage plungers to get out and about now and start raising money for their favorite organization.

For more information, contact the Chamber of Commerce at 264-2360. Encourage out-of-town family and friends to come to Pagosa over President’s Day Weekend and enjoy all of the festivities. And get out there and do that snow dance!

Win a Jeep Cherokee

For the first time, the Chamber will hold a raffle for a car.

The car was donated to the Chamber as a fund-raising project. It is a 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4x4 in excellent condition. It has 155,000 miles on it and has been completely overhauled. The raffle will be held from now until May, when the winner is announced at the car show at Pagosa. The winning ticket will be pulled on May 19, at 3 p.m. There will be only 1,000 tickets sold and the tickets are $25 each — cash or check only. Tickets can be purchased at the Chamber office or from any staff or board member. For more information, contact the Chamber at 264-2360 and watch for the car at locations around town.

Congratulations

On Jan. 27, Lynne Vickerstaff, owner of Little Weedz, attended a business plan awards ceremony at the Governor’s mansion in Denver. The event was sponsored by the Small Business Development Center of Colorado.

Lynne received the second-place award for the best business plan in the state for 2011. Lynne worked on and fine-tuned her business plan at the Leading Edge Class in 2011 with assistance from coaches Richard Lindblad, Community Development Corporation director, and Lois Higgins, owner of the Made in Colorado Store and Leading Edge coach.

Little Weedz is also one of the companies that is participating in the Sewing Co-op along with Autumn Teneyl and Russia House Collection — all looking to provide and keep sewing production jobs in Pagosa Springs. Congratulations to Lynne for her great business development efforts and to her coaches with the Leading Edge Nx Level training classes.

Membership

Thanks to all the business owners who took the time to fill out the Chamber survey the past couple of weeks. We received more than 100 survey responses and will be analyzing them as we seek to give the Chamber direction on projects and determine how to best help our business community. Look for more short surveys in 2012. We appreciate your time and input.

We welcome Parelli Natural Horsemanship back to the Chamber after a hiatus of several years. Parelli Natural Horsemanship is the No. 1 horse training education program in the world. The Parelli method is a system based on developing a natural relationship between your horse and you and understanding his/her nature and the world from the horse’s point of view. Parelli offers courses at the study center along with expos all over the world. They also offer training videos, CDs, DVDs and an array of training accessories. For more information, visit Parelli Natural Horsemanship at www.parelli.com. We welcome Parelli and are excited to share in their knowledge.

Renewals this week include Elk Meadows River Resort; Rocky Mountain Wildlife Park and Lobo Outfitters owned by Dick and Vimmie Ray; Dr. Walt Moore and Moore Chiropractic Wellness Center; and Good Earth Meds.

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