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Shop local at the annual Parade of Stores

The seventh annual Parade of Stores Shopping Extravaganza is just a month away.

Get ready to enjoy big savings throughout town with the no-tax shopping weekend, individualized store specials, later store hours, store prizes and chances to win some Super Prize packages.

If you have never experienced this funtastic weekend, here is the story.

Parade of Stores is broken up into two parts: the frequent store prize qualifications and the Super Prize packages.

The frequent stamp store program enables a shopper to visit stores throughout Pagosa and get their shopping card stamped every time they go into a participating store. Purchases are not required when you visit the store to have your card stamped, although you may see lots of items that appeal to you as Christmas, birthday or anniversary gift purchases. Each store has its own special stamp. You must obtain a certain number of stamps (quantity will be listed on the booklet) in order to qualify for the drawing of a prize donated by each store. There are typically more than 40 prizes given away. You can obtain store stamps all three days of shopping: Thursday, Dec. 6, through Saturday, Dec. 8. Cards can be turned in at participating stores or at the Chamber when you are finished shopping. The cards will be validated and winners will be chosen and notified Tuesday, Dec. 11.

The second part of the Parade of Stores weekend is the opportunity to win one of several Super Prize packages. Last year, trips to Aspen and Santa Fe were doled out to lucky winners. Regional trips are planned again this year, including an overnight trip in your own backyard at The Springs Resort, complete with dinner and other special treats. In order to qualify to enter the Super Prize package, shoppers must purchase an item for $10. For every $10 you spend, you will be entered into the drawing; the more you purchase, the more chances you have to win.

The other beauty of purchasing items on this weekend is that participating stores will be offering no-tax shopping, or a minimum 10-percent saving. This is great news if you have been waiting to purchase that big-ticket item like a spa, furniture for your home, a piece of jewelry or perhaps an electronic item. Don’t forget that, if you have a special occasion coming up, even after the first of the year, now is the time to buy and save.

This annual event encourages residents and visitors to Pagosa to shop local and keep dollars invested in the community. There is a variety of stores and merchandise to choose from. When you purchase items online, your dollars do not help Pagosa businesses or your friends and neighbors who own or work in the local stores.

More details will be coming out in the next month about this exciting weekend, but start putting your shopping list together now.

Thanks to all

A huge thank you to all who prepared for and welcomed the Capitol Christmas Tree that came through Pagosa on a snowy Saturday morning. Many thanks to The SUN for the beautiful PREVIEW cover and story coverage.

The Town of Pagosa Springs Police and Streets Departments were invaluable, escorting the big rig into town, as well as in blocking off streets and preparing for the truck’s arrival. The Sheriff’s Department also escorted the truck and Commissioner Clifford Lucero welcomed the group with a thoughtful and well-informed speech. Music was provided by Mike Hayward, aka DJ Dude, getting everyone in the mood for Christmas music. Pagosa Baking Co., Two Chicks and a Hippie, Higher Grounds and City Market all donated goodies for attendees. A thank you goes to the folks at San Juan Motel who allowed us to access through their property and made rooms available to us in which to provide hot beverages and restrooms. We loved the marquee signage. The Veterans for Veterans also escorted the tree into town and were well prepared, even with the early arrival of the tree. That’s preparedness for you.

Despite the snow and wind, Pagosa Springs residents showed up to see the big rig that transported the tree and signed the 90-foot banner. While not much of the tree was visible, it was the spirit of sending this gift from the state of Colorado to Washington and communicating our well wishes with our commitment of stewardship to the great outdoors that was impressive.

The process involved constant changes in plans and arrangements, trying to organize stops along the way, and tending to lots of little details. Stacy Kirby, special events coordinator for the Chamber, once again was flexible, organized and enthusiastic about getting Pagosa Springs noticed. It does take a village, even to just get a tree across the country, and we were honored that Pagosa Springs was part of that process. We thank the Forest Service representatives traveling with the tree and coordinating the details in every town. Our beautiful 2013 Pagosa calendars will grace some walls in Washington, D.C., as we sent a bit of Pagosa to the East Coast, to dignitaries who will be at the lighting ceremony. Thank you, Pagosa, for coming out to brave a cold and snowy day and welcome the 2012 Capitol Christmas Tree as it passed through town. It was certainly a spirited occasion.

Chamber election

The data — user names and passwords — has been collected from members to be entered into the Elections Online system. The online voting system will be used this year to assist members in the voting process. The system is easy to use and we hope more business owners will vote for board nominees. The online voting process will begin Dec. 5. Members will receive information on how to log in to vote online. There is also the traditional way to vote: come to the Chamber of Commerce and cast your ballot in person. There will be a checks and balances system in place to keep people from voting twice. If you are voting online, all the board nominee bios and pictures will be available. Their information will also be available in hard copy. Watch your e-mail inboxes for more information.

Member reminders

This upcoming edition of our newsletter will include forms for the Volunteer and Citizen of the Year and Green Business awards.

The November SunDowner will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 28, at the Made in Colorado Store.

The date for the November Maximizing Your Membership free lunch and class has been changed. It will now be held on Monday, Nov. 19, instead of Nov. 26. This informative session from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. will help business owners get the most out of their Chamber memberships. Please sign up for the class by calling 264-2360.

We welcome a new business and an individual to the Chamber this week.

They’re quite the hit in Ignacio and now they bring their tasty barbecue to Pagosa Springs. Welcome to Smoke’n Moe’s BBQ, a family-owned restaurant located at 68 Bastille Drive. Smoke’n Moe’s uses choice meats for the best barbecue, but also serves catfish, salmon, steaks and burgers along with tasty side dishes such as homemade tater tots, fried okra or pickles, bacon chipotle potato salad and much more that will get your taste buds jumping. We welcome the McCabes to Pagosa and encourage everyone to get out and try this new restaurant.

We also welcome individual member Peter Adams and thank him for wanting to stay involved in the community and receive the latest information.

Our renewing members this week include Skywerx Wireless Internet, Visiting Angels, Momentum 24/7, Hibernation Station and the Chimney Rock Interpretive Association and all the fantastic volunteers. Without the herculean efforts of the volunteers, Chimney Rock interpretation would not be possible and we probably wouldn’t have a National Monument now. Thank you, CRIA!

There will be an Open House and Ribbon Cutting at White’s Family Funeral Home on Sunday, Nov. 18, with the open house from 1-5 p.m. and the ribbon cutting at 3. Come out and meet the new owners, Matthew and Lera Boyle, and welcome them to our community.

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