Get your color on, at ColorFest


    Special to The PREVIEW

    Photo courtesy Stacy Kirby Two mass balloon ascensions are planned for the Reach for the Peaks Hot Air Balloon Rally at ColorFest this weekend, the first on Saturday, downtown, the second on Sunday west of the downtown area. Both ascensions will begin 7:30-8 a.m.
    Photo courtesy Stacy Kirby
    Two mass balloon ascensions are planned for the Reach for the Peaks Hot Air Balloon Rally at ColorFest this weekend, the first on Saturday, downtown, the second on Sunday west of the downtown area. Both ascensions will begin 7:30-8 a.m.

    Get your color on!

    From today, Sept. 19, to Sunday, Sept. 22, numerous activities will take place in Pagosa Springs, celebrating ColorFest weekend.

    The festivities begin today with a wine dinner at Nello’s Bistro. The meal consists of a baby spinach salad, fresh Hawaiian swordfish, Harris Ranch Beef and a tantalizing fresh berry dessert with each course paired with a complementary wine, including a Dow’s 10 year Tawny Port for dessert. This four-course meal is only $55 and the seating begins at 6 p.m. Reservations can be made be made by calling Nello’s Bistro.

    On Friday evening, Sept. 20, put on your brightly colored skirt, Hawaiian shirt or dress and join the festivities for the Passport to Pagosa: Wine and Food Festival — Calypso style. You will receive a collectable wine glass that you will use to taste the variety of wines planned for the evening, as well as a wine booklet to make notes on the wines you are tasting. The party plate you will receive will also be filled throughout the evening with delectable foods from some of Pagosa best restaurants. It will be hard for attendees to award the “People’s Choice” award with all the scrumptious food that will be served. We welcome back Todd and Kellie Stevens of Alley House Grille, Farrago Market Cafe and First Crush fame. This year, they also bring us a tasting from the Back Room Wine Bar and, thanks to Don Pastin from Jitterz, we can enjoy some ice cream. Also returning is the award-winning Old Town Market and we can’t wait to see what they wow us with this year. Also on hand, and known for creativity and quality in beer and food, will be Pagosa Brewing. New to the event this year will be The View with their very popular tuna tower, and two other delicious items (it’s a secret).  In its infancy on the local restaurant scene is Grillin’ & Chillin’ in the Fabulous Fifties, rolling out some of their new food creations. Come and check out even more restaurants that will be at the event.

    Patrons will also enjoy wines from around the world as we compare some old world and new world pinot grigio and pinot noir. Very popular in the wine scene right now are the blends, and we will have numerous samplings of red and white blends. “Bubbles” are also very popular now and sparkling rosé is not just your sweet sparkling wine any more. Try the different styles and tastes. We will also have some delicious chardonnays, cabernets and sweeter wines. For you non-wine drinkers, many thanks again to Citizens Bank for sponsoring the beer provided by Pagosa Brewing, and we will have non-alcoholic beverages available as well. The festivities begin at 6 p.m. under the tent at the athletic field in Town Park. Tickets are available online at until noon Friday for $40 per person or at the Chamber of Commerce until 4 p.m. Thereafter, tickets can be purchased at the gate for $45. This is a 21-and-older event.

    Saturday, at 2 p.m., we switch from delectable wines to award-winning brews from some of Colorado’s and northern New Mexico’s best breweries at the Bands, Brews Blowout. With more than 16 breweries participating this year, attendees will not be in want of a microbrew to please their taste buds. The tasting will be enhanced by live music all day, starting off with Brooks-I. After the crowd is geared up and out on the field dancing, the Bill McKay Band from Denver will take the stage. A keyboard professional from Leftover Salmon, Bill McKay will rock the tent until approximately 7 p.m. when, weather permitting, there will be a balloon glow. Attendees can enjoy the music for $5 admission or participate in the beer tasting for $20 — and this price also includes the collectable tasting mug. Attendees can also purchase wine by the glass. There will be food vendors on site with brick-oven pizza, The Buck Stops Here BBQ and Bangin’ Tacos. The children, when not dancing, can enjoy other activities such as a bounce house.

    Also on Saturday, prior to the Bands, Brews Blowout, bring the whole family out for a colorful, fun event — the inaugural ColorFest 5K Color Run/Walk. This non-competitive event will bring the silly out in everyone. Be prepared to be doused with color at each “aid station” along the route. The more color you acquire, the more fun you are likely to have. We welcome the ColorFest Color Run producers, Archuleta County Victim’s Assistance Program, as they join in helping to make this an even more colorful weekend this year. Registration is $20 for adults, $15 for children over 6 (under 6 is free). The price includes the collectable T-shirt and other cool schwag. The run/walk begins at 1 p.m. and ends in the big tent in the athletic field with awards at 2. We encourage families to enjoy an afternoon out in the park and take advantage of some of the last vestiges of summer.

    On Saturday and Sunday mornings, Pagosa welcomes back the hot air balloonists for the 28th Reach for the Peaks Hot Air Balloon Rally. More than 20 pilots will fly their stunning balloons in our area. The mass ascension will take place downtown on Saturday and on the west side of town on Sunday, beginning at about 7:30-8 a.m., after the pilot briefings. With the mountains in the background, and the river and lakes in the foreground, there will be plenty of photo opportunities. We would like to thank our major sponsors — The Choke Cherry Tree and Selph’s Propane — for again making sure that this event takes place in Pagosa Springs.

    There is something for everyone this ColorFest weekend. Pick up a schedule of events at the Chamber or save this article so you are familiar with all the various activities. Then go get your color on!