Win prizes in the 2020 Holiday Lighting Contest


By Mary Jo Coulehan
Pagosa Springs Area
Chamber of Commerce

Through a partnership with the Pagosa Springs Area Tourism Board, The Pagosa Springs SUN and La Plata Electric Association, a lighting contest will be held this upcoming holiday season. The contest will take place starting Nov. 27. Some great prizes will be offered. 

For the residents of Archuleta County, a competition will be held to test their creativity. Cash awards will be issued: $1,000 for first place, $500 for second place and $250 for third place. Those participating in the contest will need to be lit up by Nov. 27 when the contest begins. Participants must also agree to keep their property lights turned on every Friday and Saturday evenings until the end of the year. The contest winners will be announced in The Pagosa Springs SUN on Dec. 17.

For our business community, the contest is open to any area business with a storefront or property to decorate. They, too, must have their property decorated by Nov. 27 and keep their businesses lit until the end of the year. The award for participating businesses will be coveted advertising space in The Pagosa Springs SUN. The higher the winning placement, the larger the ad for your business. Advertising equivalents in the amounts of $1,000, $500 and $250 will be awarded to the business winners. 

Entries, both residential and business, need to be completed by Wednesday, Nov. 18. Applicants can obtain forms at The application deadline is right around the corner, so don’t delay on filling those out and receiving some fabulous opportunities.

At this time of year, the community has also gravitated to the downtown area right after Thanksgiving to participate in the annual lighting of the Visitor Center and surrounding areas. This year will be no exception. The cross on the east end of town and the star on Reservoir Hill are on timers to light up around 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 27. This year, those lightings will act as a signal for the rest of the businesses and areas to light up. The town is increasing its lighting of public places, and if last year was any indication, the lights will be beautiful for 2020. Santa will arrive at the Visitor Center around 5:30 p.m. via fire truck to light up the Visitor Center and adjacent park. More about visiting with Santa will be forthcoming as protocols will change this year; unfortunately, no sitting on Santa’s lap with wish lists. However, we will help communicate what the new process will be so children will not miss out talking to Santa this year. 

It is hard to believe that Thanksgiving is around the corner, but it is, and with that getting ready for the remaining holiday season. Let’s give Pagosa Springs a boost and enhance our community with some lovely lights. People can then gather up the family and safely enjoy driving around our community looking at the beautifully decorated neighborhoods and businesses. Don’t miss out on your chance for a cash or equivalent prize.

Business variance for winter outdoor seating

Businesses are reminded to apply for any variations to outdoor seating for the upcoming winter months through the Town of Pagosa Springs. Applications for variances can be found on the home page of the town’s website at under the Temporary Outdoor Customer Capacity Structures and Use Permits tab. If you are considering putting up any temporary tents, outdoor heaters or waiting areas, you do need to file your temporary variations with the Town of Pagosa Springs. Winter is coming and hopefully our businesses have planned what they need to do differently to accommodate seating, shopping or waiting areas. 

Going hand in hand with the COVID business improvements or enhancements is the availability of funding provided by the Town of Pagosa Springs through the Coronavirus Relief Funds. The application to apply for these funds is also located on the town’s website. Funds may be requested up to $7,500. Funds may be used for improvements made during the summer months or the upcoming winter months. Items such as plexiglass, hand sanitizer, wipes, tents, heaters, sunshades, disposable menus, etc. can be included in your request. Requests need to be accompanied with receipts. Don’t leave this money on the table. Apply for COVID reimbursement funds before the end of the year. Should you have any questions, contact James Dickhoff with the Town Planning Department at 264-4151.