By Mary Jo Coulehan | Pagosa Springs Area Chamber of Commerce
The snow is here, more is expected, and we’re now ready for WinterFest. This event will take place over the weekend of Jan. 21-23, 2022. This year’s event is chock full of activities for those that want to participate or just spectate. There are opportunities to raise money, engage the family in participation or just bundle up and watch the festivities.
The Chamber welcomes those hearty hot air balloon pilots on Jan. 21, 2022. We have almost 20 pilots registered. Skis and Saddles will also be welcoming their registrants on Friday evening.
The hot air balloons will be launching on Jan. 22 and Jan. 23, 2022, at around 8 a.m. in the morning, weather permitting, from the west side of town. There is no downtown launch on Saturday. The pilots will stage in areas around the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association recreation center, nearby business parking lots and those areas that don’t have an abundance of snow so that they can lay out their balloon envelopes with minimal damage exposure. With all the snow this year, photo opportunities of the snow-capped mountains and lakes should be stunning.
Weekend festivities abound on Jan. 22, 2022. Skijor Pagosa is back with the event’s fast and furious pace and they have a new race location — the Archuleta County Fairgrounds. With plenty of parking, a new race route, seating and snow, this year’s skijoring is expected to really rock. Come and watch teams compete as skilled riders with their horses pull skiers and boarders through a timed obstacle course. It’s a fun event you don’t want to miss.
Skijoring also continues on Sunday throughout the day. Skis and Saddles will also host a concert Saturday night at 7 p.m. with western musical artist Chancey William. Tickets are available in advance at www.skisandsaddles.com.
The Pagosa Nordic Club will host a Cross-Country Ski Clinic on Saturday morning at 10 a.m. at Cloman Park. The location could change, so stay tuned in case of any changes.
At 11 a.m., animal lovers can celebrate the winter season with their pets by participating in the Barkus Parade. Dress them up in costume or just warm clothing and head down to the Riverwalk for the parade. Participants are requested to make a small donation and they can also receive a cup of gumbo at The Lost Cajun. Registration applications for this event are not up on the website, but they are expected to be uploaded soon.
For those nonprofit agencies looking to raise a little money, the Penguin Plunge takes place on Saturday with registration around noon and the plunge taking place at 1 p.m. Application and pledge forms for the Plunge are available on the Chamber’s website at www.pagosachamber.com under the WinterFest snow globe graphic. Start raising money now. Please contact the Chamber if your organization is going to plunge so that we can create a list and start marketing for those groups jumping in the frigid San Juan River.
Registration forms for the Sledz on Rez are also available on the Chamber’s website. Sledz on Rez is hosted by the Build Pagosa building trades group. Homemade sleds fly down the course on Reservoir Hill. Store-bought sleds are not eligible, but they can be modified. Find out the details on their registration page. This race begins at around 2:30 p.m.
On Sunday, the Pagosa Nordic group is back hosting the annual BB Gun Biathlon. This race is for a range of ages and cross-country skiing ability. There is a 16km race beginning at 10 a.m., a Kids K at 11 a.m. and a 4km Citizens Ski starting at 11:30 a.m. No shooting experience is necessary and participants will have the opportunity to test out shooting at the targets 30 minutes before their scheduled race start time.
Most of the applications for the various WinterFest events, start times, locations and more details can be found under the WinterFest graphic on the Chamber’s homepage. As we get closer to the WinterFest dates, more information will be forthcoming; however, mark this fun weekend down on your calendar. Invite your out-of-town friends to come and enjoy a festive, funky and fun-filled weekend in Pagosa Springs. You can contact the Chamber for more information at (970) 264-2360.