By Randi Pierce | Staff Writer
The Fourth of July is a time of tradition and entertainment in Pagosa Country, and this year’s festivities are scheduled to be no different.
Friday, July 1
On Friday, Thingamajig Theatre Company will present “The SpongeBob Musical,” a family-friendly musical based on the animated series “SpongeBob SquarePants,” at the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts. Tickets can be purchased by calling (970) 731-SHOW (7469) or visiting www.pagosacenter.org.
Also on Friday night, the Chimney Rock Interpretive Association will present Night Sky: Our Solar System at Chimney Rock National Monument. The program is timed for when the moon is present in the sky but not fully illuminated, enabling viewers to see more night-sky objects. For more information, visit https://pagosasun.com/2022/07/01/july-events-at-chimney-rock-national-monument-3/ or www.chimneyrockco.org.
Saturday, July 2
On Saturday, multiple markets will be up and running, with the Pagosa Farmers Market open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the East Side Market and the Park to Park Artisan Market open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Town Park.
The Pagosa Farmers Market features locally grown produce and food products, while the Park to Park Artisan Market is slated to feature more than 65 vendors, food and live entertainment.
At 6 p.m., the 72nd annual Red Ryder Roundup Rodeo will kick off at the Western Heritage Event Center, with cowboys and cowgirls from various states competing for prizes and prize money.
The event also features a rodeo clown and the ever-popular mutton bustin’, with boys and girls 6 and younger donning helmets and vests prior to mounting a sheep, gripping a rope tied around the chest of a sheep and hanging on while the sheep races out of the chute as it opens.
For more information on the rodeo, visit https://pagosasun.com/2022/06/29/red-ryder-roundup-rodeo-set-for-july-2-4-2/ or www.pagosarodeo.com.
At 7 p.m., Curtains Up Pagosa will present “Pagosa the Beautiful: A Star Spangled Evening” in the Pagosa Springs High School auditorium. The event will feature live performances in honor of the community, country, and past and present service members. Tickets are available at curtainsuppagosa.org and https://our.show/star-spangledevening.
Also at 7 p.m. will be another performance of “The SpongeBob Musical.”
Sunday, July 3
The Park to Park Artisan Market will again be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
At 2 p.m., Thingamajig Theatre Company will present “The SpongeBob Musical.”
The Red Ryder Roundup Rodeo will begin at 6 p.m.
Monday, July 4
The Fourth of July will feature a number of downtown events, beginning with the Park to Park Artisan Market opening at 10 a.m. It will remain open until 4 p.m.
At 1 p.m., those looking to hop in the river can don their red, white and blue for the Freedom Float. Those interested can launch their floats at the put-in by Riff Raff on the Rio and float down to the Centennial Park bridge just in time for the Pagosa Springs Community Band Patriotic Concert.
That free concert will take place on the lawn of The Springs Resort at 2 p.m. The band will play a selection of patriotic tunes, including classic marches, military themes and local favorites.
The final performance of the 72nd annual Red Ryder Roundup Rodeo will begin at 2 p.m.
What about the fireworks and carnival?
While this year’s holiday lineup features a number of classic events, as well as new ones, many have noticed two traditional events missing: the fireworks and carnival.
The Pagosa Springs Town Council voted on June 7 to cancel the Fourth of July fireworks display due to fire danger.
“We understand that the community is disappointed that we are not able to put on the fireworks display this year on the July 4th holiday but we plan to reschedule it for later this year,” Town Manager Andrea Phillips wrote in a statement to The SUN. “Putting on these events takes a lot of pre planning and coordination with our out of state pyrotechnics contractor. Trying to predict the weather here several weeks into the future is challenging. At the time the decision was made by Council to cancel the show at their June 7th meeting there was no rain in the forecast, including drought and windy conditions and all local jurisdictions were in Stage One fire bans. Our contractor needs advanced notice as they have to order the ordnance, have it delivered via trucks, get their six-person crew here from out of state, etc. Also, it should be noted that this rain over the last few days has been terrific but we are still in a Stage One fire ban in the County and Town limits, as well as in the forest service areas.”
Phillips also explained the absence of the carnival, explaining that the event contributed to congestion in the downtown area.
“As for the carnival, it is becoming too much to hold that event in Town Park, along with the Park to Park Artisan and Food Market, and the July 4th parade route in the area,” she wrote. “It is becoming very congested in the downtown over that weekend. In the past we have suggested other locations for the carnival to spread the events out around the community. Perhaps the County Fairgrounds or another location would be better in the future. Despite these events not occurring this weekend, we’ll still have the parade on July 4th, the Rodeo and much more to explore in Pagosa country this weekend.”