ART!Pagosa, ColorFest just around the corner


By Mary Jo Coulehan | Pagosa Springs Area Chamber of Commerce

Fall is here, our youth are back in school and there are still numerous events occurring in the next month. Don’t forget the ART!Pagosa event occurring this weekend, Sept. 9 and 10, in the athletic field of Town Park. 

Juried artists with artwork in a variety of mediums, jewelers, hand-crafted items, creations and carvings, and so much more will be at the fair. There will also be food, beverages and live music. Don’t miss out on this event hosted by the Pagosa Arts Council.

The following weekend is the annual ColorFest celebration. Three separate events hosted by the Chamber will be rolled into one weekend along with some other activities. 

There will be two days of hot air balloon mass ascensions. On Saturday, Sept. 16, there will be a mass ascension from the downtown area. The balloons will launch in the vacant field to the south of the construction area next to The Springs Resort. Only approved vehicles will be able to access the launch site. Spectators are encouraged to park at the Overlook along U.S. 160, the parking areas close to Reservoir Hill and the Town Hall/Ross Aragon Community Center lots and view from those areas or walk to the launch site. Please do not block roads such as Hot Springs Boulevard, Apache Street and 6th Street obstructing traffic. You could also view the balloons from the Riverwalk as you participate in the ColorRun/Walk hosted by Aspen House/Aspen Services. Visit to sign up for the event. Watch the balloons and get doused with a rainbow of color as you complete the course. 

The Passport to Pagosa Wine and Food Festival on Friday night, Sept. 15, is sold out. If you would like to get on a waiting list for tickets, please call the Chamber at (970) 264-2360. There are still tickets available for the Bands and Brews festival on Saturday, Sept. 16. Visit to purchase your tickets in advance. There will also be a balloon glow Saturday evening beginning around 7:15 p.m. in the athletic field. 

The balloons will launch from the west side of town on Sunday, Sept. 17, around 8 a.m. Again, please be cognizant of not blocking streets or pulling over on either the highway or major street arteries to observe the balloons. Park in lots, not private residential driveways, and be observant and respectful of other drivers, walkers and the event. 

We are honored that these hot air balloon pilots choose to come to Pagosa to add so much attraction to this annual event. They love flying in Pagosa Springs with our stunning vistas and warm hospitality. They try to be respectful of personal property and road access; however, they are subject to the whims of the winds. We thank the community in advance for your patience on this weekend. This is truly a community event. We could not host it without the participation of our sponsors, lodgers, restaurants, brewers and the public who welcome all the visitors who come to Pagosa just for this event. 

More information will be forthcoming in the Sept. 14 edition of The SUN. You can also get information through the Chamber’s website at

Upcoming training

If you are interested in learning more about the cottage food industry, attend a food safety class conducted by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and hosted by the First Southwest Community Fund. This class will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 12, and it is a three-hour, free virtual class. You will learn food safety guidelines, specifics of operating a small home-based business from a home kitchen, guidelines in preparing food, labeling, marketing and allowable food products. Upon completion, you will receive a food safety certification good anywhere in the state of Colorado. To register, visit Once registered, you will receive a link to the class.

On Wednesday, Sept. 13, the Region 9 Economic Development District of Southwest Colorado and the Pagosa Springs Community Development Corporation will host an Enterprise Zone training from 11 a.m. to noon at the Community Center. How could your business qualify for some state tax credits? There are a variety of Enterprise Zone tax credits available, including equipment investment, job creation, rehabilitation of vacant buildings and job training. To find out more, contact Emily Lashbrooke at