Preparing for the upcoming holidays

With two major holidays coming up, Pagosa residents and businesses dig deeper and makes plans to share generously with other members of the community.

The Chamber is putting together a list of Thanksgiving dinners and events that will be offered in the next couple of weeks. Some dinners will be served prior to Thanksgiving.

There are also several Christmas clothing, food and toy drives going on now. Churches and civic organizations are gathering funds, goods and volunteers to help make the holidays better for everyone. Here are some of those activities.

Operation Helping Hand/Bucks for Bikes

Operation Helping Hand returns for its 19th year of giving to the community. In order to qualify for a Helping Hand food basket for Christmas, an individual or family must fill out a form available at the Archuleta County Department of Human Services, at Town Hall. You do not need to qualify for any other Social Service program in order request a Helping Hands food box or other items from the program. The request period for Thanksgiving food has closed. You can still stop by Human Services to sign up for a Christmas assistance, clothing or toys.

The Pagosa Springs Realtors Association is working with Operation Helping Hand to provide new bikes to needy children this holiday season. Donations are being accepted so that bikes can be purchased locally and given to qualifying children between the ages of 5 to 16. The hope is to raise $3,000 to purchase 35 new bikes. The deadline for your tax deductible donation is Friday, Nov. 21. For more information on making a donation, call Jan Santopietro with the Realtors Association at 731-4015.

Operation Winter Coat

The yearly coat drive sponsored by the Rotary Club, and conducted in conjunction with Helping Hand, will culminate at the Extension Building at the fairgrounds on Friday, Nov. 21, from 3 to 5 p.m. There will be winter clothing items available including coats, sweaters, gloves, hats, boots and blankets for men, women and children. Drop-off points are the Chamber of Commerce, Be Our Guest B&B, any public school, Seeds of Learning, Mountain Eye Care, the Pagosa Lodge and the Lutheran School.

Operation Winter Coat is open to those needing warm clothing and all items are free. If you need more information about the coat drive, call Pam Schoemig at 264-6814 or Kathi DeClark at 731-9920.

Thanksgiving dinners

Whether you celebrate early or on Thanksgiving proper, there will be various opportunities to enjoy a meal and give thanks with your neighbors.

Today, Nov. 20, Loaves and Fishes will hold a Thanksgiving meal at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish Hall on Lewis Street from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church will host this luncheon with all the traditional foods — turkey, dressing and sweets. All are invited and welcome.

On Sunday, Nov. 23, Centerpoint Church will host the annual holiday meal at the church in Aspen Village. The meal will be served from 5 to 6 p.m. Again, traditional fare will be served. Bring your family and gather for a meal of thanks and fellowship.

If your church or organization is hosting a meal, contact the Chamber so we can post the information for our visitors and answer any inquiries that might come to the Visitor Center.

We will also list restaurants that will be open Thanksgiving Day. If you will be serving that day, contact the Chamber of Commerce to let us know your hours of operation and if you will be serving a special menu. We give this information out at the Visitor Center to our visitors in advance of Thanksgiving Day and it is posted in our outdoor information kiosk as well. We get numerous calls and we love to give out the correct information. Please help us help you by letting us know your Thanksgiving Day hours of operation.

Thanksgiving Services

We will also post church services. Contact the chamber to let us know your worship times.

Community events

The Music Boosters’ production of “Into the Woods” opens tonight, Nov. 20, at 7 p.m. in the high school theater — the first of four performances. Join the baker and his wife as they encounter many a storybook character while they seek to fulfill their quest for a child. During their travels, they find out that all the characters are pursuing their own dreams, wishes and desires. This Tony-award winning musical will engage the audience and is for children of all ages.

Performances continue Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and there is a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, Nov, 23. Tickets may be purchased at the Chamber, online at www.brownpapertickets.com, or at the door. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, and $8 for students.

Shy Rabbit Contemporary Arts comes on board with a new presentation, “For the SMALL of it,” with an opening reception 5-8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 22 The exhibit continues until Jan. 17.

The works of artists from all over the country will be on display, and the show includes several local artists. The theme of this exhibit is a display of works that encourage the public to slow down and contemplate the “small things.” Artists were invited to submit items that were related to their normal work, just on a smaller scale. Visit Shy Rabbit on opening night and talk to some of the artists and find out how this project became a very personal part of the creative process.

Shy Rabbit Gallery, at 333 Bastille Drive, is open Thursday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. or by appointment. For more information, call 731-2766.

Ribbon cutting. While not a new business, we welcome a business expansion at Pagosa Brewing. Join the celebration as Pagosa Brewing relocates its entrance to North Pagosa Boulevard. They will also be showing off their expanded kitchen and the food services now provided by Farrago Market Café.

The Chamber will be on hand at 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 22, to help cut the ribbon to the new entrance.

Parade of Stores

Just another reminder that Pagosa’s annual Parade of Stores Shopping Extravaganza will take place Dec. 5-7. Participating stores will be offering “no tax” discounts. Stores will also be offering other specials, hosting open houses, and providing lots of fun.

Locals and visitors can obtain a shopping card to take around to all the participating stores. Each store will donate a gift or gift certificate. Shopping participants need to pick up a card at a participating store or at the Chamber. Take the card to the shops and get it stamped. Participants who get a certain percentage of stores in each of the three designated sections of town to stamp their card will be entered into a drawing for these great prizes.

Many lodging establishments will also host special “Shop and Stay” packages for visitors who would like to enjoy a night or two in Pagosa and participate in shopping and community activities.

Restaurants will be kicking in this year to offer specials to shoppers participating in the Parade of Stores. As we all know, it is tough work shopping ‘till you drop, and now you can drop into a restaurant and enjoy a lunch or respite bite to eat!

Check out our posters to identify participating stores and restaurants. If you have any questions about the Parade of Stores, contact the Chamber at 264-2360.

Membership news

We have a new member to welcome to the Chamber this week. Reverend Bart Burnett invites you to gather with the Pagosa Cowboy Ministries. This is a church of individuals who gather to worship and enjoy fellowship in a low barrier way that caters to the Western culture. Services are held Sundays at 10:15 a.m. at the fairgrounds. You can also obtain more information by calling 749-5733.

Our renewals this week include the Pagosa Springs Golf Club; Hunan Chinese Restaurant; Pagosa Brewing; Creative Spirit Enterprises Advertising Specialties; P.S Properties; Jim’s Lock & Key; and Nationwide Payment Solutions.

The non-profit renewing this week is the American Cancer Society for SW Colorado. Based in Durango, this nationwide organization offers education, support, and assistance for cancer victims. Call 247-0278 for information or assistance.

We ask that businesses contact the Chamber if they will be offering any special hours or services over the Thanksgiving weekend. We want to inform our visitors to Pagosa of all the activities going on and about restaurant hours so they can enjoy their stay in our community. We thank you for your assistance.