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More events on a busy summer schedule

The summer in Pagosa Springs has been very busy and we’re happy we don’t see any reprieve for the next couple of months.

We just came off a very successful Renaissance and Pirate Festival and the next couple of weeks are filled with events geared not only to draw people to Pagosa Springs but also enhance their visit while they are here.

A unique upcoming event is the Rocky Mountain Plein Air National Show, featuring painters from across the nation.

This is an event where the lure to come to our community is based not only on the beauty of the region, but also the commitment of many of our residents. Under the direction and enthusiasm of Madeline Lyon of Wild Spirit Gallery, this week-long event will bring professional painters and amateurs to Pagosa. Activities will be held from July 27 to Aug. 7. There will be “fast draw” events and workshops presented by nationally-recognized artists such as Teresa Vito (known for her use of color and the energy of her work), Jeanne Mackenzie (focusing on impressionism and realism), and Aaron Schuerr, a master of light and mood. There will also be gallery events where works created during the week will be on display — all highlighting the beauty of Pagosa. These works will then be displayed in galleries all over the nation. What a coup for Pagosa Springs.

Pagosa loves to host annual events such as Ride the Rockies, the Bike Tour of Colorado, the Plein Air Show or even the Entrepreneurial Marketplace. These events are great “shots in the arm” for our community and the tourism industry. We thank the Rocky Mountain Plein Air Painters for coming to our community and choosing a beautiful part of the Rocky Mountain region to host their convention. In addition to this one-of-a-kind event, we also have other annual events on the horizon.

On Saturday and Sunday, July 23 and 24, the non-athlete in all of us comes out for the Cruise-a-Thong, the “Race for the Average Joe (or Josephine).” The hard core athletes can stay home or come to the after party, since this race is designed for the non-athlete. The race begins with a “cruise” around town on your bike. After the athletes cruise around town, they will take a leisurely walk down the River Walk in their best, or worst, thongs — flip-flops that is. The last leg of the event will be a float down the San Juan River. There will be prizes galore and a Reggae “Party in the Park.”

On Sunday, July 24, the festivities kick up again at 11 a.m. with the third annual Bloody Mary Showdown, followed by a disc golf tournament on Reservoir Hill. The Bloody Mary contest will have “professional” and “amateur” categories. This is a weekend to remember and document with lots of pictures. Take advantage of our new disc golf range; if you haven’t tried disc golf, now is the time!

Also on the 23rd and 24th is the 17th annual Chimney Rock Native American Cultural Gathering at Chimney Rock. Native American traditional dancers and singers from numerous tribes will perform at Pagosa’s archeological treasure. The traditional dress alone makes it worth going to see the event, but attendees will be mesmerized by the talent and spirit that is demonstrated by these performers. There will also be a craft show and delicious fry bread for sale. Shows will be at 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. There will not be tours during the dances.

With these events going on both days, there is plenty of time to attend everything.

Archuleta County Fair

You might think that the Archuleta County Fair is months away, but this major community event is really only weeks away.

That means that you need to get your chile recipe down to compete in the annual Lee Sterling chile cookoff. You also should be working on painting, canning, agriculture, brewing, quilting and other projects in the many other competitive categories.

This annual event highlights agriculture and ranching — one of the mainstays of our community. Not only will there be competitions, games and events for residents and visitors alike, but larger events as well. The 4-H Chuck Wagon Dinner and Livestock Auction highlights the fair on Saturday night, followed by a dance with Tim Sullivan and Narrow Gauge. Gather a team of players to enter the Ranch Rodeo on Saturday or have the family participate in the Kid’s Rodeo. This is a weekend to note on your calendar. For more information, you can visit www.archuletacountyfair.com. Get ready to celebrate Archuleta County’s heritage and future.

Army Band

On Saturday, July 30, Town Park will come alive with the sounds of the 101st Army Band’s Wind Ensemble. The concert will begin at 4 p.m. and is free to the public. The ensemble will perform patriotic and international pieces of music. This band is a unit of the Colorado Army National Guard and consists of 50 citizen-soldiers. The band members come from throughout the state to train intensively every month at Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora, Colo. And now they will travel to Pagosa Springs to share their talents. Bring a chair or blanket and enjoy this inspirational concert.

Membership news

Chamber members are invited to attend the July SunDowner and one-year anniversary of Southwest Elegance on Wednesday, July 27. Owner Robert Bradshaw welcomes members and invited guests to celebrate the anniversary at the store in historic downtown Pagosa. See what is new in the store and check out the current artists whose work is on display. Admission is $5 and this is a great way to celebrate one of Pagosa’s businesses, as well as network your own.

We welcome a new member this week and appreciate her support with a second business. Shellie Hogue is now with Exit Realty and with all her years of experience in Pagosa, she is ready to serve your real estate needs. With over 25 years of work in the community, Shellie can help you find the right home or sell your property. Visit her at the Exit Realty office on U.S. 160, next to Ponderosa Lumber.

We have two renewals this week: Charlie and Emily Rogers with A&P Tents, and San Juan Sports Massage with Markus Hughes.

We know our businesses are busy this summer; however, we want to continue to promote our members. Please make sure the Chamber/Visitor Center has your current brochure and/or your business cards so we can tell customers about you. If you have not invested in one of the community’s visitor information guides, then please make sure we have a rack card, flier or menu from your business. The Visitor Center numbers are up, and we want to promote your enterprise. Visuals always help — so please get us a rack card, brochure or business card.

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