Enjoy the Fourth, but take fire precautions

SUN Columnist

Please make sure that you check out The PREVIEW this week and next week for the Clip and Save Fourth of July Festivities calendar.

This at-a-glance schedule will give you a day-by-day breakdown of the festivities from Friday, June 28, to Sunday, July 7.

You can also access the holiday information on The SUN’s website and the Chamber of Commerce website at www.pagosaspringschamber.com under the Activities and Events tab. There is a special tab dedicated to the holiday festivities. We will also have hard copies of the schedule available at the Visitor Center, as well as community maps.

Here are some highlights of the holiday activities.

Don’t forget that your parade applications are due by Friday, June 28, by 5 p.m. Bring them by or fax them to the Chamber at 264-4625. You can enter the parade if you don’t turn in your application by Friday, but your late application will place you at the end of the parade. Bring your entry the day of the parade, July 4, to the Pagosa Springs High School parking lot, near the band room entrance on the north side of the lot. Remember that the parade begins at 10 a.m.

Prior to the parade, you can enjoy a pancake breakfast downtown at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish Hall, to benefit the Pagosa Pregnancy Support Center.

The rodeo will take place July 4-6, with a concert with McKenzies Mill on July 4 and 6 at 6 p.m. at the rodeo grounds.

The carnival in the athletic field in Town Park should be set up by Tuesday, July 2. At this time, we are still not aware of a date for family night, but we will let you know.

There will also be a free band concert on the Fourth of July, performed on the back lawn of The Springs Resort at 2 p.m. by the Pagosa Springs Community Band.

Theatrical performances continue at the Pagosa Center for the Arts with “Spamalot” and “The Full Monty” being performed. Both performances are delightful and it is well worth attending these first-class productions.

Beginning Friday, June 28, until Saturday, July 6, the musical “Pippin” will be held at the Pagosa Springs High School. All performances except Sunday, June 30, will take place at 7 p.m. with the June 30 performance held at 2 p.m. Tickets are available at the Chamber of Commerce.

Life at Chimney Rock will be held June 29-30 at the Chimney Rock National Monument Visitor Center. Admission is free. The festival takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The days will be filled with interactive educational programs, Native American arts and crafts, food booths and lots of family activities. You can also enhance your day by taking a tour of the National Monument.

There will be so much to do over the Fourth of July holidays — just like there is every year. Visitors can also enjoy a float down the river, a horseback ride, a balloon ride or a hike in the thousands of acres and the many trails available in our wilderness areas. Contact the Visitor Center and we will help you plan your activities.

Fire assistance

Pagosa Springs is a generous community and people are always willing to help out their neighbors. The West Fork Complex Fire is no exception.

The Chamber has been getting inquiries on what items are needed for the victims of evacuation in the South Fork area. Homes in Pagosa are being offered as temporary shelters, and groups and individuals are also offering to assist with food.

Here is the latest from the American Red Cross: While they know people would like to contribute goods and services, at this time the South Fork residents are being taken care of in the valley. Adams State University has opened their dorms to residents. The Red Cross has a steady stream of organizations in the Valley preparing food and they are on a schedule. At this time, there is also no need for bedding items. If you would like to contribute in some way, you can give a donation to the American Red Cross and designate your contribution to the West Fork Complex Fire. In this way, goods can be purchased to make meals and provide assistance.

If you are looking to assist the firefighters, here is what can be done: Do not decrease your donations to local food bank outlets. The firefighters appreciate thank you cards and notes, and banners saluting their efforts. Perhaps your family, youth group or church organization can design and send out some cards or make a banner for a spike camp. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, the best way to help is to donate. Donations can be made to the local Red Cross or the Wildland Firefighters Foundation. Earmark your donation to the West Fork Complex Fire. For more information about donations, go to http://helpcoloradonow.com/.

At the end of a public meeting on Friday, June 21, several residents and businesses inquired about what they needed to do in case of an evacuation here in Pagosa Springs and how could they get ready.

In the May 16 Chamber article in The SUN, I mentioned some tips and resources for business owners and residents to access and assess if they are ready for an emergency. One very helpful website is the American Red Cross site, www.readyrating.com. You can register for free for the emergency preparedness checklist. You can also visit the FEMA website at www.ready.gov/community-and-other-plans, which will help you through the emergency process.

Does your business back up your computer data property? Can you function outside of your established business location? Do you need to take hard goods to continue running your business? Have you identified things that you need to take with you from your business and your home? Do you have a video or photos of equipment, household goods and personal items should you need them for an insurance claim? These are tasks that you should think about now — not when it is too late. Take time to organize your home and business and get emergency-ready. A few hours could save you thousands of dollars of loss and perhaps great heartache.

Another must do is to register for the free alerts sent out by the Archuleta County Emergency Services. Go to www.acemergency.org and sign up for alerts. Not only does this site give you the fire information, but it works year-round with information including floods, winter storms, emergency notification system and much more. Signing up on this site should be a minimum effort on behalf of your personal and business safety.

Business news

We have yet another ribbon cutting this month — this one for the new owners of the Skyview Motel. You may know them as the owners of the Pagosa Springs Funeral Home, but Matthew and Lera Boyle are also the new owners of the Skyview Motel. They are sprucing up the facilities and offering clean, comfortable rooms and economy prices. Come out at 3 p.m. Saturday and see what they have done to improve the property.

We have one new member to welcome to the Chamber this week. Hestar Ranch Icelandic Horses. For all you horse enthusiasts, these are amazing horses to ride. They are well known for their gentle temperaments, unique gait and sure-footedness, as well as their beautiful colorings. Hestar Ranch/Farm breeds, sells and trains these gorgeous horses. If you have thought of obtaining one of these unique horses, give Monika Meier-Galliker a call to visit the ranch located near Pagosa Junction, as visits must be prearranged; this is not a “drop-in” ranch. For more information, visit her website at www.hestar-ranch.us.

We also welcome back our renewals this week: Wyndham Vacation Resorts, Rocky Mountain Balloon Adventures, United Mini Storage, The Artist Within, the San Juan Mountains Association and Seeds of Learning.

Remember to protect your business and personal assets, plan ahead and let people know that Pagosa is open for business!

This story was posted on June 27, 2013.