◊photo/ Jan Brookshier
ColorFest Celebration
September 11-13
Wine & Food Festival • Art Festival • Balloon Rally and Glow • Band & Brew Blowout

ColorFest activities return to Pagosa Sept. 11, providing a picturesque weekend against the backdrop of the San Juan Mountains.

Splashes of gold from the changing aspen trees mingle with the deep reds and pale yellows of fine wines from around the world and myriad colors of hot air balloons to set the stage for a truly colorful weekend.

Add the crisp and glorious Colorado autumn weather and you have ColorFest, a weekend of fun, friends and unparalleled beauty.

Start your weekend with the popular “Passport to Pagosa: Wine & Food Festival” held in Town Park Friday, Sept. 11. Enjoy wines from around the world and food from Pagosa’s best chefs and caterers. Enjoy the comfort of a large tent and the music, and take some time to view the works of the artists at the art fair at Town Park.

On Saturday and Sunday mornings, you’ll want to rise early to make it out to one of ColorFest’s mass hot air balloon ascensions. The balloons take off around 8 a.m. in the downtown area Saturday and the airport on Sunday. The balloon pilots are always looking for crew members-in-training, so you can volunteer and have a grand time. Don’t forget your camera as the hot springs downtown or the backdrop of the mountains make for postcard memories.

If you’re not in the mood for manual labor at the crack of dawn, grab your morning coffee and step outside as the balloons fill the sky with all the colors of the rainbow. Whichever option you choose, keep your camera handy.

The art fair will continue in Town Park on Saturday, and it is a perfect opportunity to do some pre-holiday shopping. Handmade articles, photography, paintings and other types of art work will be on display.

Town Park continues to be a beehive of activity on Saturday and Sunday as individuals, groups and bands vie for cash, prizes and awards while 20 regional microbreweries display their award winning brewing talents at the ColorFest Bands, Brews, Etc. Blowout. It is two days of musical and brewing genius and a time to spend with the whole family. Games, activities, food vendors and an Italian Cream Soda Bar along with the music will keep everyone entertained.

As the day winds down on Saturday, head over to the Stevens Field airport on Piedra Road (County Road 600) to enjoy the inspiring balloon glow and other activities. There will be food and music available as we usher in the dark skies and marvel at the mesmerizing glow of the balloons. This is an event you will remember and one that will cause you to return in years to come.

Make the most of your weekend by experiencing a hike, drive, bike ride or early morning fishing excursion before you head home. ColorFest promises a masterpiece of a weekend, full of excitement, beauty and tons of activities.

For more information on ColorFest, or to learn more about what Pagosa Springs has to offer, contact the Pagosa Springs Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center at (800) 252-2204 or online at www.visitpagosasprings.com or visit www.pagosarally.com for information about the balloon rally.