| If anyone knows about the plethora of can’t-miss events in Pagosa Country, it’s Chamber of Commerce Director Mary Jo Coulehan.
Coulehan, in her sixth year as Chamber director, is enthusiastic about the fact that area events are not for only tourists or locals, but are a chance to bring the two together.
“Events are a way for us to attract people to the community. People like to go to communities with activities going on,” Coulehan says, adding that they also give locals entertainment. “You can work and play right where you live. There’s just something for everybody — the kids, the families, the athletes, the arts enthusiasts,” says Coulehan.
Couhelan is also enthusiastic about this season’s planned events that cater to all walks of life and interests.
“One of the major events that kick off the summer season are the car show (the San Juan River Rod Run), starting May 15,” she says.
Regarding something that happens once every four or five years, Coulehan says the community is looking forward to hosting not one, but two bike tours in June — Ride the Rockies and Bike Tour of Colorado. “That will be complete with the typical Party in the Park, and there will be live music for about six hours,” Coulehan says.
Also on her schedule in June is the Folk ‘n Bluegrass Festival, an event in its fourth year that “offers a full complement of musicians and is right in our backyard,” she says.
Perhaps the biggest community celebration of the summer is the Fourth of July.
“Obviously, there’s no better small community to have a Fourth of July in than Pagosa, with all the events going on,” says Coulehan, highlighting the parade, fireworks display, arts and crafts festival, rodeo and quilt show — an event that happens only every two years. Keep in mind the parade will be Saturday, July 3, and the fireworks display will light the sky July 4, she says.
“In the arts arena, there’s the Music Boosters with “Annie,” the Springs Theatre with performances in July and August, and Music in the Mountains will move from Bootjack Ranch to the atrium in the ecoLuxe at the Springs Resort for three concerts. There’s also Art in the Garden in August,” she says.
“For the sports enthusiast, we obviously have three different running races — a series — so we have the Turkey Track Trail Marathon in June, and then in July we have the Devil Mountain 50k Ultra and in September, we have the Mountain Chile Cha Cha,” Coulehan says, adding that sports lovers can add a new event to their calendar this year — October’s Blaze and Brew Cycling Benefit, a ride from Pagosa Springs to Wolf Creek and back.
What does Coulehan have to say about the busy schedule ahead?
“We love events!”