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Parade of Stores slated for first weekend of December

SUN Columnist

It is hard to believe that we are on the downside of 2013 with only two months left in the year.

The Chamber is preparing for the annual Parade of Stores shopping extravaganza the first weekend in December, from Thursday through Saturday, Dec. 5-7. This holiday shopping weekend will be filled with events and shopping treasures all over town.

The Parade of Stores comprises two facets: the card stamp program and the drawing for trip giveaways and special prizes.

With the card stamp program, shoppers need to visit a certain number of stores and have their card stamped. If you receive the designated number of stamps, you will be entered into a drawing for prizes donated by every store. You have three days to obtain your stamps. You can turn your card in at any participating store or drop it off at the Chamber.

The other part of the shopping extravaganza is that, for every $10 you spend in a store, you can enter a drawing to win one of the prize packages offered. Obviously, the more you spend, the more chances you have to win. In the past there have been trips offered to Aspen, Glenwood Springs, Santa Fe and Taos as well as other great giveaways. Your thank you for shopping local could be a trip or other great prize packages. Again, you have all three days to shop and enter to win.

On Thursday, Dec. 5, shopping begins and you can pick up your frequent shopper cards at the Chamber or any of the participating stores. Each store will also carry the tickets for you to enter the prize giveaway. If you have any questions, contact the Chamber of Commerce. We will announce details as the shopping extravaganza draws closer.

More festivities

The first weekend in December is also called Christmas in Pagosa, and will include other wonderful events. Beginning Thursday, Dec. 5, the Ross Aragon Community Center will open its doors early for the public to view the beautifully decorated trees that will be made available for auction the following evening, the Festival of Trees.

Members of the public can place bids on trees if they are not able to attend the event on Friday and they can vote for their favorite tree. On Friday, Dec. 6, the annual Festival of Trees takes place and includes a cash bar, hors d’oeuvres, music and, of course, the auction for the trees. Purchase a tree for yourself or donate it to a family in need. Advance tickets are only $15.

On Saturday, Dec. 7, Santa makes his traditional visit to the Chamber and Visitor Center from 3-5:30 p.m. The event features delicious and festive cookies, beverages, photos and general good time. Have a photo taken of the kids and Santa; it is not too late to use the photo on our 2013 holiday greeting card.

On Dec. 6, the Community Choir will hold its annual Christmas concert, “Come on It’s Christmas,” at the high school. The choir performs again on Dec. 7 and at an afternoon performance on Dec. 8.

The Holiday Palooza calendar is nearing completion. If you are decorating, or know that your neighborhood or property owners association will be actively involved in holiday lighting or decorating, contact the Chamber so we can include your area on the holiday lighting map we will be giving out to our visitors. We will also be holding a business lighting contest, so contact the Chamber with your plans. Please e-mail us at director@pagosachamber.com or call 264-2360.

The holidays are right around the corner and it’s big tourist season for us. Help us help our visitors have a great time in our community.

Business mentors/moderators

We would like to remind business owners that Fort Lewis College will host a Career Fair Thursday, Jan. 9. Students from schools in Pagosa Springs, Durango, Ignacio, Silverton and Bayfield will be in attendance. The facilitators of the event are looking for business leaders — active or retired — who would like to act as mentors or moderators at the event. Students will be looking at career opportunities in numerous categories: engineering, food service, business ownership and the energy field, among others.

You do not have to act as a counselor; you can be a moderator at the event, help to direct traffic to the appropriate rooms, or make sure the breakout sessions run on time.

We would like to send some representation from Pagosa. If you are interested in helping out on Jan. 9, contact the Chamber or call Natalie Bertand with San Juan BOCES at (970) 403-6218.

Business news

There will be a ribbon cutting from 4-5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9 at EcoLiving Studio at 280 Pagosa St. Come and congratulate Margaret Burkesmith on her new business and studio services and find out how to improve your health through yoga classes and about reserving space at this lovely facility.

Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, this month’s SunDowner, or Business After Hours, will be held a week earlier than usual, on Wednesday, Nov. 20. Make sure you mark your calendars and come out to High Country Lodge, located three miles east of Pagosa. Find out about the sledding hill opportunities this winter and view all the upgrades at the motel and cabins. Chamber members and invited guests are welcome. If you are new to the community and would like to attend a SunDowner, contact the Chamber.

This month, the volunteers at the Visitor Center will be involved in training and tours around town with an emphasis on winter businesses. If you are interested in volunteering at the Visitor Center this winter, contact the Chamber so we can arrange for you to attend a training session. Volunteers are needed for regular shifts and as substitutes. The Visitor Center is open seven days a week: Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. ,and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Consider this fun opportunity; a donation of a few hours a month is much appreciated. Contact Stacy Kirby or Mary Jo Coulehan for more information.

We have one new member this month to announce. Paul and Shellie Hogue have rejoined with Southwest Garage Door, after a hiatus. Southwest Garage Door can install new doors and custom doors, and replace or repair existing garage doors. They also offer garage door openers. They have over 25 years experience and will work with the homeowner or contractor. Call them for a free estimate at 749-4533.

This story was posted on November 7, 2013.