Festival in Southwest Colorado Celebrates Music and Family Fun!
Ridgway, Colorado, founded in the 1890's to service the Rio Grande Narrow Guage Railroad, has grown up! When the railroad closed down in the late 1950's, the forecast was bleak. How would a little town built primarily for the rairoad survive? Another testament to the resilience of Southwest Colorado, when the railroad shut down, Ridgway dusted itself off, and spread its wings as it were, developing a thriving ranch community, and maintaining itself as the threshold of the San Juans.
At the base of the Uncompahgre Mountains, surrounded by magnificent mountain peaks, and boasting incredible ranch land, this little town, less than 10 miles from Ouray is as open and inviting as its landscape.
Leading the way with it's Concert Series, Ridgway opened the door for Ouray to host its own Mountain Air music series in June. Celebrating its 5th year this July, Ridgway is hosting five free concerts in Hartwell Park!
Because these concerts are free, these little towns do what they can to absorb the cost that would otherwise result in a necessary addmission fee for attendees. Often, in the spirit of Ouray County, these fund raisers are just as much fun as the events the are promoting, and surprisingly inexpensive!
The Love Your Valley Fest brings together all of the elements of a successful event: good food, good beer, live music, and even a dog show!
Most of the attractions are free, with the proceeds from a $20.00 beer ticket (which allows you to sample a variety of local craft beers) going toward the continuation of the Concerts in the Park.
Booths offering a variety of local art and merchandise line walkways, interspered with offerings of local cuisine, and of course, libations.
Music is central to the event, featuring live performers that put a bounce in your step as you peruse the booths, or just relax on a blanket in the grass as the little ones play on the playground.
Prior to the start of the festival at 1:00 pm, there is a huge parking lot sale sponsored by the ROCC, at the Ridgway Library, just behind the park. One mans trash is anothers treasure, and there are so many treasures to be found at this huge sale! With the proceeds going to such a good cause, it is almost impossible not to find a few things.
The Second Chance Humane Society puts in an appearance as well, with dog contests and competitions througout the day, making this a festival for the whole family!
So make it a point to plan your next visit to the area around Saturday, May 17! The festival starts at 1:00 pm and goes until 4:30 pm, with the parking lot sale running from 8:30 am til noon. A full day of fun awaits, followed by a relaxing evening in Ouray at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs.
Enjoy the scenic drive back to Ouray, and a relaxing soak in the mineral hot springs before dinner. Sounds like an excellent weekend escape to me!