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81321 celebrations commence as date aligns with ZIP code in Cortez

A banner announcing 81321 Day makes for a unique photo opportunity outside the Cortez Post Office.
A once-in-a lifetime occurrence, Cortez’s ZIP code coincides with Friday’s date

It’s a rare event, and the Cortez Retail Enhancement Association and city of Cortez weren’t going to let the opportunity to celebrate slip away.

CREA, a not-for-profit established to enhance Cortez’s retail sphere, planned a day centered around fun, supporting local businesses and getting out into the community.

The day’s events have been in the works for a few months, said CREA Executive Director AJ Dillon.

“My goal was to get people to shop locally and support local businesses,” she said.

She said she hopes the day instilled in people a sense of pride in the city.

Mayor Mike Lavey even issued a proclamation Aug. 10 to make the day official — and to urge citizens to visit local restaurants and retailers.

Mayor Lavey's official proclamation commemorating 81321 day.

First National Bank kicked off the day with music from 98.7 KRTZ, Coldstone ice cream, popcorn and giveaways.

First National Bank workers helped to spread the 81321 day cheer.

“First National Bank is proud to be a part of the community and the 81321 Day event,” said president Jim Muller. “It embodies what community is all about.”

The Cortez Post Office commemorated the rare occasion with Pictorial Postmarks, backed by the USPS Date Meets Zip Program.

A commemorative postmark was available for pickup in the Cortez Post Office.

While picking up the specially made postmarks, visitors could also indulge in 81321 cupcakes.

81321 cupcakes were available in the lobby the Cortez Post Office.

While the Pictorial Postmarks were only available in-person today, the post office will announce how to obtain them for the next 30 days.

People from all over the country contacted Dillon about collecting the Pictorial Postmarks, she said.

The day’s festivities didn’t end there.

Mayor Lavey formally welcomed Bourque’s Cajun Store to Cortez with a ribbon-cutting ceremony just after 4 p.m.

The store is the creative endeavor of Robbie and Wendy Bourque, who brought their native Louisiana’s soul food to Cortez.

Mayor Mike Lavey poses with Robbie Bourque, who owns Bourque's Cajun Country Store with his wife, Wendy, just after Friday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony.

“People here remind us of back home,” Robbie Bourque said. “We find the people just as friendly. They come here just to visit and chat, and that’s what I like.”

Bourque dubbed Mayor Lavey an “honorary Cajun”.

Southwest Open School contributed to the energy of the day, hosting a game night in Montezuma Park, where live artists Mark Gibson and Bentley Monk performed.

Children 17 and under swam for free at the Cortez Municipal Outdoor Pool from 1 to 4:50 p.m., and an 81321 Day flyer encouraged residents to plan a picnic in their favorite local park.

Different businesses were offering discounts and giveaways throughout the day.

Locals and visitors had the chance to win $25 CREA Cortez Cash Cards at several businesses, encouraging them to spend locally wherever Mastercard is accepted.

Overall, there was a lot of #81321proud in the air and proud to be a resident of Cortez, Colorado.