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Dolores River Festival canceled again because of pandemic

Escalante Days still a go; Boggy Beat Down sanctioned by USA Cycling

The Dolores River Festival has been canceled again because of COVID-19 restrictions, but there will be live music, drive-in movies and dancing in the streets this summer and fall in Dolores.

State restrictions on gatherings make it in impractical to hold the popular June music festival, said event producer Susan Lisak.

This is the second consecutive year the event put on by nonprofit Greater Dolores Action was canceled because of the pandemic.

“Because of public safety concerns, restrictions on attendance and financial reasons, it did not make sense to go forward with it, but the festival will return full force in 2022,” Lisak said.

Limits on event attendance has affected the festival’s ability to sufficiently raise funds for this year’s event via the annual Dolores Mountain Film Festival, usually held in April.

Organizers decided to permanently move the Mountain Film fundraiser to the fall, and this year it will be held on Oct. 16.

The music festival in Joe Rowell Park typically draws 1,000 to 1,500 people, and the Mountain Film fundraiser brings in more than 200 people at the Dolores Community Center.

Montezuma County is at Level Blue on the state’s COVID-19 Dial, which gauge capacity for businesses and events.

Even at the lowest Level Green, the music festival events would be severely restricted, noted Lisak.

Under Level Green, unseated outdoor events are capped at 500, and unseated indoor events are capped at 50% capacity, which would limit the film festival to 150 people.

“We need a big showing at the fundraiser to make it all happen, and at least 1,000 attendance at the music festival to break even,” Lisak said.

Summer fun lives on

Dolores has a slate of events ready for the summer and fall, including the Farmers Market (Wednesdays starting June 2), Drive-in Movies (Friday nights from June-September), Boggy Beat Down mountain bike race (Aug. 7) Escalante Days (Aug. 13-14), and Dolores Harvest Festival (Oct. 2).

A big change this year is the new Boggy Beat Down bike race, which replaces the Escalante Bike Race.

It will still take place in Dolores and on the Boggy Draw trail system but will now be held Aug. 7, the week before Escalante Days.

The popular mountain bike race will also become a sanctioned USA Cycling event to attract more professional riders, but anyone can still compete.

“As a USA cycling event, racers can collect points to help their standings and it will give the race more recognition,” Lisak said.

The race keeps growing and needs its own day separate from the crowds of Escalante Days, organizers said.

The race traverses over multiple routes at in the Boggy Draw area. It went from 70 riders in 2016, to 175 riders in 2020.

Now there is the potential for it to grow to over 300 participants, Lisak said.

To celebrate both events, on the evening of Aug. 14, there will be a street dance, live music and a beer garden on Central Avenue.

Another perk for Dolores this summer is live music every Wednesday afternoon at the Farmers Market held at Flanders Park from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The line up is: Roscoe, June 2; Jake McIntosh, June 16; Aloha Club, July 7; Sunny Gable, July 21; Dulce, July 4; One Stan Band, Aug. 18; Bentley Monk, Sept. 1; Bluegrass Heelers, Sept. 15; Flashback, Oct. 2.

An earlier version of this story incorrectly listed the date of the Dolores All School Reunion. Organizers have not yet decided on the date of the reunion. A reference to the Farmers Market included the incorrect day. The Farmers Market is held on Wednesdays from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

jmimiaga@the-journal.com

An earlier version of this story incorrectly listed the date of the Dolores All School Reunion. Organizers have not yet decided on the date of the reunion. A reference to the Farmers Market included the incorrect day. The Farmers Market is held on Wednesdays from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

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