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Escalante Days and All School Reunion return Aug. 13-15 in Dolores

The late Gov. Richard Lamm attended the first Escalante Days in Dolores in 1976.
Traditional events return after last year’s cancellations

Dolores will embrace pioneer traditions and school memories during Escalante Days and the All School Reunion Aug. 13-15.

A full slate of events is returning for Escalante Days in downtown Dolores, said organizer Susan Lisak, director of the Dolores Chamber of Commerce. Last year, the event was mostly canceled because of COVID restrictions on crowds.

“People are excited to have it back, especially the popular events like the parade, chain saw competition and arm-wrestling contest,” she said.

On Aug. 13, events include a kid bike giveaway, bike parade and ice cream eating contest. Meet at the Fifth Street parking lot near Central Avenue.

Aug. 14 is the main event day.

The K-9 Search and Rescue pancake breakfast will be at 6 a.m. at the “Dog House” next to the fire station. Breakfast, a fundraiser for the local rescue organization, is $5 per person.

The Escalante Day parade is at 10 a.m. with the theme of “Find Your Adventure.” The Four Corners Community Band performs at 10:15 a.m. The Bill F. Ragland chain saw competition is at 11 a.m., and the arm-wrestling at 1 p.m. Food and craft vendors will be set up throughout the park, and there will be a beer and wine garden with locally made beverages.

Mariah Ragland competes in the chain saw competition at Escalante Days. (The Journal file)

A street dance and block party takes place from 5-8 p.m. on Central Avenue between Fourth and Fifth Streets. Live music will be performed by PFYT (Penny for Your Thoughts) and classic rock band Flashback.

The salsa competition is back by popular demand. It will take place at 1 p.m. with public tasting and judging. Montezuma Mexican Restaurant, Mi Tequila, The Depot, Ponderosa Restaurant and Kelly’s Kitchen have entered, and residents will also compete for the Best Salsa Award.

Also for Escalante Days there will be lots of kid events, such as water balloon toss, egg toss, hula hoop contest, watermelon-eating contest, face painting, kids train and a giant slide.

A softball tournament is set for Aug. 14-15 at Joe Rowell Park starting at 7 a.m. There will be a home run derby Aug. 14 at 9 p.m.

Dolores River Anglers will host casting and fishing demos at Riverside Park on Aug. 14 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“Everyone is excited to have the town’s main festival back. We consider it our founders day, when our town celebrates our heritage,” Lisak said.

The event also commemorates the nearby Escalante cultural site and Spanish explorers Dominguez and Escalante, who came through the area in 1776 and gave the Dolores River its current name.

For more information visit the Dolores Chamber of Commerce Facebook page.

Dolores All School Reunion

The five-year All School Reunion will take place the same weekend as Escalante Days in Dolores.

Organizer Angela Randall Salazar said 122 alumni have signed up, and 1,000 invitations were sent out.

“The class reunion is a long tradition in Dolores,” she said. “It is all about memories, seeing old classmates and having fun. There is a lot of reminiscing about how Dolores was back then and how much it has changed.”

The 2015 Dolores All School Reunion Royalty, left to right: Queen Jeanne (Cauthen) Smith, Class of 1946; Ruby (Vigil) Gonzales, Class of 1949; Queen Annabel Lyen/Plumlee) Stickle, Class of 1939; King Victor Sundquist, Class of 1938; and MaryAnn (Brumley) Findley, Class of 1965.

The reunion occurs every five years since 1976. It was started by Frank and Ruby Gonzales.

On Aug. 13, registration is from 4-6 p.m. at the Dolores Fire Station followed by a barbeque at the station. The band Flashback will perform.

On Aug. 14, alumni are encouraged to be in the Escalante Days parade at 10 a.m.

At 1 p.m. is the reunion program at the Dolores High School Gymnasium. There will be a dedication to alumni who served in the military, a slide show of past classes, and awards will be given out.

Awards include longest living male and female attendee, longest married couple, shortest married couple, furthest traveled attendee, and traveling trophy for the year with the most alumni in attendance.

Vic Sundquist, 101, and Annabel Stickle, 100 in September, will be honored as alumni royalty. Sundquist is Class of 1938, and Stickle is Class of 1939.

From 3-6 p.m., there will be an open house at the Dolores Fire Department for all reunion attendees.

Last year, reunion was canceled because of the pandemic.