Escalante Days and Nights, a premiere festival that celebrates the cultural heritage and founding of Dolores, will be Aug. 12-14.
“It’s all about celebrating how Dolores got started, our Western traditions, games and live music,” said organizer Susan Lisak, director of the Chamber of Commerce.
It kicks off Friday Aug. 12 at 5 p.m. with a kids bike parade, obstacle course, bike giveaway and ice cream eating contest downtown. Meet at the General Store.
Twelve new bikes will be given away along with 80 helmets. Walmart and Dolores Rotary split the cost of the new bikes.
The signature events are on Saturday, Aug. 13.
- At 6 a.m. is the K-9 pancake breakfast at the Dolores Fire Protection District fire station. The softball tournament begins at 7 a.m.
- At 10 a.m. is the Escalante Days parade, with the theme of “water.” Ruby Gonzales and Joey Whited are the parade marshals. The Four Corners Community Band will play during the parade at Flanders Park.
- At 11 a.m. is the chain saw contest.
- At 1 p.m. is the arm wrestling competition.
- From 4-7 p.m. is the street dance party.
- At 6 p.m. is the Escalante Nights music festival on the patio of the Dolores River Brewery. The lineup will be announced soon.
- At 9 p.m., the home run derby begins.
From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Dolores River Anglers Chapter of Trout Unlimited will give free fishing lessons at Riverside Park.
Other popular events are the duck race on the Dolores River, balloon toss, watermelon eating contest and hula hoop contest.
The event typically attracts 2,000 people to town for the various festivities, vendors and community spirit. There are 50 vendors of food, drinks, and arts and crafts.
Escalante Days was born in 1976 to commemorate the nearby Escalante Ruin. The inaugural was attended by Colorado Gov. Richard Lamm as part of the state’s Centennial celebration, which included naming nearby Centennial Peak.
It has since become a way to also recognize Spanish explorers Dominguez and Escalante, who came through the area in 1776 and gave the Dolores River its current name.
New this year are more games for kids. The Chamber has been amassing new outdoor games, including disc golf, basketball hoop challenge and a football throw net.
For a full schedule, go to visitdolores.com.