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Mancos Melt festival warms up residents for spring

Annual celebration in mid-March marks 10th anniversary

While snow on the ground may indicate otherwise, spring is fast approaching, meaning the annual Mancos Melt is only a few weeks away.

This year marks the event’s 10th anniversary, although it’s only the second year of being organized by the Mancos Creative District. The Melt celebrates the start of spring, and its festivities encompass the downtown area, with activities popping up at local venues from March 14-16.

The 2019 theme is “Winter Festival Phoenix Rising,” featuring a bonfire at the end of the three-day event, where Meltogers can burn off their “winter blues,” organizers said.

Last year, the celebration raised nearly $2,000 for the Mancos Creative District.

The Melt gets underway Thursday night with a wine tasting and costume party from 6-8 p.m. at Olio, with work on display by local artist TJ Zark.

The following night, the celebration continues at 5 p.m. with an art show and reception at Outlier Cellars. The photography exhibition, “81328, A Retrospective Gathering,” includes a collection of Mancos photos gathered over the years. The idea was first conceived in the early aughts by a local photographer and town trustee, who was inspired by a National Geographic feature.

The art show and reception will last until 8 p.m.

After the Olio event, Meltgoers can then hop over to Millwood Junction to hear live music by local band Flashback from 8-11 p.m.

And the Mancos Melt concludes Saturday, March 16, with a full schedule of music, activities and races. The morning starts at 8 a.m. with the Snowmelt Shuffle, a 1K and 5K fun run/walk, followed by a kid and critter parade down Grand Avenue at 10 a.m.

At 10:30 a.m., attendees have a few options, with the traditional bed races taking place down Grand Avenue, just as a kite festival takes over Boyle Park, with free kites provided by Communities that Care of Montezuma County.

Chili tasting will be held at Artisans of Mancos from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and two kid-centered activities beginning at noon: a scavenger hunt at the Mancos Public Library and a Painted Turtle event at the studio on Grand Avenue.

A putt-putt golf tournament will start at 12:30 p.m. at Columbine Bar. Participants are invited to dress in “Burning Man” gear and bring their own putter and golf ball. Early sign-ups will take place at Fahrenheit Coffee Roasters.

The final two festivities of the Melt are at Mancos Brewing Co. An awards ceremony for the golf tournament will begin at 5:30 p.m., with prizes given out to the top four teams. First place will win a round of golf for four at the Glacier Club, second place takes the same at Dalton Ranch Golf Club, third place at Hillcrest Golf Club, and fourth place at Conquistador Golf Club.

Other prizes will be distributed, including Best Costume, Best Hole and Best Caddy.

And finally, the climax of the entire Melt is the “Phoenix” bonfire, also at the Mancos Brewing Co. Local musical group Billy and the Kid will perform at this final event.

The Olio wine tasting costs $25 per person, the Millwood Junction musical event has a $5 cover, bed racing is $50 per team, and the golf tournament is $40 per team. For more information, visit the Mancos Creative District website.

This story was updated Feb. 26 to clarify the origins of the 81328 photo exhibit, and once more on March 1 after the event’s theme was changed due to trademark issues.

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