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Mary Alice Gonzales is named 2024 Mancos Days Queen

Annual honor given to Mary Alice Gonzales
Mary Alice Gonzales, 2024 Mancos Days Queen. Photo courtesy of Ellen “Queenie” Barz

Since 1961, the town of Mancos has celebrated an extraordinary local woman as the Mancos Days Queen. The title of Mancos Days Queen is an honor given to a woman who has lived in the town for at least 50 years and contributed significantly to the community.

Traditionally, a tea is held and a quilt is made to honor each queen. The tea is open to the public, as is viewing the quilt. The queen also rides in the annual Mancos Days parade, surrounded by family and previous queens.

The 2024 Mancos Days Queen Quilt. Photo courtesy of Queenie Barz

Mary Alice Gonzales, 82, has been named the Mancos Days Queen by the Montezuma County VFW Auxiliary 5231. All the usual festivities and accolades are in order this year.

Gonzales grew up in Summit Ridge, just 15 miles north of Mancos. In 1959, she graduated from college in Denver as a radiology technician and returned to Southwest Colorado to work.

She moved to Mancos in August 1960, after meeting and marrying World War II veteran and Mancos local Joe Gonzales in the same year. Joe Gonzales died in 2001.

At this year’s Mancos Days, Gonzales approaches her 64th anniversary living in the town. Her biggest joys in those 64 years have been raising her three daughters, Theresa, Lisa and Pat, and working in the Mancos School District as the elementary school secretary.

“For over 30 years, Mary Alice loved and treated every child that attended the Mancos school as her own,” said a news release sent by Ellen “Queenie” Barz, former Mancos mayor and a member of the VFW Auxiliary.

Gonzales, a devout Catholic, and is active with the local church.

“I have acquired an abundance of wonderful memories that will last me a lifetime,” she said.

This year’s Queen’s Tea to celebrate Gonzales will be held Friday, July 26, at 1 p.m. at the Mancos Community Center.

The 2024 Queen Quilt is hanging on display at the Dolores State Bank in Mancos. Tickets are $1 each or six for $5 and can be purchased at the bank from Brandi Goff or from any VFW Auxiliary member or by calling Queenie at (970) 749-9320 or Bev at (970) 759-1332.

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