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Town residents celebrate community at Mancos Days festival

Three-day Mancos Days festival raises money for citizens in need

The weather in Mancos was cloudy and sometimes wet on the last weekend of July, but that didn’t stop Mancos residents from enjoying the 2017 Mancos Days festival.

Friday’s festivities focused on the kids, with a children’s parade and several games geared toward younger people.

But the busiest day of the weekend was Saturday, which had more events for adults. Hundreds of people from the town and surrounding areas participated in a color run, a parade and softball and volleyball tournaments that continued through Sunday, raising money to help their neighbors along the way.

Both days featured morning parades down Main Street, but most of the action took place in Boyle Park, which was covered in a colorful forest of vendor tents selling jewelry, ice cream and a wide variety of local food.

On Saturday, the park was also packed with people, as players from Mancos, Durango and beyond competed in softball, volleyball, disc golf and other sports.

Local musicians provided a soundtrack to the festivities in the park and played evening concerts at other venues around town.

In past years, the festival has been organized by the Mancos town board, but this year that responsibility passed to a group of volunteers called the Mancos Colorado Days Association, led by Daria Sparks. They used the event to raise money for local youth sports and Mancos residents in need.

Sparks estimated about $2,000 of the softball entry fees would go to the Mancos Booster Club, an after-school sports program that helped put on the tournament, and the event also raised about $500 to help with a resident’s cancer treatments.

Ewa Bell, another member of the Association, said the group would distribute other proceeds from the event to people in need throughout the year.

“We’re reaching out to community and kids,” she said. “If someone’s house burns down, we’ll make a donation towards that.”

Mayor Queenie Barz said on Saturday she thought the newly formed group did an “awesome job” with Mancos Days.

“It’s marvelous,” she said. “We’ve got a good crowd ... the kids’ parade yesterday was the biggest we’ve had in a long, long time.”

Sparks said she heard plenty of positive feedback from people who attended the event, but next year she plans to advertise more in advance. As far as the actual festivities go, she plans to stick to tradition for future Mancos Days.

“I think we’ll keep it the way it was with little modifications,” she said.

“I wouldn’t change anything.”

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