GET FIT FOR FUN! By Caitlin Switzer REGIONAL— (May 15) In some communities, a single summer event can be cause for celebration. In Western Colorado, the menu of summertime fun is typically so full that just choosing an “entrée” can take days. This June is no exception—from the Tribute to Western Movies Day at Museum of the Mountain West on June 8 and the Welcome Home Montrose No Barriers Week June 11-17, to the Ridgway Heritage Days and Ranch Rodeo June 15-16, to the Habitat for Humanity “Rollin’ on a River” celebration June 22, locals and visitors will enjoy four weeks of high-energy fun, Colorado style.
If you love history and the Old West, turn back the clock and head over to Museum of the Mountain West, located at Highway 50 and Miami Road, on June 8. The Museum has been holding its signature “Tribute to Western Movies Day” event for four years, drawing guests from all over the world in search of the elusive essence of the Wild, Old West. This year’s theme will be Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, with speaker Bill Betenson, Cassidy’s great-grand-nephew and author of Butch Cassidy: My Uncle-A Family Portrait (High Plains Press, 2012). The tribute will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with a host of dedicated volunteers bringing history to life. Expect gunfights, demonstrations of skills such as blacksmithing, candlemaking, rug and barrel making, spinning, music and meals from the “old days,” and plenty of folks dressed in period costumes strolling around.
“It will be fun and interesting,” said Museum of the Mountain West board member Carolyn Bellavance. “It’s a great chance to learn more about Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and what really happened to them.”
Admission will be just $10 for adults and $5 for school-aged children, with a special $25 group rate for immediate families. In addition to the festivities, visitors can enjoy the museum’s collection of 25 historic buildings and more than 500,000 original relics.
Over the week of June 11-17, Montrose welcomes some very special guests to town—30 medically-retired U.S. service members will arrive in town to take part in the first annual Welcome Home Montrose No Barriers Week. They will take part in activities that include kayaking, horseback riding, rafting, fishing, hiking, golf and archery as well as photography, treasure hunting with metal detectors and even hot air ballooning and panning for gold, and experience for themselves the diverse culture of the Uncompahgre Valley. These warriors will be able to access art, music and massage therapies, and each day will begin and conclude at the Warrior Resource Center at Park Avenue and Main Street. This is the community’s chance to assess where gaps exist in veterans’ services, and demonstrate the rich diversity of resources available to our nation’s veterans.
The project is being coordinated by Tim Kenney of Montrose, a wounded veteran himself.
“We are bringing wounded soldiers here to give them another chance to heal,” Kenney said. “As a community, we can get behind this, and help these guys get their lives back.”
To find out how you can be involved, call the Warrior Resource Center at 970-765-2210. Welcome Home Montrose-Warrior Resource Center is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization.
Over the weekend of June 15-16, it’s Ridgway’s turn to roll back the years, with its first-ever Heritage Days and Ranch Rodeo at the Ouray County Fairgrounds in Ridgway. The weekend will kick off with a non-motorized parade that is expected to include at least one camel. Ridgway Area Chamber of Commerce Administrator Gale Ingram, who is organizing the events, said that the rodeo will include ten teams of competitors. In addition to the ranch rodeo, there are plenty of activities for the entire family, including a mini-gymkhana, barrel racing and a mounted shooting exhibition on Saturday afternoon followed by a 4H sponsored “Meet the Animals” event and a tent dance in Hartwell Park Saturday night.
On Sunday, a day in the park (11 a.m. to 4 p.m.) complete with a children’s section, blacksmith demos, music, poetry, Ute Indian hoop dancing and drum performances and a cowboy gathering, begins with a pancake breakfast and Church in the Park from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Although the event itself is new, Heritage Days and Ranch Rodeo reflects the community’s origins and the ranching heritage that makes Ridgway unique and appealing to travelers, Ingram said.
“For a first time event, the support we have received has been truly amazing,” Ingram said. To learn more, contact the Ridgway Area Chamber of Commerce at 970-626-5181.
On June 22, it’s back to Montrose for the “Rollin’ on the River” roller derby benefit for Habitat for Humanity from 1 to 4 p.m. in Baldridge Park. Although this will be the sixth time Montrose has welcomed the roller derby on behalf of Habitat, it is the first time the popular event has been held at the community’s outdoor skating rink.
“We are so excited about this year’s event!” Montrose Habitat Executive Director Colleen Burke said in a news release. “Along with the Roller Derby we will have a brew fest, featuring local brewers and local food vendors–and as always, the funds raised will go toward building new Habitat homes in our community.”