Beyond the water crisis in Mancos

Mancos has survived another setback. Water has been restored, and we can all breathe easier.

But, now is the time that we need to consider the importance of shopping local. Our small businesses run on a shoestring as it is, and winter is their most challenging season. Restaurants and coffee houses were hit the hardest because they couldn't open. Perishable foods had to be dealt with, which created another level of loss, not to mention the employees who couldn't earn a paycheck. So, let's pull together and give our local shopkeepers some of our business.

There are fun and entertaining community events coming up that can help us accomplish that goal. The Millwood Follies is set for Feb. 22. There are no reservations, and you will need to get there early if you want to find a seat. You can call the Millwood for information at 970-533-7338.

The Mancos Melt is around the corner, too. It kicks off with a wine tasting at Olio Wine Food and Art Restaurant on March 13 from 5 to 8 p.m. We are celebrating the roaring 20s, and there will be prizes for the best flapper and zoot suit outfits. This year's Mancos Melt is also a fundraiser for the Mancos Valley Historical Society. The fun begins Thursday, but there is a costume fashion and talent show Friday, a parade and bed races on Grand Avenue, plus the popular putt-putt golf tournament on Saturday.

The Chamber had its annual social and celebration for the Citizen of the Year. The Mancos Valley Lions Club was acknowledged for its many years of commitment to providing the 9Health Fair in Mancos as well as the numerous scholarships to graduating seniors. The Lions Club also provides assistance to people who need help with hearing or vision medical services.

The Chamber also celebrated accomplishments for the year. It helped fund several community projects: Chicken Creek Nordic Ski Area, Balloon Festival, Mancos Valley Arts Round-up, the Mancos Valley Chorus, Four Corners Recycling and Sugar Pine Ranch Rally. The Chamber of Commerce collaborated with the Town of Mancos in beautification projects along the Highway 160 corridor. It also initiated the mural project, which resulted in a Western mural on the Mancos Liquor Building. These were efforts to encourage people to leave the highway and explore Mancos. The Chamber now has a Mancos Travel Guide app available free through the Apple iPad store. Cody Edwards, of Touch Point Designs and the Chamber Board of Directors, donated his time to create the guide. The Chamber will be working with Edwards to update the guide annually.

Remember: Think local and shop local.