Chamber's gearing up for half-marathon, Arts Roundup

Attending the Mancos Valley Chamber of Commerce Board meeting on Thursday, April 10, were several people who said it was time to get ready for some of our coming events.

Ben Hahn was there representing the Cowboy Half-Marathon. The Chamber of Commerce is helping with the event and will sponsor the beer garden and the awards ceremony at the Visitor Center. Hahn has been very busy getting other sponsorships for the event, organizing publicity and locating food vendors.

He said the event is set for Saturday, May 17, at Boyle Park in Mancos. This will be the first annual Mancos Cowboy Half-Marathon. The race starts at 10 a.m. This year's official sponsor is Bank of Colorado. The race will feature live music by the Jelly Belly Boogie Band as well as $2,000 in prize money. Further, there will be custom awards by local artists. Also, there will be an award given for best-dressed in cowboy and cowgirl attire.

Hahn said racers are signing up, but he's still looking for volunteers. He needs people to work at the aid stations along the route. If you are interested in helping out, you can stop by the Visitor Center and sign up or call 970-0533-7434. You can also visit www.cowboyhalfmarathon.com.

The Mancos Valley Arts Council was also in attendance to report on progress for two of its major events. The Great Mancos Arts Roundup, which takes place on Saturday, June 14, is an artist studio tour event. The annual Arts Festival is held in conjunction with the Balloon Festival in September. Dian Law, of the Arts Council, said the Arts Roundup has been highly successful in bringing visitors to Mancos. Jan Wright, also from the Arts Council, reported that this is the time of year the Council begins organizing for the Art Fest and that it too is an event that is successful in bringing visitors to Mancos and helping them to find a reason to stay and shop. She said that the Arts Council plans to expand the event so that it offers music and entertainment as well as art demonstrations and hands-on activities for kids and grown-ups, too.

The Chamber will help with the Art Roundup by providing the headquarters at the Visitor Center so that people can pick up maps of the participating artist studios and learn details about the event. The Chamber will also help with marketing these events.

As the Chamber of Commerce and the Visitor Center gear up for all these event and activities, the need for volunteers becomes very apparent. Become a Mancos Valley Ambassador and get involved with fun summer projects at the Visitor Center, 101 E. Bauer. Call 970-533-7434 with you questions or stop the Visitor Center any time between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Marianne Griffin is the executive director of the Mancos Valley Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center, 101 E. Bauer Ave. Visit www.mancosvalley.com or contact her at 533-7434. You can also visit chamber@mancosvalley.com for more information.