Mark your calendars for WinterFest 2022 activities

The snow is here… more is expected and we are now ready for WinterFest! This event will take place on the weekend of January 21-23. This year’s event is full of activities for those who want to participate or just watch. There are opportunities to fundraise, involve the family in participating, or just bundle up and watch the festivities.

The Chamber welcomes these warm balloon pilots on Friday evening, January 21. We have nearly 20 registered pilots. Skis and Saddles will also welcome their registrants on Friday evening. The hot air balloons will be launched on Saturday January 22 and Sunday January 23 around 8 a.m., weather permitting, on the west side of town.

There is no launch downtown on Saturdays. Pilots will move around the areas around the PLPOA recreation center, nearby commercial parking lots, and areas with little snowfall so that they can lay out their balloon wraps with minimal exposure to damage. With all the snow this year, the photo opportunities of the snow capped mountains and lakes should be breathtaking.

The weekend festivities abound on Saturday 22. Skijor Pagosa is back with the fast and frantic pace of the event and they have a new racing venue – the Archuleta County Fairgrounds. With plenty of parking, a new course, seats and snow, this year’s Skijoring should be really rock! Come see teams compete as skilled riders with their horses pulling skiers and boarders through a timed obstacle course. It’s a fun event that you don’t want to miss. The skijoring also continues on Sunday all day.

Skis and Saddles will also host a concert on Saturday night at 7 p.m. with western musical artist Chancey William. Tickets are available in advance at

The Pagosa Nordic Club will be organizing a cross-country ski clinic on Saturday morning at 10 a.m. at Cloman Park. The location may change, so stay tuned for any changes.

At 11 a.m., animal lovers can celebrate the winter season with their pets by participating in the Barkus Parade. Dress them up in costume or just warm clothes and head to the River Walk for the parade. Participants are asked to make a small donation and they can also receive a cup of okra at The Lost Cajun. Registration requests for this event are not available on the website, but should be downloaded soon.

For nonprofits looking to raise a little extra cash, the Penguin Plunge takes place on Saturdays with registration around noon and the plunge at 1pm. Plunge application and pledge forms are available on the Chamber’s website at below the WinterFest snow globe graphic. Start fundraising now! Please contact the chamber if your organization is going to dive so we can build a list and start marketing for those groups jumping into the cold San Juan River.

Registration forms for Sledz on Rez are also available on the Chamber’s website. Sledz on Rez is hosted by the Build Pagosa building trades group. Homemade sleds descend the course from Reservoir Hill. Store-purchased sleds are not eligible, but may be changed. Find out details on their registration page. This race starts around 2:30 p.m.

On Sunday, the Pagosa Nordic group is once again organizing the annual BB Gun Biathlon. This race is for a range of ages and cross-country skiing abilities. There is a 16 km run from 10 a.m., a Kids K at 11 a.m. and a 4 km Citizens Ski from 11:30 a.m. No shooting experience is necessary and participants will have the opportunity to try their hand at target shooting 30 minutes before the scheduled start time of the race.

Most of the apps for the various WinterFest events, start times, locations and more details can be found under the WinterFest graphic on the Chamber’s home page. As we get closer to the dates for WinterFest, more information will become available; however, mark this fun weekend on your calendar.

Invite your friends from the outside over to enjoy a festive, funky and fun weekend in Pagosa Springs. You can contact the Chamber for more information at (970) 264-2360.

Marie Jo Coulehan

Marie Jo Coulehan

Mary Jo Coulehan is the Executive Director of the Pagosa Springs Chamber of Commerce and also sits on a number of state and local councils.

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