Covered Wagon Days begins tonight


DEL NORTE — Summertime events in the San Luis Valley continue with Del Norte’s annual Covered Wagon Days, which kicks off tonight, Thursday, August 2, with a potluck and concludes Sunday, August 5 with a community church service in the park.

This year’s theme is “Women of the West,” and the Saturday parade will carry it through, as will the Rio Grande County Museum, which is featuring an exhibit on the theme.

Begin celebrating Del Norte’s annual community event tonight, Aug. 2, with the Meet Your Neighbor potluck dinner at 6 p.m. at River Valley Inn at 1335 6th Street, Del Norte. This event is hosted by the Del Norte Ministerial Alliance.

Also enjoy a quilt show at Kathy’s Fabric Trunk, Columbia Street and Grande Avenue in Del Norte.

Events continue Friday night, August 3, with the SLV Veterans’ Benefit Pig Roast Dinner and live auction at the big tent next to Jack’s Market in Del Norte. Dinner begins at 6 p.m., and there will be a live auction to benefit veterans as well. Live music will be provided by Fred Hargrove and Odin Dean.

Saturday, August 4, will be a full day of events, with something for everyone to enjoy in Del Norte.

The Saturday celebration begins with the Bees Knees 5K Trail Run/Walk beginning at 7 a.m. The race will begin and end on Hwy 160 (Grande Ave.) at the High Valley Community Center (same location as last year), also the site of the Val Alto Pancake Breakfast. Racers will begin on pavement, proceed to the dirt trail around D-Mountain, and then back on pavement around the Del Norte Elementary and Middle School to 160 to the finish. Prizes will be awarded. Entry fee is $15 before Saturday and $20 the day of the race. Contact Laura Haefeli at 719-849-1356 or register at

Also on Saturday morning enjoy a hearty pancake breakfast. Val Alto Study Club of Del Norte invites everyone to the 41st year of its annual pancake breakfast on Saturday August 4, from 7-9 a.m. It is held at the High Valley Community Center on Columbia Street. Pancakes, sausages, and drinks are included. Prices are $6 for adults and $3 for kids. All proceeds are donated back into the community. For information call Suzie 719-657-2350.

Save room for pie, or at least buy one to eat later. The Ruth Marie Center on Columbia Street will host a pie sale at 8 a.m. on Saturday.

The last parade of the Valley’s summertime events, Covered Wagon Days will feature the theme “Women of the West,” at 10 a.m. on Saturday morning. There is no entry fee for the parade, but all entries must register by Friday evening at Parade lineup and number pick-up will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday at the intersection of Sixth and Cedar Street to the east. The parade starts at 10 a.m. at Columbia Street and Grande (Hwy 160.)

After the parade join the Del Norte Fire Department for a barbecue at 11 a.m. at the firehouse at 880 Grande Avenue.

The popular car show also begins at 11 a.m. on Columbia Street.

From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Rio Grande County Museum, 580 Oak Street, will host its popular ice cream social with donations accepted for museum projects.

Not to be outdone on the frozen treats front, the Tractor Club will sell homemade ice cream at 11 a.m. at Columbia and Grande.

All day check out local businesses during the Merchant Open House and find bargains at the Del Norte Library’s book sale, which will run from 7 a.m. to noon at 790 Grande Avenue.

Women of Rio Grande County exhibit will open at the Rio Grande County Museum on August 4. The exhibit includes evening and wedding dresses worn by women of Rio Grande County and donated to the museum by either themselves or family members. Museum hours on Saturday will be from 10 a.m. to at least 4 p.m. The museum is located at 580 Oak Street in Del Norte, just south of the one stop light in town. For more please call at (719) 657-2847 or check their Facebook page at Rio Grande County Museum.

Children can enjoy the Kids Bike Safety Rodeo at noon at Kristi Mountain Sports, 690 Grande Avenue, and kids of all ages can enjoy hay wagon tours and rides beginning at noon and departing from Oak Street across from the Rio Grande County Museum.

Also check out the Mountain Man Encampment/Dutch Oven Cooking Demonstration near the big tent east of Jack’s Market, Grande Avenue. Also near the big tent will be a tractor pull by the SLV Antique Iron Club at 1 p.m.

Enjoy live entertainment Saturday afternoon with the Seven Falls Indian Dancers at 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. at the big tent east of Jack’s Market on Grande Avenue.

Those not brave enough to participate can watch the fun Del Norte High School Mud Volleyball Tourney in the Park at the northwest corner of Spruce Street and Second Street at 2 p.m.

A barbecue with music will begin at 4 p.m. at the Mystic Biscuit, 14475 Highway 160.

Close out Saturday’s festivities with a concert and dance with Michael Hearne and South By Southwest at 7 p.m. in the big tent at Jack’s Market, Grande Avenue.

Covered Wagon Days events will close out Sunday, August 5 with the Fly In and Breakfast at the Kent Rominger Regional Airport in Del Norte at 8 a.m. and Church Service in the park at 10 a.m.