Get ready for Escalante Days

Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2013 9:27 PM

Escalante Days in Dolores has evolved into a major festival this year.

A mountain bike race, motorcycle race, dancing parade, softball tournament, beer garden, firefighter water war, chainsaw competition and 15 different bands are just a sampling of the weekend's entertainment.

"It is going to be organized chaos, a real blast," said town manager Ryan Mahoney. "Town is going to be packed."

New this year is a beer garden at Joe Rowell Park and a live-band marathon from 1 p.m. to midnight at the Dolores River Brewery.

On Saturday, Vanishing Breed will rock out from 6 to 8 p.m. at the park. Proceeds from beer sales will be split between Greater Dolores Action and the Dolores Chamber.

This year there will be 40 vendors set up, Mahoney said, a record number.

Not to be missed are the water wars between the Dolores, Mancos and Rico fire departments.

"They try to move a ball with water with various distraction strategies against the opposing team," Mahoney said.

Mark Youngquist, owner of the Dolores River Brewery, and Moe Coole, of the Moetones, wanted to bump up the action this year by showcasing local bands at the brewery's outdoor music venue.

"It was time to offer something more this year and try to evolve the event," Youngquist said. "It's a chance for local bands to all play together."

Playing in order beginning at 1:30 p.m. are Brett Pejsa, Moriah Woods, Bees Knees, Mason Cherry, The Tomlynns, Not Quite Dry, Little Brother, The Moetones, Rhythm Method, The Porchlights, The Lindells, The Mud Flaps and The Crags.

Each band will play for 40 minutes. The cover charge is $5.

"We hatched the idea for a music festival-type event a year ago, and Escalante Days seemed like the perfect time to make it all happen," said event organizer Moe Coole. "We have a great lineup showing off our excellent local music scene. It is going to be a magical day and night of great music."

Check out the trials motorcycle race from the Fourth Street Bridge on Saturday after the parade and on Sunday in Lost Canyon. Part of the course is riding through an abandoned house.

KKDC "D'Crow" 93.3 FM will be broadcasting live at Joe Rowell Park on Friday featuring Louis Edwards and Yesterday from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday.

Also on Friday evening is a kids parade and ice cream eating contest at the Dolores General Store. A softball tournament will be ongoing at the ball fields Saturday and Sunday.

The kids' bike rodeo will kick off at 6:30 p.m. Friday. Race-day registration for the popular Escalante Days Mountain Bike Race, which offers classes for various skill levels, will be held from 8 to 9 a.m. Saturday