The annual Mancos Days festival, a three-day town get-together that typically draws guests and vendors from all over the Four Corners, will get underway on July 27.
This will be the recently formed Mancos Colorado Days Association’s second year organizing the festival, after the town government handed it over to the group in 2017. Association president Lacey Murphy said little has changed about the festival’s schedule of events, but she and the rest of the group hope to get more Mancos area residents involved. The festival starts with a kids’ parade Friday morning, and ends with a rodeo at the Robbins Family Arena on Sunday.
Murphy said several local organizations have taken charge of individual events this year, which the town or the association would have organized in the past. On Saturday, the busiest day of the festival, Cortez store Run+Hike will organize the morning Fun Run and Mancos’s P&D Grocery will host a pancake breakfast. A Montezuma County horseshoe club, the Rocky Mountain Ringers, will run the horseshoe competition, and the Mancos Booster Club will run the annual softball tournament, which lasts all three days.
“We’re trying to keep everyone more engaged throughout the weekend,” Murphy said.
Instead of having just one day of kids’ events, Murphy said, the association plans to make family-friendly games available in Boyle Park throughout the festival. Friday will still be “kids’ day,” though, with activities for families throughout the morning and a “teen movie in the park” at night.
Some events that debuted last year will be returning for this year’s festival, including the corn hole tournament and the kids’ magic show. Festival highlights like the Saturday parade, the Mancos Days Queen’s quilt raffle and the volleyball tournament also will return.
This year’s festival theme is “A Little Piece of Heaven,” reflected in its puzzle piece logo depicting the Mancos Valley. Floats in the Mancos Days parade on Saturday, typically one of the festival’s highlights, will follow the theme, as will a line of T-shirts the association plans to sell throughout the event. The logo and theme were designed by Mancos Preschool teacher Tyra Hughes after she won a design contest last year.
Mancos Days proceeds typically go to fund local charities and other causes. Last year, the association donated some of the profits to the Mancos Booster Club and a Mancos resident who needed help with cancer treatments.
This year, Murphy said the organizers haven’t yet decided on all the beneficiaries, but they will prioritize giving back to people who helped with the event, like a group of high school students who already volunteered to pick up trash and a baseball team that signed up to run a booth.
“We’ve been giving money to organizations that want to get involved,” she said. “A lot of it will be based on their willingness to help.”
Early in the planning stages, the association set a goal of more than $33,000 in revenue from the event, but Murphy said she believes that was unrealistic. The group is still accepting sponsors to help cover the estimated $16,000 cost of the event.
The association is also accepting vendor applications through July 20, but Murphy said all food vendor slots are full. So far, about 36 businesses from Montezuma County and beyond have signed up for booth space at the event.
Murphy estimated last year’s festival drew between 1,000 and 1,200 people to Mancos. Based on the response so far to the association’s social media marketing, she said she expects a similar crowd this year.