Several thousand people flooded downtown Mancos streets and parks last weekend for the 59th annual Mancos Days celebration.
“We’re having a blast. A lot of people come back to Mancos for this event to reconnect with friends and family,” said organizer Lacey Murphy, president of the Mancos Days Association.
Mancos Days kicked off Thursday with a flag football tournament put on by the Mancos High School football team. The four 7-member teams, two from Mancos (KTA and Da Rookies) and two from Farmington (Str8 Rippin and Farmington Flag Warriors), competed in a double-elimination bracket. Str8 Rippin ended up taking the win over FFW.
Because of the construction on the Mancos School District campus, the tournament was moved from the football field to Boyle Park, so preparations were a little hectic. The games quickly turned competitive, but all ended well.
“In the end, everyone had fun,” Murphy said. “We are happy the kids want to get involved, and we were very happy to have groups come from out of town. With a little more organization and planning, I think it could be a great event in the future.”
The cost was $30 to enter, with proceeds split between the Mancos High School football team and the Mancos Days Association.
On Friday morning, the kids parade launched the day’s events. Mancos residents Heather Cannon and her son James Roemer were just two of many who lined Grand Avenue to watch the parade. Roemer said he loves “basically everything” about Mancos Days, and Cannon agreed. She said she likes how it brings people together and has been participating for years.
“I love the fact that everyone comes home,” Cannon said. “(Mancos Days) brings a lot of people to town.”
The parade had three separate categories: float and trailer, individual and horse riding. Tammy Davison and Christina Evans judged each section, and the winners were announced later in Boyle Park.
When asked about what they look for in the kids parade, Davison and Evans answered in unison, “creativity.” The winners for each category were Victoria Lewis for the “A Little Piece of Kids Heaven” trailer, Sienna Small for “A Sweet Piece of Heaven” in the individual section, and the Robbins Memorial Arena group in the horse riding section.
After the parade, kids games were held in Boyle Park. The games featured various races, a watermelon-eating contest and no shortage of prizes, with plenty more activities planned for the rest of the day, including a magician in the afternoon.
The teen movie night was a hit, Murphy said. Around 50 kids joined for the Boyle Park screening of “Texas Chainsaw Massacre.”
On Saturday morning, an early morning 5K Fun Run got the fun started. There also was a festive parade down Grand Avenue, a classic car show and a variety of sporting events at Boyle Park.
The 5k run turned out to be a huge success, with the biggest turnout ever with 76 runners, Murphy said. It was sponsored by Run+Hike, an outdoor running and adventuring in downtown Cortez.
“We had 76 racers this year, up from 50 last year,” said 5K organizer Darrin Dennison, of Run+Hike.
Over at the popular cornhole tournament, friends and neighbors teamed up to throw bean bags toward a hole in platforms several yards away.
“I pitch softball, so I got the throwing rhythm down,” said Raymanda Frost, whose aim was on the money several times.
“It’s a fun game with friends and family, and any age can play,” added TJ Stastny, of Durango.
Winners in the cornhole tournament were Shad Bellmire and Randy Smith, with second place going to Evan and Miles Frost.
The team of Sheri Franchini and Justina Whited won the horseshoe tournament.
Twenty-three teams competed in the horseshoe-throwing contest, said Justina Whited. “It’s a classic summer game.”
The volleyball tournament also kicked off Saturday morning with 23 registered teams. Team Crunchy Toast came out on top.
And at the park, 41 crafts and food vendors set up under sunny skies, and business was swift.
“The event brings a lot of revenue to town,” Murphy said.
Chavalo’s restaurant won first place in Saturday’s parade for its Mexico-themed float. Second place went to Grand Marshal and Citizen of the Year, Andrew Saletta, and third place went to the Four Corners Backcountry Horsemen.
Live music hit the bars Saturday, including at the Columbine and Mancos Brewing Co.