The Dolores Chamber of Commerce is expanding Escalante Days and Nights into a two-day festival this year.
The event will kick off at noon Friday, Aug. 9, with vendors, food and beer tents set up at Flanders Park. New this year on Friday are a cross-fit competition from noon to 2 p.m., a food contest from 2 to 4 p.m., and a student performance from 4 to 5 p.m., said chamber director Susan Liksak.
There also will be an ice cream-eating contest, and a kid bike parade, rodeo and bike giveaway. The street dance will be from 7 to 9 p.m. on Central Ave. between Fourth and Fifth streets.
“It will be a big Friday night dance party,” Lisak said.
Saturday will be the traditional K9 Search and Rescue breakfast at the Dolores Fire Station, parade, softball tournament, chain saw and arm-wrestling competitions, mountain bike race, Galloping Goose rides, fishing demos, home run derby, and nine-band music festival at the Dolores River Brewery. The softball tournament continues into Sunday.
A new event this year is a tug-of-war competition between local town councils. For an Escalante Days and Nights schedule and to sign up for the parade, go to the Dolores Chamber of Commerce website.
The Dolores Mountain Bike Race will be on Saturday, Aug. 10. Riders can sign up for a 13-mile beginner route, 18-mile sport route, 33-mile expert route and 50-mile expert route. All races start and finish in town, and begin by climbing up Road 31 to the Boggy Draw trail system. The 50-mile route incorporates the new McPhee Overlook Trail. There is also a 5k run.
Every category offers an epic experience on a fast and flowing single-track course. The terrain is ideally suited for high speeds and easy passing. The routes undulate through ponderosa pines and up and over canyons through aspen groves. There is an aid station for the expert and endurance routes.
While this is a grassroots hometown event, there is no shortage of stiff competition. In past years, you would have lined up next to professional bikers John Tomac, Travis Brown and a host of other elite athletes.
The race is presented by the Rotary Club of Dolores, a nonprofit organization made up entirely of volunteers, where all proceeds go to help the community with children’s programs, scholarships and youth leadership opportunities.