The Mount Lookout Grange will welcome spring to Montezuma County with its annual Mancos Bloom fundraiser on May 20.
One of two regular fundraisers for the Grange, the Bloom has become a Mancos tradition over the past four years. This year’s event will feature live music, local food vendors, a maypole dance and other family-oriented activities. All proceeds from food and drink sales will go to fund the Grange’s operating costs.
Grange president Kathryn Fulton said the Bloom, along with the other annual fundraiser, a fall pig roast, is an important source of income for the organization.
“It helps keep the lights on,” she said.
Last year’s event raised about $900 for the Grange, and Fulton said she hopes to beat that number this year.
She said the Grange, like its nationwide counterparts in the Order of Patrons of Husbandry, is designed to be a central gathering place for locals, particularly those in the agriculture industry. In addition to renting out the building on Grand Avenue for local meetings and events, the Grange operates the Mancos FoodShare pantry and hosts social gatherings like the monthly Community Suppers.
When it first started, the Bloom was scheduled to coincide with the monthly supper, board member Jordan Lang said. In 2017, it became a separate event and was expanded to include live music and more barbecue-style food.
“It’s a way to bring in the spring,” Grange member Betsy Harrison said.
One highlight of each Bloom is a traditional maypole dance, in which participants wrap long ribbons around a pole in a choreographed dance traditionally done on May 1. Lang said the Grange used to hold the Bloom closer to the beginning of the month, but the weather often felt more like winter than spring.
“It’s so weather-dependent,” she said. “We used to do it closer to Mother’s Day or May Day, but we would still have snow or rain.”
In addition to the maypole dance, this year’s event will include performances by The String Theory, Kevin Frazier and Hurricane Jake; food from local producers like Berto Farm and Mountain Pasture Meats; and beer and cider from Mancos Brewing Company, Dolores River Brewery and Fenceline Cider.
There will be a kids’ tent with face painting and insect-themed crafts, as well as yard games for the whole family.
There is no entry fee for the event, only the cost of food and beverages from the vendors. All proceeds from sales will go to the Grange.