RIDGWAY BRIEFS | Heritage Days/Ranch Rodeo Planned for June
by Peter Shelton
Feb 24, 2013 | 1689 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print

RIDGWAY – Ridgway Area Chamber of Commerce member Gale Ingram introduced town council on Wednesday to a new event scheduled for June. “It’s called Heritage Days and Ranch Rodeo,” Ingram said. On Saturday, June 15, organizers are planning a parade down Sherman Street (Hwy 62), though they don’t yet have the go-ahead from CDOT.

Ingram was asking, well in advance, for permission from the town to use Hartwell Park for “a band and dance and lights” on Saturday night. “Then on Sunday, we want to have a fireman’s pancake breakfast, a church tent, the farmer’s market, cowboy poetry.

“The rodeo itself will not be like the bull-riding pro rodeo at Labor Day; this will be real working ranch hands competing in events based on the kinds of things cowboys do every day.”

Ingram said, “Support so far has been tremendous, from sponsors and from the ranching community.”


Wearing another hat, Ridgway Area Chamber of Commerce stalwart Gale Ingram informed town council last week that the highly successful fall parking lot sale, run most recently by the Ridgway-Ouray Community Council, is being handed off to RACC.

“ROCC will organize (and profit from) the bigger May sale,” Ingram said. But the two groups have agreed that the Chamber will take over the fall event. Probable date: October 12. The event uses town property north of the Library.


Ridgway’s kids’ mountain bike club has branched out, gone independent, and changed its name. New organizers Jill and Ryan Valentich came before town council last week to discuss an April 13 fundraiser for the group, a scavenger hunt through town on bikes, that will require some permissions from the town council.

Please note, Ryan Valentich said, that the outfit is now called Ridgway Area Mountainike School, or RAMS. When the program started three years ago, it was affiliated (primarily for insurance reasons) with DEVO of Durango. “We followed in their footsteps,” Valentich said, “but now we’ve branched out on our own.”

“We’re now operating under the Voyager Youth Program here in Ridgway,” said Jill Valentich.

RAMS will organize, as DEVO did in the past, multi-week mountain bike training and travel sessions for local kids ages 6 to 18 – “but really anyone who can handle a 20-inch wheel size,” said coach Sara Ballantyne, a three time World Champion.


Longtime Ridgway resident, former town council member, and political gadfly Tom McKenney appeared before council last Wednesday to urge members to become more actively involved in the county’s revision of Section 9 of the Land Use Code, the controversial visual impact regulations.

McKenney stressed the importance of the upcoming public hearing at which the County Planning Commission will present, finally, results of its three years’ work to update the code.

“I was going to ask you guys to take a stand on this,” McKenney said. “But this is possibly not an appropriate time. I would ask that you consider these facts: that citizens of the Town of Ridgway are also full citizens of the county; that the town and the county have an intergovernmental agreement that stipulates we [the town] take the growth while the county retains its ranchland open space; and Ridgway has gone out of its way to accept all the growth that’s come our way.

“Become involved,” McKenney pleaded. “Attend the meeting.” It is coming up Tuesday, Feb. 26, 7 p.m., at the 4H Event Center. “And speak for Ridgway. Be leaders for us.”

McKenney didn’t say what side of the issue he wanted council members to speak for, but did mention Ouray County’s responsibility, and opportunity, to protect its scenic assets.

Mayor John Clark was the only councilman to respond, and he did not commit town government to participating in the county process. Choosing his words carefully, he said, “It’s a very good debate to be having. Everyone should get informed and get involved.”


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