Gold Rush Days 2018

Visitors to McPhelemy Park stroll among vendors during a recent Gold Rush Days celebration.

The virus situation in Chaffee County may be looking more stable, but many of the major events that Buena Vista residents look to to fill their weekend calendars in the summer are still exercising caution.

BV recreation director Earl Richmond said, “It is a little early to report on who is coming back for 2021 to host a special event in BV. Many organizers are still weighing out their options.”

Ben Eichel, who oversees the permitting of special events with the recreation department, said that the department had not yet received permit applications for events like CKS Paddlefest, which is usually set for Memorial Day weekend, or the Collegiate Peaks Rodeo, which would be celebrating its 100th anniversary this year in June.

Last year, Paddlefest moved online to host a virtual event, turning the paddlesports retailer’s web presence into a launch point for a variety of kayak and raft oriented seminars and presentations.

Buena Vista Chamber of Commerce executive director Melissa Traynham said, “As of now, the chamber plans on hosting Gold Rush Days this summer.”

That event celebrating the Old West’s heritage is usually scheduled for August, accompanying the Burro race in BV.

Last year, while the event was canceled, the burros raced on, albeit privately and without spectators.

“We plan to release more details in March regarding vendor booth purchases and other vendor information for all of our summer events,” Traynham said.

Other event organizers were more definitive: Ariel Rosemberg of Bonfire Entertainment, the producer of Campout for the Cause, said that the live music, camping and yoga festival would not be returning to the Meadows in 2021.

Sarah Stewart, organizer of Rapids & Grass Beer Festival in South Main, said, “We are not proceeding with Rapids & Grass this year. There is still too much uncertainty surrounding large events, particularly tasting events, and a bunch of our brewery friends are struggling.”

“As you can imagine, we are waiting to see how the vaccination roll outs and numbers are as we approach summer before making any definitive answers,” Traynham said.

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