RIDGWAY – Ouray County’s rich ranching, mining and railroading heritage will be on full display at the second annual Ridgway Heritage Days event Sunday, June 15.
Historically, Ridgway was headquarters to the railroad that served historic mines and ranches in the area. The day’s events, jointly sponsored by the Ouray County Ranch History Museum and Ridgway Creative District, highlight the living heritage stemming from this colorful era, culminating with a free concert by cowboy crooner Michael Martin Murphey.
It kicks off with a pancake breakfast sponsored by the Ridgway Fire Department, 8-11 a.m. At noon, learn about OCRHM’s newest exhibit on area branding from a presentation at the Ridgway Community Center by local rancher Linda Ingo, followed by ranching demonstrations including horseshoeing with Jason Merkley of Dallas Creek Hoof Works and blacksmithing with Frank Anderson in the parking lot outside Town Hall, 12:30-2 p.m., and then Native American dances with the Ute Mountain Utes and Azteca Indian Dancers in Hartwell Park, just outside Ridgway Town Hall, 2-4 p.m.
Heritage Days headliner, Michael Martin Murphey takes the stage at 4:30 p.m. for a benefit concert for the Ouray County Ranch History Museum on the new stage in Hartwell Park. VIP ticketholders can also attend a pre-concert gathering and post-concert Meet and Greet with Murphey. (To purchase VIP tickets, call 970/318-1190.)
Throughout the day, from 11 a.m.-4 p.m., booths and tables will be set up in the park, where vendors will sell goods and showcase various aspects of the region’s history and heritage.
Event sponsor OCRHM is sharing booth space with the Dennis Weaver Memorial Park, where there will be refreshments, live music with Mary June Page and painting demonstrations by Alice Billings. The combined booth will be manned by the museum’s Summer Sunday Fundraiser Events artists and photographers Kate Burke, Alice Billings and Sue Williams, who will be selling art and photography and retail items to benefit the museum and the park.
Event co-sponsor RCD will also be fundraising with T-shirts and auction items and selling water and lemonade during the day, and beer and wine at the late-afternoon concert.
Additional vendors include SweetCakes selling strawberry shortcake for a Father’s Day treat in the park; Colorado West Jeeps with information and displays about historic mining and mining area tours; CSU Extension Master Gardeners including a Native Plant Master Gardener available to help answer questions and diagnose problems; a Geologist/Miner’s table displaying local minerals and rocks; the Ouray County Historical Society selling raffles for quilt and quilt demonstrations; and the Ouray County Rodeo Association hosting a membership drive in the park, and showcasing displays and information about the new grandstands and arena being built at the Ouray County Fairgrounds.
Throughout the day, the Ridgway Railroad Museum, located at the corner of Highways 550 and 62, will be open for museum tours.
This festive event is co-sponsored by Ouray County Ranch History Museumand Ridgway Creative District. Through education, historical exhibits and ranch/farm-oriented events, OCRHM endeavors increase awareness and appreciation of the rural lifestyle – past, present and future. RCD’s mission is to “weave together Ridgway’s heritage and culture with arts and creative enterprises.” It’s a good partnership.
For more information about Ridgway Heritage Days, please visit ocrhm.org/events/ridgway-heritage-days.
The weekend begins with the Ridgway Creative District’s June Moonwalk and Gallery Tour on Friday, June 13, from 6-9 p.m. Participating locations are Amber Art & Boutique, Aspen Light Glass Studio & Gallery, Cimarron Books & Coffee, Fortune Gems and Rocks Shop, Heart & Sleeve Boutique, Lupita’s Bizarre Bazaar and Sweet Bird Studio. (For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/RIdgwayMoonwalks.)