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Dolores River Festival: Economic Boost, Better Community

4/11/2022

The annual Dolores River Festival not only provides the town of Dolores with an economic boost every June, it supports grassroots projects like recycling, trail-building, and river restoration. This story is sponsored by Keesee Motors and FASTSIGNS

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The Annual Dolores River Festival in June is much more than a celebration of music, food and the Dolores River. It's also the catalyst for sustainable community improvement projects throughout the Greater Dolores area. You're watching the Local News Network brought to you by Keesee Motors and Fast Signs. I'm Wendy Graham Settle. When the music starts playing and the hula hoop start whirling at the 17th Annual Dolores Music Festival on June 4th. Members of Greater Dolores Action start thinking about the projects they can undertake to make their little town and surrounding areas a better place to live. Greater Dolores Action is the sponsor and beneficiary of the festival's proceeds, and it's a grassroots nonprofit that helps area residents with good ideas to improve the community with planning, funding and manpower. You might call Greater Dolores Action an incubator for good.

We're a project-driven organization. We don't have members. People don't pay dues. Although we'd love the money. But that comes with obligations. What do you get as a member and what people get from GDA for the community in our mission is we say, "Hey, how about this project?" You know, whether it's informational signs on the river path or informational signs with the McPhee Overlook Trail or signs on Boggy Draw or pulling metal out of the river or the Dolores River Festival is a project, and it enhances the town and enhances the community. So, we look at a project, we say, "How can we make this happen? What do we need?" People. Money." We try to get it together. Make it happen.

Greater Dolores Action began in 1996 as a grassroots effort by local residents who were concerned about the lack of community planning in town. The group wrote a number of action plans to manage growth and preserve the town's historic and small town character. And one of their first successes was designation of Downtown Dolores as a historic district. the group has worked with local, state and federal agencies to designate four non-motorized trails in the Boggy Draw area. Provide interpretive signs on the McPhee Overlook Trail and the Dolores Town Trail on the river. Remove 12 and 1/2 tons of scrap metal from the Dolores River to improve fish habitat and rafting safety, and provide seed money and grants to start a recycling program in Dolores. But the Dolores River Festival is one of the organization's biggest continuous projects that benefits the town.

I'm someone who values community service. You know, I've been in public service a fair amount of my life. And so, a way to to give back to the place you live, I think it's important to do that.

The festival features two stages. Nine bands, river rides, a children's play zone, local food and beer and local vendors. It runs from 10:00 am until dark on Saturday, June 4th at Joe Rowell Park. For ticket and camping information, visit doloresriverfest.org. Thanks for watching this edition of the Local News Network. I'm Wendy Grahams Settle.

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