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Bayfield Hosting First Block Party on Thursday

crowds enjoying the bayfield block party downtown

Photo courtesy Bayfield Chamber of Commerce
Bayfield Block Parties will fill Mill Street in downtown Bayfield during the third Thursday of the month in May, June, July, and August.

The first Bayfield Block Party of the season will kick off on Thursday night.

Now in their fourth year, the block parties showcase downtown Bayfield and its small-town atmosphere.

Thursday night’s entertainment will be provided by the Jelly Belly Boogie Band, with beer sales benefiting the Friends of the Pine River Library. The beer tents at each party are organized by the Bayfield Chamber of Commerce, with volunteers from local non-profits working at the tent to raise funds for their groups.

The block parties are successful because they’re a low-key family event, said Brenna Morlan, who is the president of the Bayfield Chamber of Commerce and also a trustee on the town board. “You can bring your kids and kind of relax and have a good time and hang out with people you like. There’s good music and good food, and you can check out local businesses.”

Also this summer, the Bayfield Downtown Farmers Market will return on Thursday evenings, starting on June 20, which is the evening of the second block party. Beer sales on that date benefit the Bayfield Chamber of Commerce, with music by Midnight Backhand.

The town and chamber partner with local volunteers and businesses to organize the events. Jackie Morlan, a longtime community organizer, helped start both the downtown farmers market and the block parties, receiving an award from the Downtown Colorado, Inc. for her efforts and other local involvement. DCI is a statewide nonprofit organization that provides methods for revitalizing the local economy in Colorado’s communities. Morlan received the 2019 Governor’s Award for Downtown Excellence, also known as the “Downtowner of the Year” honor.

“We are a growing community, and we need and want local events,” she said, adding that one reason for organizing the first parties was simple. “It was for people to have fun.” The events were successful and have grown every year since.

The farmers markets promote local agriculture, creators, artisans and musicians from 4:30 to 7 p.m. on Thursdays on the corner of Mill Street and Bayfield Parkway. More information about the Farmers Market is online at www.bayfielddowntwonfarmersmarket.org.

“People in Bayfield like playing in Bayfield and doing Bayfield things,” Jackie Morlan said. The block parties and farmers markets “keep people in our community, and they get to know each other,” thus building relationships and partnerships among neighbors.

The idea for the parties came after a study suggested that Bayfield needed some smaller community gatherings to augment the big events in town, including Yard Sale Day on the first Saturday of June, the annual Fourth of July celebration, and Bayfield Heritage Days and Sheep Trailing on the last weekend of September. The Pine River Festival is another new event, celebrating its second anniversary this year on Saturday, Aug. 3 in Eagle Park in downtown Bayfield.

“Each year it has been getting more popular, with more people attending, as well as more booths you can visit,” said Bayfield Mayor Matt Salka. “I am looking forward to this week’s block party and hope to see you all out there!”

Photo courtesy Bayfield Chamber of Commerce
Bayfield Town Manager Chris La May, center, greets residents and visitors during a Bayfield Block Party. The events kick off this year on Thursday, May 16.

Bayfield Town Manager Chris La May, center, greets residents and visitors during a Bayfield Block Party. The events kick off this year on Thursday, May 16.

Each Bayfield Block Party starts at 6 p.m. and runs until 8 p.m.  The July 18 party features the band Alchemy Jack, with the Be FRANK Foundation receiving the proceeds from the beer sales. The parties wrap up on Aug. 15, featuring music by Carbon Red, with beer sales benefiting Pine River Shares. Readers are welcome to stop by the 360Durango booth on Thursday to meet staff members and provide input on future projects being developed for the website.

Sponsors for this year’s Block Parties are Mercy Family Medicine, Lewis True Value Mercantile, Bayfield Pharmacy, Pine River Library, Energy Inspection Services, Upper Pine River Fire Protection District, TBK Bank, TDL Recycling, Mill Street Salon, the Billy Goat Saloon, Music Masters, Knot Your Average Thread, Zen Cowboy and Pine River Chiropractic. Food vendors include Bounty for the Belly and the Grub Hub at the Goat.

For more information or vendor applications, contact Bayfield Town Hall at 884-9544 or visit www.bayfieldgov.org. For more information on other Bayfield Chamber events, visit www.bayfieldbusiness.org.


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