The North Fork Valley will be seeing an influx of visitors this week, June 12-14. About 350 will participate in the Rural Philanthropy Days (RPD). In addition, about 2,000 cyclists will begin arriving via McClure Pass for the Ride the Rockies (RTR) tour. The North Fork can expect more car, bike and foot traffic than usual.
For both events to pass through Delta County within the space of several days gives the towns of Hotchkiss and Paonia the opportunity to show two very diverse groups the highlights of the county at one of the most beautiful times of the year when flowers are in bloom, the air is fresh with abundant rainfall and the residents are ready to pop their heads out after a long winter.
Organizers of both events hope that this exposure opens new eyes to the delights of the valley. RPD organizer Elaine Brett said, "It is going to be a busy week. The North Fork Valley is fortunate to be hosting two great Colorado events. In the short term, our communities will see a little disruption in their day-to-day routines. Long-term we hope our visitors will come back and our service organizations and nonprofits will secure more funding to continue to do their good work. Activities like these help our local economy grow and make our community stronger."
Hotchkiss chamber president Nathan Sponseller echoes Brett's sentiments. "To my recollection, June 12-14 of this year may see the most outside visitation of any week in memory. For many of these visitors this will be their first taste of the valley. It is my hope that both events, through their successes, show off why we all love this valley so much." The Hotchkiss chamber works with the organizers of RTR, and lots of local faces will be joining in the festivities (and the work) at the fairgrounds on Thursday.