DEL NORTE — The Covered Wagon Days schedule has undergone some changes this year. The event is set to kick off on Aug. 5 with a quilt show at Kathy’s Fabric Trunk that will last throughout the weekend but instead of the annual community dinner, guests are invited to enjoy a night of music and festivities at the Del Norte River Park located just north of town.
Saturday, Aug. 7 is jam packed with events for the entire family as Del Norte honors the people of the West with its annual parade. The day starts off early with the annual Del Norte Library Book Sale at 7 a.m. The sale is the library’s only fundraising event, and all proceeds go to the library to help purchase new books, update computer equipment, and pay for activities offered by the library. The library is 103 years old and has come a long way in the last two years.
Also beginning at 7 a.m. the Val Alto pancake breakfast will be at the High Valley Community Center and the Bee’s Knees 5K walk and run will take place at 7:30 a.m. It takes participants from the High Valley Community Center up around D Mountain and back to Del Norte.
The parade kicks off with opening ceremonies on Grande Avenue at 10 a.m. and the annual Del Norte Fire Department BBQ lunch starts immediately after at the fire house on Grande Avenue. All proceeds go to help with training and equipment costs for the department.
While out enjoying the day and everything there is to do, don’t forget to swing into the Rio Grande County Museum to learn about the Woman of the West and enjoy an ice cream social at 11 a.m.
This year will also play host to Del Norte Bank’s 100-year anniversary. The bank worked with local historian and Director of the Rio Grande County Museum to compile a book about the bank’s history that will be on sale during Covered Wagon Days. The bank was created on May 9, 1921, and has grown into a substantial financial institution with branches in Del Norte and Creede.
As laws and the banking system changed, the Building and Loan changed, too. While incorporated in 1921, the Del Norte Building and Loan began its long evolution with its first change through the Federal Home Loan Bank System and the Homeowners Loan Act of 1933.
On May 14, 1934, Del Norte Building and Loan Association modified its charter to become Del Norte Federal Savings and Loan Association. While this signaled a modernization of the Building and Loan system, the mission remained the same. Assuring access to capital to build adequate housing was to be the association’s sole mission for another 70 years.
Through the years, the bank found its home in several locations including law offices, the Windsor Hotel at one point but it was not until 1960 when the bank moved into its own building next to the Del Norte Post Office and later into the building where it resides to this day in 2007.
Later in the day there will be more music and festivities at the Del Norte River Park as well as a historical hayride and a mountain man encampment. For a full list of events, visit www.coveredwagondays.com.