DEL NORTE— Highway 160 leading through Del Norte was packed with people lining the sides of the road on Saturday morning as crowds ventured to town for the annual Covered Wagon Days. Traffic was diverted as early at 9:20 a.m. in preparation for the parade, as people began to wander the streets, looking through antique shops, the Rio Grande Museum, High Valley Community Center and local stores where several activities and sales were taking place.
The day was bright and clear, with rain scheduled for the afternoon, which just so happened to stay at bay long enough for the important festivities to take place. Main Street was full of vendors selling various goods and an information booth set up to give guests an idea of the activities in store for the day and a brief history of the town and celebrations. An old fashion car show was set up near the back of the street to the north and an announcer’s booth placed right in front of the old well to the south. Everything sat underneath an enormous American flag that waved in a light breeze, adding the finishing touches to this year’s theme.
The day began with the annual book sale put on by the Del Norte Public Library, which is one of the most popular events that takes place during the Covered Wagon Days festivities. The book sale begins as early as 6 a.m. with eager book lovers already standing in line; it’s the only fundraising event the library holds throughout the year. Huge flatbed trailers were placed in the parking lot outside the library adorned with boxes upon boxes of books of every shape and size. The ladies handling the book sales stayed busy throughout the day with a never-ending line of people filling their bags with books of all sorts.
During the book sale, the High Valley Community Center hosted the annual Val Alto Pancake Breakfast where hungry guests came to get a tasty treat before the day’s festivities. The Del Norte Fire Department was transformed into a cafeteria for their annual barbecue fundraiser where they welcomed hundreds of hungry guests after the parade for hamburgers and hotdogs and their annual biscuit throw, which is always a fun time for the entire family.
The Rio Grande Museum opened their doors for guests to come and enjoy some ice cream while wandering some new exhibits and art from local artists. Saguache artist Wade Collins is featured throughout the month. Other exhibits included a Vietnam Veterans exhibit titled “Band of Brothers” in honor of those who served from the county and artifacts collected from the renowned Bunker Site.
The day was full of fun and celebrations as Del Norte went back in time to recognize their roots, keeping true to their western heritage and bringing the community a celebration that will be talked about for years to come. Covered Wagon Days was a great way to say goodbye to summer and welcome the coming fall with activities that families from around the Valley were able to come and enjoy.
See more photos on Page 7A.