by Larry Patrick
WALSENBURG- The 13th annual Black Diamond Jubilee, celebrating the history of coal mining, has great plans for downtown Walsenburg on Fri. June 19 – Sun. June 21. The Huerfano County Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring the annual event on W. 5th and 6th Streets with a carnival set up at Heritage Park and with over 25 vendors. Because traffic has been re-routed through Walsenburg, due to roadwork on I-25, the chamber will be unable to have a parade kick-off this year.
The chamber is taking applications now to participate in the third annual Black Diamond Grand Prix coal cart races on W. 6th in front of the Mining Museum Fri. from 6-8 p.m. Kids 5-17 and adults can enter, and there is a business challenge class as well. Participants can build carts or use wagons, beds, tricycles or other non-motorized vehicles on wheels. One person rides while two people push. Rules and entry forms are available at Mike’s Coffee Barn at 304 W. 7th, San Isabel Appliance at 122 W. 6th or at the Chamber office in the old train depot.
Friday is also the day for the Black Diamond Jail lockup. For just $5 you can have a friend, family member or colleague arrested in the low-security jail set up on the street. Those jailed need to get others to donate some money to get them out. The Black Diamond judge will set the bail amount. It is an excellent way to find out if you have any friends who would bail you out in the event you ever go into a real jail. It’s a fundraiser to help the Chamber provide other events during the year. You can call Patty Corsentino at San Isabel Appliance, 738-1808 to have someone locked up.
There will be a dance on Fri. night on W. 6th featuring the Slow Burning band. The dance, beer garden and vendors go until midnight.
On Sat. from 11 to midnight, there will be vendors galore, the beer garden, the carnival and lots of great entertainment. You can tour the Mining Museum and the Museum of Friends or cool off at Walsenburg Wild Waters Aquatic Park on W. 7th. The Colgate Country Showdown will be held outside on stage on W. 6th beginning at 1 pm featuring many talented individuals and groups vying for a chance at a recording contract if they reach the national finals. Sat. night the Silver Eagle Band performs for a street dance from 9 to midnight.
Sunday is another fun day with the vendors, cow pie bingo and carnival from 9 to 3.
For safety, since the carnival is at Heritage Park and requires crossing the street, it’s a great idea to caution children to cross the street at the street light at 5th and Main.
The Black Diamond Jubilee is a huge undertaking by the Huerfano County Chamber of Commerce to celebrate the history of Walsenburg. Community pride and community participation can make it a proud and successful event. If you want to help the Chamber by volunteering, call their office at 738-1065.
One of the refrains I have often heard over the years of living in small towns across America is that, “There isn’t anything to do.” For Black Diamond Jubilee weekend in Walsenburg, there is much to do, even play cowpie bingo. Best of all, you might bump into some real nice people you didn’t know or haven’t seen for awhile. That, my friends, can really be priceless!