SOUTH FORK- Bingo fans in South Fork survived the winter months (plus the extension due to the COVID-19 situation), and they are eager to start playing bingo on Thursday evenings. Players say, “Let’s rock and roll with those bingo cards and numbers.” The South Fork Chamber of Commerce announces that play will start on Thursday, May 28, which is one day after the Colorado governor’s last day of stay-at-home restrictions.
Play is in the South Fork Community Building on Highway 149. The doors open to the building at 6:30 p.m. and play starts at 7 p.m. and ends around 9 p.m. Tiny Timbers Restaurant will provide the concessions this year. The restaurant will serve sandwiches, iced tea, soda and coffee drinks.
The Colorado Secretary of State regulates the play of bingo when money prizes are involved. Each year, the South Fork Chamber, who sponsors the Thursday evening bingo games, must renew their bingo license as well as file quarterly reports stating the payouts, attendance counts, number of bingo packets sold and other information. The state also requires a certified game manager to be on-site for each evening of bingo. The Chamber has two game managers.
The Chamber president, L. L. Van Osdol, states, “Avid bingo players are anxious to start playing again. On the first few Thursday nights, the crowds are smaller and consist of mostly South Fork residents. Your chances of winning are, of course, higher. When summer visitors start attending, the crowds can be as high as 90-100 players each evening. Lots of families join us in the summer. One Thursday last year, four generations from the same family attended.”
Local Chamber member businesses provide prizes for a raffle at the intermissions. You receive a free raffle ticket when you purchase a packet of bingo cards. The Chamber sponsors 14 games each night, and a packet contains three cards for each game. Van Osdol states, “You have to be on your toes to track called numbers for three cards a game.”