VALLEY — Two events both expecting to draw 10,000 plus attendees, one in its 41st year and the other happening in the San Luis Valley for the first time, will headline a busy Labor Day weekend locally.
The Early Iron Festival will kick off Friday night in Cole Park celebrating more that 40 years of displaying hot rod and street car vehicles, while the tiny town of Villa Grove on the north end of the SLV will play host to the Seven Peaks Music Festival. The festival will be Sept. 2-4 just west of Villa Grove and will be presented by multi-platinum entertainer Dierks Bentley and Live Nation.
Both Creede and Antonito are prepped for a weekend of fun and festivities as well.
More than 600 rodder and street car enthusiasts are expected to pour into Cole Park Friday into Saturday morning for the 41st annual Early Iron Festival. Participants will again be arriving from across Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Arizona, Utah and Kansas.
The Early Iron Festival is a three-day event starting on Friday, Sept 2 and ending on Sunday, offering good food, private events, music, slow cruising, and of course, awesome hot rods. A used book sale will also be available behind the Alamosa Public Library.
Cole Park opens at 7 a.m. Saturday when registration continues. The Alamosa Senior Citizens Center, adjacent to the park, will again offer the Early Iron breakfast from 7:30-10:30 a.m. featuring biscuits and sausage gravy, scrambled eggs and hash browns with juice, milk, coffee and tea.
A flag raising ceremony is scheduled for 9 a.m. with the “show ‘n shine” festivities beginning at 10. Nitro car burns are scheduled for 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
The annual pin stripers auction is set for 1 p.m. with a ladies tea and vintage fashion show set for 1-2:45 p.m., followed by the announcement of “show ‘n shine” winners from 3-4 p.m. when door prizes and cash awards will be presented.
Participants will attend the annual banquet at the Alamosa Recreation Center at 5:30 p.m. when the “rodders’ choice” and “ladies’ choice” winners will be announced, as well as the winners of an engine, transmission and $1,000 cash prize will be revealed.
Saturday night features the annual “slow cruise” through downtown Alamosa, drawing hundreds of onlookers.
Many show participants will participate in the annual poker run beginning at 9:15 a.m. Sunday in Cole Park to cap the 2022 event.
Seven Peaks features headlines Bentley and Morgan Wallen, with additional main stage performances by Boy Named Banjo, Ashley Cooke, Jordan Davis, Jackson Dean, Travis Denning, Hardu, Kendell Marvel, Ashley McBride, Old Crow Medicine Show, Caitlyn Smith, Rapidgrass, Alana Springsteen and Lainey Wilson.
The Colorado Department of Transportation has issued a notice about traffic issues expected on Highway 17 and will be reducing speed limits and flag persons will be on site.
For tickets and more information, go to sevenpeaksfestival.com.
Tentative opening day events for Friday in Creede include the Farmers Market and performances by the Creede Repertory Theatre (CRT).
Saturday opens with the annual Creede Mountain Run with a starting line behind Kentucky Belle Market, offering a 50k, 22-mile and 12-mile run/walk events. The Salsa Fiesta begins at 11 a.m. with more CRT performances to follow. Several locations plan to offer live music as well.
More CRT performances continue Sunday. For the current schedule of plays, go to creederep.org.
Antonito’s sixth annual Labor Day celebration will be held Saturday and Sunday and offers a multitude of activities opening with a 5k walk/run at 7 a.m. and a free breakfast from 7:30-10 a.m. Saturday. The parade will kick-off at 10 a.m. on main street and various vendors will open at 10 a.m. at town hall and continue through 9 p.m.
Live music, activities for kids, a beer garden and street dance are also on tap for Saturday, as well as Salida Circus acts and an Antonito Community history collection at town hall.
Sunday’s fun will be highlighted by a car show from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the old football field.