SFFF continues work on basketball court and ice-skating rink

SOUTH FORK — For the past year, South Fork Friends Foundation (SFFF) has been working to raise funding to install a 108-feet-by-115-feet poured concrete-rebar pad that will be a multi-functional platform for a basketball court and skateboarding pad in the summer and an ice rink in the winter.

The foundation has had a successful year and announced earlier this spring that they had been awarded two grants to help pay for the project in Rickel Park. The ice-skating rink is one of the main attractions in South Fork during the winter months and though it has been available for public use for several years, having it placed on a permanent foundation when it is set up will help with the quality of the ice.

According to the foundation, other uses can be pickleball, rollerblading, roller skating, ice hockey, and bicycling, for example. The foundation has been working with the Town of South Fork and True Grit Excavation to get this project started and expects it to be done mid-to-late fall of 2023. One grant for $20,000 is from the Robert Hoag Rawlings Foundation in Pueblo and the other is for $30,000 from Rio Grande County. The cost of the project is $98,560 for phase one.

Three years ago, a new shed was built near the rink and thanks to the many generous donations from local businesses like 8200 Sports and others, the warming hut was filled with ice skates that can be accessed by the public for free. SFFF is accepting donations that help fund the project as it moves forward.

With fall on the horizon and the project well on its way to being finished for the coming winter season, the foundation will focus its sights on the Alder Ass Race which expects more than 50 contestants to test their abilities in pack burro racing along Alder Creek near South Fork.

The Second Annual South Fork Alder Ass Race will be at Browns Park at 86 County Route 15 in South Fork on Saturday, Sept. 2.

“For 2023, we will have more racers, spectators, volunteers, and vendors. There is a pre-race party the night before (Friday, Sept. 1) at the new Wolf Creek LOGE for racers, volunteers, sponsors, and it is open to the public. There will be several famous burros present for petting, photo opportunities, and autographs,” said SFFF officials. The pre-race party begins at 5:30 p.m.

Last year’s race was a success with just shy of 60 competitors.

Between burro races, arts and craft fairs, and helping provide for the community of South Fork, the SFFF is also working to bring an even bigger and brighter Yuletide Celebration to the town this winter. For more information, visit the South Fork Friends Foundation on Facebook.