De Beque group cancels Wild Horse Days
A rite of summer passage in De Beque for the past 11 years will ride into the sunset.
Organizers of the annual Wild Horse Days in August have canceled the festival for this year because of a volunteer shortage and an apparent waning of community interest.
The De Beque Wild Horse Council, a nonprofit group that has organized the one-day event, suspended plans for the event. It took the action during its monthly meeting on March 16, when five people showed up after a townwide effort to recruit more volunteers, according to Wild Horse Council secretary Shanelle Hansen.
The group appealed for volunteers in fliers, which were mailed to all De Beque residents in January, and encouraged those interested to attend the March 16 meeting.
In recent years, the festival was put on largely on the effort of four people, Hansen said.
“They’re just worn out,” Hansen said. “You’re talking about four people who essentially gave up their entire summer to make sure this happened. We’ve begged and pleaded for people to help, but the community just isn’t coming forward.”
Staged for years on the third weekend of August, Wild Horse Days last year took place during the second weekend in August, lining Fourth Street and Minter Avenue with revelers and musicians.
The town of De Beque supported the event with liability insurance and paid for a large tent situated for the day on Fourth Street. What’s left was organized by the limited core group of volunteers.
“We did what we could, but we’re small and don’t have a lot of money to put in and get our name out there,” Hansen said.
Wild Horse Council President Ronda Clark said she hopes the event will continue in some form or fashion, such as a community barbecue.
“It’s strange to imagine August without it,” she said.