The Creative Side of Ridgway

[May 2019 | San Juan Silver Stage | By Ninah Hunter]

If you’re in a creative state of mind, come on down to my little town of Ridgway, which has the proud distinction of being a Colorado Creative District (CCD). Certified by Colorado Creative Industries (CCI), a division of the Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade, CCD broadly defines ‘a Creative.’ It encompasses those in design, film & media, literary & publishing, performing arts, visual arts & crafts, and heritage. A CCD is also distinguished by complementary non-arts businesses, such as restaurants, retail, and lodging. A CCD is generally walkable and abuzz with arts and cultural activity, such as art walks, festivals, and community gathering places.

Ridgway epitomizes all of these characteristics. It is home to many creative entrepreneurs, including artists, photographers, glass makers, potters, jewelry makers, metal forgers, fiber artists, authors, poets, publishers, and musicians. John Billings and Billings Artworks have hand-crafted the Grammy Award here for over 35 years! Throughout town, there are numerous sculptures, artistic benches, planters, lighting, outdoor musical instruments, parks, and walking and bike paths.

Clinton Street, the recently-renovated historic main street of Ridgway, bustles with locals and tourists who gather in popular art and entertainment venues and outdoor dining areas of the new and established eateries. Popular spots like the Colorado Boy Pub & Brewery and the True Grit Cafe, across from Hartwell Town Park, help maintain Ridgway’s well-deserved reputation as a foodie town. The historic Sherbino Theater hosts ongoing cultural, artistic, and educational events throughout the year.

This summer, mark your calendar for our several special events, such as the Love Your Valley Festival in May, the Ridgway RiverFest in June, Concerts in the Park in July, and the Ridgway Art & Craft Festival in August. You can also take in Ridgway’s ranching and railroad heritage with a visit to the Railroad Museum and the Ouray County Ranching Museum, or its western movie heritage with a True Grit tour highlighting locations that appeared in the 1969 movie with John Wayne. Whatever your creative side may be, let Ridgway satisfy it.

Be sure to join us downtown for ‘First Friday’s’ held June 7, July 5, August 2, and September 6, 5-9 pm. Deals, art, demos, treats, fun & frolic. (Look for red balloons for participating venues).