Sometimes as a newspaper we have to say things others are thinking but will not say out loud. Last month we ran a piece — 10 things to do at the Wild West Fest — Some loved it as it expressed the dissatisfaction of the festival. Others hated saying it was anti-Pueblo and the West Fest is good for Pueblo.
Why did we run it? We felt that it expressed frustrations we’ve heard from business owners, festival goers, and merchants at both festivals. It strikes at something found everywhere in Pueblo — a lack of cooperation.
There’s nothing bad with having a festival. Wouldn’t it be great if the Wild West Fest grabbed hold of the Western culture of Pueblo and the legacy of bull riding — and spent the weekend celebrating that rather than offer a carnival. A true western festival.
The culprit is the level of cooperation between the Chamber, Union area merchants and vendors. Instead of forcing a festival on the Union area and telling them, we’ll bring you 50,000 attendees, the Chamber should start by asking one simple question, how can the festival help your business and Pueblo?
What if this spirit of helping each other caught fire from the festival? What if the city asked new businesses how it could assist them with zoning or being in compliance with various ordinances? What if PEDCo went to local, promising small businesses and said, let’s help you find capital to grow into a powerhouse? What if Urban Development asked how can we drive more traffic to your business or beautify that sore spot on the street?
Could you imagine living in a town, where instead of fighting City Hall, the Chamber, County Government or [insert name of organization that gives you headaches] you could sit down, have a cup of coffee and work on improving Southern Colorado together?
We can. And we are going to start with the Chamber.
Rod Slyhoff, Pueblo Chamber Chairman Brown, Chair-Elect Dunsmoor, Chamber board members, area merchants and Puebloans, The PULP would like to invite you to a moderated conversation to work together to show off the best of Pueblo at the Wild West Fest and the Chile & Frijole Festival. There may be some tough conversations but the goal is to improve the festivals and Pueblo.
More information will be printed in the July Issue of PULP for our readers.
So, how can PULP help Pueblo and Southern Colorado?