Monday, May 27

The Crestone Eagle is a nonprofit monthly newspaper serving Crestone and the San Luis Valley

Crestone Energy Fair

It has come to my attention that once again, the Town of Crestone trustees are threatening to kick the Crestone Energy Fair out of town, believing it has become too big and noisy for the town to handle. Iā€™d like to address this from my role as the producer of the event. Please note: this editorial does not represent the thoughts of the other people involved in the event, just my own. 

I have been producing this event for six years now, each year creating something better from the year previous. We have attempted to house the event at an offsite location for a couple of years during this tenure, as a result of the town kicking us out during the Covid years. During that time, we built an infrastructure at an off-site space, including a stage. However, after overwhelming (literally hundreds) of people requesting that we return to the town, we acquiesced and did as the majority felt fit, as we are ultimately serving you, the greater Crestone community. This year, we branched out into other parts of the town to begin establishing a footprint that would allow us to grow in the future. 

For those of you that attended, you saw significant improvements in directional signage, a large tent built in the street for both the street stage and attendee comfort, and ample space to move about. Sure, parking is an issue, however it is expected to be an issue whenever there is an event in town, and we successfully did our best to prevent blocking businesses as well as access to gas and groceries. 

I wish to address the concerns raised by our fellow community members (there were two written complaints, and one verbal complaint) regarding the sound levels during our recent event. While I acknowledge that the sound was, at times, louder than desired, I believe the absence of a Special Event Sound Ordinance is a significant contributing factor.

Earlier this year, the town board acknowledged the need for such an ordinance, and many dedicated individuals worked diligently to draft a fair and practical proposal. Unfortunately, the board decided to decline passing this crucial piece of legislation. The ordinance aims to provide clear guidelines for measuring sound levels, including the type of sound meter to be used and its placement, thereby creating a standardized approach that is currently lacking.

Moreover, the ordinance is designed to strike a balance, setting a decibel level that is both manageable for residents and conducive for events. In doing so, it protects the interests of all parties involved.

I urge the town council to reconsider passing the Special Event Sound Ordinance. Doing so will not only alleviate the concerns of our residents but also provide a framework that allows for the responsible hosting of community events, both in the park and at places like T Road Brewing, which is suffering this year from the lack of events. 

The reason I write this editorial is to bring this to light to the greater Crestone community. The few residents within the confines of the town should not have the ability to define what happens in public areas that are used, enjoyed and paid for by all of us without giving us a voice. 

I probably need not remind you that the town is glutted on tax dollars from the Baca without giving us representation. Further, in considering kicking us out, the board also neglects to consider the few businesses that do reside in the town, who rely on the events as significant money-making days that they rely on to make ends meet, and to continue providing their services to the public. 

It is a travesty how disconnected the town trustees have become from the Crestone community, and I urge you all to begin to pay attention, get involved, and start to write the town to express how important our event, and others, are to keeping the town a thriving place in which to live. 

Iā€™m not asking for a lot. The residents get 360-plus days of peace and quiet. But I am not continuing to raise money to build a beautiful stage in the heart of town so that it can sit there unused. Asking for even five days when we can come together and celebrate life through music, dancing and food is what Iā€™m asking for. I believe there is common ground to be had, but it must begin with the trusteesā€™ willingness to understand the importance of events and gatherings, rather than vote to shut them down completely. I am in this for the long haul, and hope that you, the greater Crestone community, will join me in urging the trustees to recognize the changing face of the community, and work on a plan that will benefit everyone who calls Crestone home.

Nick Nevares

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