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All About BurroFest

Our Mission

Mancos Creative District’s signature event, BurroFest, was created to celebrate the versatility of burros, see how they inspire artists of all mediums, and enjoy the opportunity to ‘meet the models’. The community is an essential part of this celebration, cheering on both the artists and burros, while showcasing a glimpse into our unique and lively town of Mancos.

  • 5th Annual Burro Obstacle Competition
  • Awards and Recognition
  • Featured Artists &  Demonstrations
  • Kid’s Activities
  • Burro Ambassadors
  • Live Music & Entertainment
  • Beer Garden & Food Trucks
  • Art & Vendor Fair

What is a BurroFest?

Throughout art history, the legendary bond between artists and their models has endured. In the beautiful Mancos Valley, this affection for burros transcends mere admiration—it stands as an integral part of the regions rich and storied history.

Hosted by the Mancos Creative District in Downtown Mancos, the festival centers around burros and their unique qualities as companions, packers, and all-around spirited animals. Historically, it has included two major events – a Burro Obstacle Course and an Artist Demonstration of live animal painting and sculpting.

Burros and their owners will be available for live interaction, demonstrations, and conversations with the public.

Another key aspect of the event that has taken shape and been very successful is to promote the adoption of burros. Last year alone, 11 burros were adopted out of the event. We will continue this tradition this year in helping to connect the community, the artist, and the burro.

Why was it started?

Started in 2019, BurroFest was created to spotlight the talents of both burros and artists. The main creator of the event is Veryl Goodnight, a local painter and sculptor, who is well known for her paintings and sculptures of equines and other animals. Goodnight wanted to share the community’s quality of workmanship through the challenge of live animal artwork. And since burros and wild horses play a significant role in both the History of the American West as well as the Mancos Valley, burros seemed to be the perfect model for the artists.

As Mancos is right next to many mining districts, the rich history of burros helping in the early days of mining also wanted to be celebrated. In 1885, for instance, a local burro packer, Olga Little, the only woman packer in the San Juan Mountains, came to Southwest Colorado and spent 34 years packing food and supplies for the miners into the mountains. In fact, Colorado recently recognized the traditions of burro packing by making Burro Pack Racing its official summer heritage sport. These longevity races test the endurance of the Burro-Racer and Burro. Races put together by the Western Pack Burro Ass-ociation (WPBA) can been seen throughout many of the mining cities throughout the West.

Mancos has taken a different approach to celebrate Burro Packing by establishing an Obstacle Course, simulating real-life obstacles that pack animals, such as burros, may encounter on the trail. Burro Handlers show off the usefulness and skills of their burros by leading them through different terrains, over and through obstacles, and demonstrating certain skills needed to accomplish such tasks.


Boyle Park & Grand Avenue in Mancos Colorado

10AM – 4-PM
Saturday June 15th
Starts in Boyle Park
150 Grand Ave, Mancos, CO 81328
A Mancos Creative District event, with support from so many area partners!