How we got here
In 2013 Becky Lindsay Kent and her husband were vacationing in the isle of Jersey in the UK when a booklet in a local parish church caught their eye. It was for a “Spirit Festival” taking place that year, which featured several interesting events, including art, music, poetry, theatrical performances and presentations by well-known experts in their fields. Much of the program focused on spiritual teachings from all faiths and traditions.
On return to Colorado, Becky initiated the idea of forming a committee to mount such an event in the small rural town of Ridgway. By 2014 the concept had been accepted and the following June, the first Ridgway Spirit Fest took place. This proved to be successful and was attended by many of the “spiritual but not necessarily religious” community, and people of many different Christian traditions. One local multi-denominational church (the United Church of the San Juans) in Ridgway, agreed to let their facilities be used for many of the events, while other nearby venues were also utilized for the three-day Festival.
Further Spirit Fests took place in 2016 and 2017. Over the last three years, many diverse subjects have been presented. These have included World Religions and Cultures, Poetry and Spirit, Parallels between the teachings of Jesus and Buddha, A Course in Miracles, Meher Baba, Centering Prayer, and Barbara Marx Hubbard’s Visions of Universal Humanity. Additionally, we have had The Four Directions, several different Yoga classes, Meditation, Taize Service, Movies, The Healing Power of Horses, Essential Huna, Discovering Your Soul’s Ancestry, Educational Kinesiology, Human Design, Archetypal Symbols in Dreams, Guided Nature Walks, Spirituality and Christianity, Native American Spirituality and Dances of Universal Peace. Labyrinth walking was also included.
In 2017, Spirit Fest became a 501(c) 3 not-for-profit organization. (Ridgway Spirit Fest, Inc.) As part of that year’s program Spirit Fest erected and dedicated a Peace Pole in the stunning setting of our local Dennis Weaver Memorial Park, next to the impressive metal Eagle sculpture.
With mounting enthusiasm and feedback, the board and organizing committee decided to expand the event for 2018 by bringing in a nationally-known speaker, author and presenter (Father Richard Rohr) to headline the Festival, which will also feature several other events. This new website was also put in place.
Dennis Brown , durango
In my search for truth and meaning I have found that the Ridgway Spirit Fest is an essential part of my yearly activities. It has provided me with a wide variety of Spiritual Paths, Christianity, Buddhism, Native American and more to learn from. From this I have gained inspiration and knowledge in a small, intimate space and to share the feelings of closeness and like-mindedness with others.
john clark, Ridgway mayor
As mayor of Ridgway, it has been amazing to see how the Spirit Fest weekend has grown, in both size and impact, in the last few years. I think it has found a niche here, providing inspirational resources for folks from all over the region, who are looking for meaning in their lives, especially in these crazy times! Of course, beyond the community impacts mentioned above, the event has become a valuable contributor to the local economy, with presenters and attendees staying in local lodging, eating at our restaurants and shopping in our newly revitalized commercial district.
Charlie & jackie berger, montrose
Having attended Spirt Fest for the past three years, we feel the Fest provides a unique
opportunity for those who attend, to be exposed to and enlightened by the many
speakers and programs. The opportunities provided by the Fest fill a need in the greater community, unmet in any other fashion, for a spiritual and educational broadening, and we do so hope it will continue to be an annual event.
Ann Dettmer, Ouray
I love Ridgway Spirit Fest and have gotten a lot out of the high quality of presenters and programs. I look forward to this wonderful event every year.
ridgway spirit fest
Board of Directors
Becky Kent (Chair), Ulli Sir Jesse, Bev Angehrn, Kelvin Kent, Susan McMurry, Lisa Thomason
Geoff Tischbein, Sally Swartz, Kate Kellogg, Kathy Graff, Dudley Case, Rita Robinson and Robin Berndt