Santa Fe Trail News Story: Tourism Board President Yergert greets Symposium Attendees

Description: Yergert and La Junta Tourism and Events Director Pam Denahy expressed warm greetings and welcome to all who consider visiting La Junta for this event commemorating these historic occasions, whether they will be local folks or travelers from a distance.

Santa Fe Trail News Story: 

Tourism Board President Yergert greets Symposium Attendees

 
by Ed Stafford
 
     "I think the Santa Fe Trail Association Symposium is such a great thing !" John Yergert, President of the Tourism Board of La Junta, enthusiastically reports.  "It's going to bring a lot of exposure for our town and surrounding communities."
 
     The national symposium happening in La Junta, CO, and Bent's Old Fort NHS Sept. 22-26 is observing the 200th anniversary of the famous Santa Fe Trail from Franklin, MO, to Santa Fe, NM, and the 35th anniversary of the national and international Santa Fe Trail Association.  Between 1821 and 1880, the Trail was a principal commercial route from the United States to the northern province of Mexico which passed through what is now La Junta in southeastern Colorado.  Bent's Old Fort was the most famous waystation halfway along the route.
 
     When interviewed recently, Yergert and La Junta Tourism and Events Director Pam Denahy expressed warm greetings and welcome to all who consider visiting La Junta for this event commemorating these historic occasions, whether they will be local folks or travelers from a distance.  The La Junta Tourism Board will be "happy to help in every way," they say.  "This is a great community," they agree, "beautiful, very welcoming, with great history."  It is a place of limitless vistas of mountains and plains, they add, uninterrupted by a lot of city congestion.
 
     Everyone considering attending the symposium is invited to visit the city's web site at VisitLaJunta.net.  It will reveal many local and area attractions available to visitors, including the many Santa Fe Trail-related sites, the Comanche National Grasslands, farmers' markets, which should still be open in September, the Otero Museum in La Junta, and the nearby  John W. Rawlins Heritage Center and Museum in Las Animas, and the Rocky Ford Museum.  There is the annual tarantula migration in late Sept.-early Oct., the well-recognized birding sites at and around John Martin Dam in nearby Bent County, and the internationally famous Koshare Kiva Museum of American Indian history, crafts, and cultures. located on the grounds of Otero Junior College, one of the most beautiful campuses in the state.
 
           John Yergert is a native of La Junta who co-owns Ruby's Auto Body on 3rd Street in La Junta.  "I've been here my whole life," he says, except for a period after graduation from La Junta High School when he attended auto restoration courses in McPherson, KS.  In that school he "learned pretty much everything to restore old cars."  In 1989, he joined Bo Ruby and opened the auto-body shop after Bo's father left the business where they worked.  Yergert has farmed in the La Junta area, was in the Naval Reserves for nine years, and for five years was a member and then president of the La Junta Chamber of Commerce.  When the La Junta Tourism Board was founded in 2010, Yergert was elected its first president, the office he has held since that date.   
 
     The La Junta Tourism Board is proud of its web site:  VisitLaJunta.net, that Denahy manages.  Anyone from the immediate area or farther afield who is contemplating attending the symposium is invited to visit that site to learn about the many local and regional attractions.  The Tourism Board uses the lodging tax collected by the city to finance the web site, create and erect signage, help create and support local attractions, and maintain an updated calendar of events; in Short, much that is deemed necessary to bring tourism to La Junta. 
 
     Symposiums held by the SFTA occur every other year in September in various historical locations along the 19th Century Trail.  They offer tours to important Trail locations of interest, informative talks by Trail scholars, food, fun, lots of comeraderie with like-minded people, and, this year, living historians at Bent's Old Fort NHS.    
 
     Under the leadership of president Kevin Lindahl of Rocky Ford, the September symposium is being sponsored by the southeastern Colorado Bent's Fort Chapter of the Santa Fe Trail Association.  The theme of this year's event being held in La Junta and at Bent's Old Fort NHS is "The Santa Fe Trail Lives On:  200 Years of Commerce and Cultural Connections.  Fort information and registraion, visit their website 2021sfts.com.
 
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