The small town of Red River has some big changes happening. The town took to social media to announce the official transition from the annual Red River Memorial Day Motorcycle Rally to Mayfest in the Mountains. According to a press release from the town, “Mayfest in the Mountains promises a refined and family-friendly experience with a focus on community engagement and cultural celebration.”
Many residents and visitors weren’t happy about the change, taking to social media to share their thoughts. Damiana Littlefoot writes, “This change is not going to be that easy. The financial consequences are huge. Shunning a person or group of like-minded individuals bears unintended consequences as well. Many motorcycle enthusiasts are not violent and don’t participate in violence. Boozing and wild behavior was held in check once upon a time. No colors allowed once upon a time. Gang related activity was not tolerated once upon a time.”
Others welcomed the news. Kristen Rychlik shared, “my 17-year-old daughter was at work on Main Street that evening when the shooting took place and we were home in the upper valley. The hour it took for me to get my hand on her was the most scared I’ve ever been in my entire life. She saw things that she should have never seen. Our families are worth more than the risk of any retaliation. Sometimes change is just necessary.”
Mayor Linda Calhoun, who led her community through the traumatizing gang shootout in 2023, shared her thoughts in the release stating, “Mayfest in the Mountains embodies the spirit of our community, fostering a sense of togetherness and honoring those who have made lasting contributions to our country. This Memorial Day weekend will be filled with family-friendly festivities, outdoor recreation, and artistic expression, providing an unforgettable experience for everyone.”
In addition to this major nnouncement at a recent council meeting,, Red River also had some personnel changes to follow, including the resignation of Red River Marshal Marshall Johnson.
Questa native Jason Rael was appointed to the seat of Marshal and shared a statement, which read, “I’m happy to be a part of this community and to hold the position of Town Marshal. I look forward to working with the governing body and the people of this community to ensure the safety of all residents and visitors to the Town of Red River.”
At the meeting, the council members voted for Angela Black to replace the late Mayor Pro-Tem George Woerndle, who passed away on January 16. Woerndle held the seat for six terms and his current term was set to expire in 2025.