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Numbers Down At Elk Fest As Estes Park Tries To Recover From Flooding

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A "Mountain Strong" t-shirt (credit: CBS)

A “Mountain Strong” t-shirt (credit: CBS)

ESTES PARK, Colo. (CBS4) – As Colorado recovers from devastating flooding many towns are trying to get back to business as usual, and despite major road closures, this weekend’s Elk Fest in Estes Park went on as planned.

Estes Park business owners say attendance at this year’s Elk Fest is down. Usually the streets are packed, but those who did show up are giving the community the emotional boost they need.

It’s the time of year when elk calls fill the air, but business owner Candace Fouts hears hope.

“We rely on the Front Range people this time of year and out of town people who come see the Elk Fest and colors changing, so we’re down but I’ve been really surprised how many people are coming up,” Fouts said.

Sandy Chestnut and Bob Safranken made the three-hour drive from Denver for Elk Fest and to show they’re mountain strong.

“We think it’s definitely important to support not only Estes Park, but all the communities that were affected, so hopefully this helps,” Safranken said, pointing to a “Mountain Strong” t-shirt.

Estes Park leaders have raised more than $35,000 for flood relief so far from selling the “Mountain Strong” t-shirts. Resident Mark Edwards is amazed by the support.

“It’s not a matter of just resilience, but I think it’s a matter of everybody just saying, ‘Look, we’ll get through this, it’s just tough times,’ ” Edwards said.

Fouts finds strength through Elk Fest which is calling some life back into her business.

“We’re getting the people who really love Estes Park and want to come see us and support us,” Fouts said.

Business owners think that once some of the major highways reopen it will bring in more people and they will be able to fully recover what they lost over the past few weeks.

Colorado Floods: How To Help

The recent floods are impacting families and communities throughout Colorado, so CBS4 has compiled a list of ways you can support the local communities impacted by the floods.

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