Raft Guide Dinners

April 2020 Update!

Dear Friends of our Raft Guide Dinner Experience!

Hope you are all doing well and staying safe and healthy!  We have missed you.

Last summer, after 8 consecutive summers, we were forced to cancel this program in 2020, due to COVID-19 health concerns.  It definitely was the right thing to do. This last year has been a year of life-altering changes, heightened awareness of safety and a deeper appreciation of the tremendous value of our individual and community well-being!

After much consideration, we want to let you know that there is a VERY good possibility that the Raft Guide Dinners will be able to return this summer in 2021, although, with a slightly different look … providing a COVID safe experience.

YOU’RE INVITED: We will be having an initial Raft Guide Dinner Planning Meeting on Sunday, April 18th at 12:00 – 1:00pm in Century Hall!  Please RSVP, to let me know if you are able to attend this meeting, and if so, will you attend in-person or on Zoom.

If you’d like to attend by Zoom and I will send you a link to virtually attend this meeting.

We have been given the green light from Chaffee County Public Health to pursue our plans to transform the Raft Guide Dinners from an indoor dining experience to an outdoor dining experience in our parking lot, under large event tents.  With our commitment to practicing COVID safety protocols at every gathering, you can imagine there are many, many logistical details to work out on behalf of the success of these dinners.

In addition to hosting these dinners outside, another important change is that we will work with various local restaurants (very happy to support them) to provide food for our themed dinners, which we still want to provide each week. Any additional food we prepare, will be done here at the church and a significant amount of supporting items will be commercially prepared or purchased.  We want to continue our commitment to serve our Raft Guide Community by providing a delicious meal, warm shower if wanted and an opportunity to gather (safely) in community!

There have been many excellent ideas bounced around, but now, we need to come together to share the ideas we’ve received with you and to hear your ideas; and together we’ll brainstorm what is possible and make a plan!

Please know, we are in constant conversation with Chaffee County Public Health, monitoring our county’s numbers and will follow their recommendation regarding our ability to safely gather for our Raft Guide Dinner Program.  Just so you know, our 2021 dinners would begin on Wednesday, June 9th and go through Wednesday, July 28th (8 weeks)!

Here’s some good news to share!!! We recently received a $5000 grant from the Pueblo St. Paul Memorial Endowment Fund to support our Raft Guide Dinner program specifically for these proposed changes for this summer. Additional funds from faithful supporters have started to come in! We have a couple of other fund raising events coming up for the Raft Guide Dinners, so we will keep you posted on that!  We are very grateful indeed.

We hope you can attend the meeting on Sunday, April 18th at noon.  PLEASE REPLY TO THIS EMAIL and let me know if you’ll attend in person or by Zoom.  We’ll keep you posted on these developments and will let you know our needs for help.  There will be many ways you can support this program! Please let me know if you have any questions!

If you no longer want to receive emails about our Raft Guide Dinner Program, just let me know and I’ll remove you from this specific group email list.

With Gratitude,

Licia … for all of us who support the Raft Guide Dinners!


Licia Iverson, Office Administrator
Salida United Methodist Church
228 E. 4th St. / PO Box 945
Salida, CO  81201
(719) 539-2755


The Information below will give you an idea of a typical summer of Raft Guide Dinners!

To learn more about our Raft Guide Dinners, please read the info about the 2019 dinner season.  It is a wonderful time to connect with the raft guides who come to our valley each year to be of service on the river! 

2019 Raft Guide Dinners begin on Wednesday, June 5th!!!

During the summer, hundreds of people come to the Upper Arkansas Valley to work in the white water rafting industry.

Salida United Methodist Church is committed to forming relationships with the raft guides who are part of our community. At the heart of these relationships are free dinners that the church provides for raft guides.

The dinners are held each Wednesday night at the church building during June and July in the summer. The food gets going around 7:00pm, and guides are welcome to come before hand, around 5:30pm, to make use of the church showers. 

The dinners are about more than food. Games, music, and entertaining conversation take place before and after dinner.

Vegetarian options are available at each dinner.

You can watch a video here on YouTube about the raft guide dinner

2019 Dinner Menu Themes
(Vegetarian Options Always Available)
June 5:    Tex-Mex Dinner
June 12:   Breakfast for Dinner
June 19:   Chicken Dinner
June 26:   Italian Dinner
July 3:       Pizza Night
July 10:     Mac 'N Cheese & Meatball Dinner
July 17:     Soups & Salads
July 24:     Thanksgiving in July
July 31:      Everything Night - Good Old Methodist Potluck  (last dinner of the season)