Hollyhock Festival: Another Success Story
By Carita Ginn, Saguache Chamber of Commerce
The 7th Annual Hollyhock Festival was another success story. We counted over 300 folks visiting the Community Building and were told there were more uncounted throughout the Town-WOW!
Even with the rains that helped to offset our drought, folks flocked to view the artwork on exhibit; enjoy wonderful pulled pork sandwiches with sides provided by the Saguache Volunteer Fire Dept; the world-famous root beer floats offered by the Friends of the Saguache Public Library; not to mention the activities—hollyhock doll making thanks to Gia and Paige Hammel; face painting compliments of Stacey Holden; and pinwheel making thanks to Ashland Wilhite. Marvin Reynolds with SLV Extension Service brought his talents along with his associate to answer any questions for these Master Gardeners. Don Baker demonstrated honey extraction to the excitement of onlookers. Liza Marron with Walk2Connect offered a guided tour of the local gardens at 11am. Unfortunately, the second scheduled tour at 1pm had to be cancelled due to weather.
There were 17 local gardens to enjoy, some with and some without hollyhocks. The Chamber wants to thank each of you who worked to exhibit your gardens. Byron Williams took 1st place for Hollyhock Garden; Juan Amezcua took 2nd place; and Joan Bannister took 3rd place honors. For the non-Hollyhock Garden, prizes went to Lisa & Jim Jaminet for 1st place; Kathy Hill for 2nd place; and May Engquist for 3rd place. Other gardens included in the tour were Jeannie & Mike Norris, Sarah Krantz & David Smalley (not competing since they took first place honors in 2017), Mountain Valley School Community Garden, Richard Helmick, Loraine Quintana, Big Valley Motel, Stacey Holden, Jane & Duncan Martin, Saguache Hotel Antiques, Saguache County Museum, and Hazard House Museum.
In the Art Contest Adult Division, we had entries from Sara Fernandez, Mackenzie Hammel, Stacey Holden, Mary Morfitt, and Lacy Reed. The Youth Division only had one entry, from 4-year old Dallas Lucero. The Chamber salutes his willingness to become involved in this competition. First place adult awards went to Lacy Reed for the beautiful handmade quilt. A picture of this item will appear on the 2019 Hollyhock seed card in addition to the prizes this year. Second place honors went to Stacey Holden for the matched Hollyhock flower paintings. Third place adult art winner was Mary Morfitt for her handmade calendar holder featuring Hollyhocks.
In addition to the hollyhock plants for sale and the T-shirts featuring embroidered hollyhocks, there were also seed cards for sale. The 2018 seed card honored the 2017 winner of the Adult Art Contest, Wade Collins. Also available were seed cards from previous years for a discounted price. Donations were accepted for two door prizes. The first was a handmade fairy garden planter created by Sarah Krantz. The second item was a fantastic painting of hollyhocks donated by Yvonne Halburian.
The Hollyhock Festival Committee members for 2018 consisted of Sarah Krantz, Carla Quintana, Cathy Kent, Stephanie Buechler, Becky (Williams) Harman, and Carita Ginn. These members donated countless hours to advertise, prepare for and execute duties which made this event possible.
As a tribute to J. Byron Williams who was a driving force in the creation of this event, Greg Terrell was on hand-complete with gnome head ware-to present a plaque to him acknowledging those efforts, not only in 2012 but every year since then.
The Chamber took this opportunity to also honor Byron for his contributions to the Saguache Chamber of Commerce over the past ten years. Not only was he a driving force for this event, but also for creation of the annual Art Festival which will occur this year on August 18, 2018. Yvonne (Eve) Braden from Valley to Valley Senior Care Center was on hand to present a plaque to Byron for his donation of land for the creation of the Senior Care Center planned to be built just north of Saguache. A specialty cake with a photo of Byron on it, created by Jean Collier, along with lemonade was offered to those in attendance. Barry Van Sant, President of the Chamber, delivered a proclamation by the Chamber Board of Directors to establish the J Byron Williams Distinguished Service Award. Byron is the inaugural recipient of this award. Funds were also presented to Byron to assist with his relocation.
The Chamber wishes to acknowledge the generosity of everyone who contributed prizes, talents, volunteer time and efforts to help us make this another wonderful event.