Community Meal Gobbled Up by Saguache Residents
The annual Saguache Community Thanksgiving Meal was held at the Community Building last Sunday, November 20. This year, the meal was hosted by The Colorado Trust and prepared by a dedicated, hard-working group of cooks and volunteers.
It was a deliciously good time for family, friends and neighbors to gather together with grateful hearts and celebrate all of the blessings of living in Saguache Today.
The meal was blessed by Pastor Mark Swinney with the Pitkin Avenue Baptist Church in Saguache. Then, nearly two hundred residents enjoyed a full Thanksgiving meal of turkey, ham, stuffing, vegetables and potatoes piled high and covered in gravy. And when the main course was finished, there was plenty of homemade pies – cherry, peach, blueberry and of course, pumpkin – to go around! It was a wonderful feast to be thankful for!
Many THANKS to all who continue to make this annual tradition of coming together in gratitude such a special occasion! Happy Thanksgiving from your friends in @SaguacheToday!
Annual Intertribal Pow-Wow in Saguache on Saturday
By Kathy Bedell © Saguache Today
Some say that when the winds blow in the San Luis Valley, you can hear the beat of ancient ceremonial drums from the Native Americans who inhabited this land for centuries. However, should you hear them this Saturday, August 27 they may very well be coming from the Annual Traditional Intertribal Pow-Wow in Saguache.
Many Nations, One Community of Indian drummers, singers and dancers will gather at Otto Mears Park in Saguache for this day-long celebration of all things Native American. The park opens at 9 a.m. and the event is free and open to the public.
As has been tradition, the master of ceremony will kick off the celebration with the Grand Entry scheduled for 11 a.m., followed by traditional drum music and festive dancing or all. The evening culminates in a community meal with friends and neighbors sharing their favorite side dish to compliment the main feast, usually donated by a local farmer or rancher from the San Luis Valley.
According to a blog by Crowfox KmimilaWi: This Pow-Wow began as a dream many years ago. It was created to be a heritage learning experience by a Native American Community member for her dancing for her children. Her dream was to keep indigenous heritage alive in the community while instilling pride in her children as they learned about Regalia and dancing. It has been more than 20 years since those pow-wows, today this community member works on the current committee to continue that dream on a larger scale. This pow-wow is unique in that it focuses on the non-competitive origins of this tradition. This is one of the more spiritual pow-wows in the area.
While the central focus of Saturday’s celebration is Native American culture and traditions, there is also a fair surrounding Otto Mears Park with everything from food vendors to arts and crafts, with Native American specialties being the focus.
Some back ground . . . Saguache and the entire San Luis Valley was known as the land of the Ute Indians, but the area was also known to 12 different Indian tribes, including the Navajo, Apache, and Comanche, who came to trade, hunt, and raid.
Eventually, the Utes made a treaty of peace with the United States in 1849, shortly after the Mexican War. Afterward settlers from New Mexico established several small communities in what is now Colorado and in 1868 the Utes were removed to a reservation in western Colorado. They continued to play a role in Saguache in the northwestern corner of the valley from the Los Pinos Agency to the west of Saguache until they lost their expansive reservation as the result of the Meeker massacre in 1879.
But this Saturday you can see their traditions live in Saguache. So come, hear their stories first hand, learn of their traditions. Let’s celebrate the things shared and the things that make everyone special and unique in Saguache Today!
For more details, you may connect with the group of the Annual Saguache Pow-Wow Facebook Page, or by email at: or call 719-580-8808 or 719-580-5946. Otto Mears Park is located between Christy and Pitkin Avenues just off on Highway 285 in Saguache.
Hollyhocks: Flowers & Art Celebrated in Saguache
The 4th Annual Saguache Hollyhock Festival was held last Saturday, July 30 to a hearty and growing fan base of gardens and art galleries. There were 16 gardens highlighted for the town tour and six artists submitted work to the art competition.
“We’ve had a great turnout this year,” said Carita Ginn Hollyhock Festival committee member and Secretary for the Saguache Chamber of Commerce, who along with the Town of Saguache produces the annual festival. Started in 2012, according to the chamber’s website, the Saguache Hollyhock Festival was first held after the town adopted the beautiful flower seen prominently in many neighborhood gardens as its official flower. The festival is a day to recognize and celebrate all of the gardeners who work to produce wonderful flower and vegetable gardens and the artists who capture the beauty of the hollyhock.
Saturday’s events culminated with announcement of the winners of the garden and art contests by committee member Becky Williams. The committee of judges used the following criteria for the competition:
- General Appearance and Garden Maintenance
- Plant Use and Diversity
Hollyhock Garden and General Garden were the two categories with ribbon-winners receiving cash and garden certificates as prizes. Williams also announced that there has been a suggestion to add a food garden to next year’s categories.
Congratulations to the Winners!
- First Prize – Juan Amezcua at 545 11th Street
- Second Prize – Community Garden at 4th and Pitkin (behind the school)
- Third Prize – May Engquist at 555 2nd Street
- First Prize – Yvonne and Sam Halburian at 1012 Denver Street
- Second Prize – Dwight and Caroline Irwin at 355 Christy
- Third Prize – Kathy Hill and Alicia Moore 725 Pitkin
In the art competition, top honors went to Barbara Sibley for her photographers honoring the colorful flower. While the art competition saw a slight dip in participation this year, they were all stunners, according to Williams.
Hollyhock Art Contest
- First Prize – Barbara Sibley took top honors with A Bug’s Eye View, multiple close-up photography displays, all highlighting the beauty of the Hollyhock!
- Second Prize – Johnann McKee’s quilt named Wind Dancer showed the intricacy of the flower and the art of patch-worked fabric
- Third Prize – Stacey Holden’s painting entitled Transformations showcased what Saguache’s official flower might look like at a seaside setting.
A favorite among locals, this celebration of flowers has grown in popularity, bringing in many visitors from across the San Luis Valley. Businesses and art galleries in downtown Saguache reported an increase in foot traffic and sales on Saturday, making the festival a win-win for all!
The Hollyhock Festival is a celebration of Saguache’s official flower, commemorating the dedication of the early settlers who brought the hollyhocks and old-fashioned roses to the area. Their thoughtful efforts are in full bloom this time of year and a beautiful sight to see!
This event is sponsored by the Saguache Chamber of Commerce and made possible by generous contribution from various individuals, businesses and organizations, including Saguache County.
Colorado’s Unique Version of Red, White and Blue!
By Kathy Bedell, © Saguache Today
Its nickname is the Centennial State, because in the year of America’s 100th Birthday – 1876 – Colorado received its statehood. Then there’s “America The Beautiful,” written by Katherine Bates inspired by Pikes Peak to write the verse, “For purple mountain majesties, Above the fruited plain!”
But did you know that Colorado is the only state whose official geological symbols are red, white and blue?!
Yes, when it comes to Colorado’s State Mineral (red- rhodochrosite), State Rock (white – Yule Marble) and State Gem (blue- aquamarine) this color trio is an intended tribute to America.
The color red is represented by Colorado’s Official State Mineral: Rhodochrosite.
The official bill to designate a state mineral was sponsored in 2002 by State Senator Ken Chlouber and Representative Carl Miller, both from Leadville. The initial suggestion was presented by a high school Earth Science class, located near Bailey, who became aware that Colorado did not have a state mineral. After some debate, the students decided that rhodochrosite, because of its red color (similar to Colorado, which means “reddish” in Spanish) should be the state mineral.
They wrote a letter to Rep. Miller suggesting the designation. And for a couple of country-loving Americans like Miller and Chlouber, working jointly to introduce this legislation was easy! Within three months rhodochrosite was designated the Colorado State Mineral and signed into law by Governor Bill Owens on April 17, 2002.
The white color in the geologically patriotic combination is represented by Yule Marble, Colorado’s State Rock. Again, it was a group of young people – Girl Scout Troop 357 – who prompted State Representative Betty Boyd to introduce the bill. As the state known for the majestic Rocky Mountains, the scout group argued, it seemed odd that the state did not yet have an official state rock. Being surrounded by Yule Marble in the floors and trim of the State Capitol building, it wasn’t too much of a legislative reach to accept the designation.
In addition, the Girl Scouts urged, designating the Yule Marble would complete the official geological symbols to be red, white and blue. Smart young women! Gov. Owens had the honor of completing the star-spangled trifecta when he signed the bill into law in August 2011.
Yule Marble has been used in many famous buildings and sculptures, including the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, and the Tomb of the Unknowns.
Rounding out the American-themed symbols is the color blue, represented by Aquamarine designated as the state gemstone of Colorado back in 1971.
You’ll need to head a bit south of Lake County, towards the mountain peaks of Mount Antero and Mount White in Chaffee County, to capture the finest quality of these “blue” aquamarines. According to the Colorado Geological Survey website, they are also among the highest in elevation, located at 13,000 to 14,200 feet. The crystals in these cavities range in color from light blue to pale blue and deep aquamarine green, and in size from very small to 6 cm in length.
There you have it! So this Fourth of July, when you’re out waving Old Glory from the parade, or ooohing and aaahing at the colorful firework display, sing out a little song of “Three Cheers for the Rhodochrosite, Yule Marble and Aquamarine!”
Have a safe and Happy Independence Day!
Saguache Honored by Colorado Preservation, Inc.
Colorado Preservation, Inc. recently honored the Town of Saguache for its recent historic preservation efforts in its June Newsletter. Here’s their story!
The Rocky Mountain News first reported on the Town of Saguache in October of 1874 stating, “the public spirited citizens have built a city at Saguache which promises to rival in growth, wealth, character of its people, buildings, and businesses many of its older and more pretentious sister cities.”
Today, this community retains its small town charm with a population of approximately 600 and a commercial district that includes a classic movie theater, diner, coffee shop, and local newspaper office. The Saguache Crescent is believed to be on of the last linotype newspapers still in publication in the United States.
When Colorado Preservation, Inc. listed the Fourth Street Commercial District as endangered in 2009, approximately 60% of the district was vacant or underutilized with many of the structures in need of rehabilitation and restoration. Recent accomplishments include listing as a National Register District, creation of a new town park, and street landscaping. Work is underway to open a new restaurant and there are future plans to rehabilitate the Dunn Block, and anchor building in the downtown district.
Plan your trip to Saguache Today!
Reminders for Those Who Live in Saguache Today
Happy Friday! It’s going to be a beautiful weekend in Saguache and summer is in the air. The Town of Saguache wants to bring folks the following reminders as you get out and start cleaning up, sprucing up and getting your summer on in Saguache Today.
Watering Yards and Trees – At this time there are no watering restrictions. However, please conserve water, usually watering 30 to 45 minutes in one area is sufficient for grass shrubs and trees. There have been some interesting ice sculptures in town indicating that water was left to run through the night! Ice building upon grass and shrubs and trees will stunt the growth. Water is a precious resource, use it wisely!
Sign Reminder – Please do not put any kind of signs on the light poles in downtown Saguache on 4th Street. If you’re planning to place Garage Sale or lost dogs etc. on town light posts, you must get permission from the town to do so. per the town nuisance ordinance. after permission is given, the signs must be removed within three days after the event. please contact the town hall (719)-655-2232 with any questions.
Information: Streetlights – Please call the town hall to report problems to streetlights. the clerks will contact excel energy to get the problem remedy (719)-655-2232.
Utility ON/OFF – When your home needs water and sewer to be turned on or off, please contact town hall. Turn on service has a fee of $30, plus the monthly water and sewer amount which can be prorated. There is no fee for turnoff requests. The forms are available at the town hall Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
A Reminder: Alleyway and Town Right-of-Way Cleanup – With the extra rain and sunshine yard cleanup is on people’s minds. Remember that properties with an alley are responsible for maintaining for ½ width of the alleyway. Check the branches from trees on your property to see if they’re overhanging into the alley. A lot of your neighbors use the alley to access their homes and overhanging branches can scratch vehicles and is be a pain to drive through. Remember, that property owners are also responsible for the front area of their lots, up to the edge of the ditch, or to edge of the sidewalk if you have one, to the road. Every one helping out in maintaining alleys and portions of the right ways makes a difference and it is appreciated.
Job Announcement – The Town of Saguache is accepting applications for the position of the Town Administrator. Main responsibilities include planning, organizing, grant writing, and administering and coordinating municipal activities. For more information on this position: LINK. Contact Saguache Town Clerk Teresa Garcia at 719-655-2232. Deadline for application is June 17, 2016 by 3 p.m.
Saguache Artist Marks A Milestone – Cheers!
Last week on May 5 when the rest of the people might have been celebrating the traditional Cinco de Mayo, Saguache artist Kelsey Hauck was marking her own milestone: 75 years! Happy Birthday!
Hauck did toast the occasion with good friend June Savage with a margarita down at the Oasis Restaurant to celebrate her life and contributions to the local community.
A world-renowned artist, Hauck has made Saguache her home for more than two decades. Today, she continues to create works of collage magic, and is happy to have visitors to her studio, The Hauck/Pedersen Fine Art Gallery located at 313 – 315 4th Street in downtown Saguache. www.hauckpedersen.com
For the serious art collector the journey to this 100 year-old mercantile building provides a face to face interaction with the art and the unique environment in which it was created. So next time you’re downtown, be sure to stop in and see what people have been talking about for years!
Happy Birthday, Kelsey, and many, more to come!
Saguache Celebrates “Mr. Bo Mangles” on Saturday
See you later alligator, unless you are in the heart of the San Luis Valley (SLV). And then you could very well be setting your eyes on the only albino alligator in Colorado. Say hello to Mr. Bo Mangles!
Colorado Gators Reptile Park is located in the heart of the SLV and is “the only high-altitude alligator farm,” now a full blown tourist attraction. The idea stemmed from convenience, really, as the site was originally a fish farm and the best way to dispose of the remains of that venture were gators. Today they also offer classes in gator wresting. Now, that’s got to be on somebody’s birthday wish list!
And if you’re looking for something a bit more subdued but that will capture the attention of your friends and followers, then remember, every visitor to Colorado Gators has the opportunity to meet, pet, hold, and take pictures with a little alligator! For $2 visitors can buy a bucket of “Gator Chow” to feed the alligators, and occasionally there will be dead fish available to feed to the alligators as well! The park also has several large African Sulcata tortoises that wander freely throughout the their own sections of the tour. Feel free to pet these tortoises, but watch your step, there are several low “tortoise fences” too keep each tortoise in his or her section.
Two of their most popular exhibits are the albino alligators, including Mr. Bo Mangles, and Morris the Hollywood alligator from “Happy Gilmore.” Some of the other reptiles you can see at Colorado Gators Reptile Park are: fearsome Nile crocodiles, Burmese pythons, a 17′ reticulated python, anacondas, red tail boas, 3 species of rattlesnakes, monitor lizards, tegus, geckos, iguanas, box turtles, snapping turtles, and caiman.
Who knew, a zoo, right in the middle of the San Luis Valley?! For more information: Colorado Gators. Oh and by the way, this Saturday, Feb. 27 is Mr. Bo Mangles Day and the park has a special they are promoting on their Facebook Page (GG’s Bed and Breakfast in Hooper). Connect and find out how to get free passes.
Saguache Planning Conference Set for Saturday
This Saturday, January 23 at 9:30 a.m. the 3rd Annual Saguache Planning Conference will be held at the Road and Bridge meeting room, located at 305 3rd Street. Is your church, club, nonprofit organization or civic group planning events for 2016? Then please attend this meeting to get your event date on the 2016 calendar.
Did you know that there was a resurgence of visitors to Saguache in 2015, some of the highest numbers seen since 2007? That increase is credited to the collaborative works of the Saguache Chamber, the Saguache Tourism Council and the Colorado Tourism Office. These entities’ efforts, working with Saguache artists and galleries, community based programs and businesses produced by Saguache Works, combined with lower gas prices and some of the best home cooking from the 4th Street Diner have proven SUCCESSFUL! Working together DOES brings results! Saturday’s Planning Conference is intended to support and expand those efforts, so make sure that your business and group’s plans are included in the discussion.
This year, organizers have some engaging activities and speakers lined up. Included on the agenda will be Kathy Bedell Publisher of Saguache Today, the community’s new online news and information source serving Saguache and Saguache County. Launched on November 1, 2015, SaguacheToday.com offers residents in the San Luis Valley a FREE online news source which focuses on events, traffic, weather and a variety of good – and sometimes sad – news. In addition to the news site, Saguache Today maintains an active social media platform, including Facebook, Twitter, and a You Tube Channel. Bedell will be speaking about social media: what is it, how can you use it and how collaborative efforts can help raise the voice of things happening in the San Luis Valley.
Bedell is a journalist who has lived in Leadville for 26 years. On November 1, 2011, she started The Great Pumpkin, a media company that owns and operates Leadville Today, the sister news site to Saguache Today. Now in its 5th year of publishing daily online news for Leadville and Lake County, the response from the local community has been overwhelmingly enthusiastic, reaching an average daily readership over 800, as well as a social media platform that connects weekly with 50,000+ residents, second homeowners and visitors. This FREE online business has become the way locals stay connected with what’s happening in their community. Please plan to attend to hear her story and the exciting plans for Saguache Today!
So mark your calendar and plan to attend the 3rd Annual Saguache Planning Conference. Working together with the Saguache Chamber, the Saguache Tourism Council and the Colorado Tourism Office, local efforts, businesses and organizations, 2016 can be the best year yet!
Live Theater Tonight & Saturday in Center – ENCORE!
Tonight and tomorrow, Jan 15 & 16 the The San Luis Valley Theatre Company presents The World Premiere of EVERYBODY HAS ONE. An original play written by Kristy Manning and Directed by Roscoe, the play will be performed both night at 7 p.m. at the Center School Auditorium in Center, Colo. Tickets are $10 for general admission and can be reserved by call 719-859-2949 or 719-849-3872.
The San Luis Valley Theatre Company is a non-profit company based in Colorado’s very own San Luis Valley. Led by Roscoe, the company’s mission is to bring the art of theatre to the community and provide top notch entertainment featuring locals from around the area. For more information visit their website: LINK.
The SLV Theatre Company kicked off its 2015 season with a dinner theatre show called DROP DEAD (Billy Van Zandt and Jane Milmore) performed at the Grille Restaurant located in the Cattails Golf Course in Alamosa, Colo. This was followed by a children’s production titled TOUCHED BY AN ALIEN which was actually performed at the UFO Watch Tower in Hooper, CO during the summer!
Coming Attractions – In the summer of 2016 The San Luis Valley Theatre Company is looking to start their inception program to include the Deaf community by putting on a play called MYE AND THE SAND PEOPLE. This is a family show which features a Deaf Princess and several Sand people who communicate in Sign Language with her. This is a work in progress and will only take place if we can acquire the funding needed to cover the cost of interpretation.
Interpretation cost is $1,500 per Interpreter and two are required for a 70 minute show and above which this is. The San Luis Valley Theatre Company is actively seeking grants at this time for this show.
Any donations may be sent to The San Luis Valley Theatre Company Box 471, Alamosa, CO 81101. Donations are tax deductible and appreciated. They area 501 c 3 non-profit company. For more information, please contact: Roscoe – President and Founder, The San Luis Valley Theatre Co., 719-859-2949.
Saguache County’s historic author Anne Ellis will be one of the women highlighted on tonight’s program “Ladies of the Mines” airing on the Rocky Mountain Public Broadcasting System channel (PBS) at 7 p.m.
Based on the real-life stories of three women who lived in Colorado mining camps at the end of the 19th century, the 30-minute documentary tells of their challenges with “high altitude, groceries delivered by mule train, pack rats and spoiled Thanksgiving turkeys.”
The short documentary focuses on three women – Harriet Fish Bacus, of Tomboy Bride fame, who lived near Telluride; Mabel Barbee Lee and Anne Ellis. Ellis grew up in poverty near the Bonanza Mine in Saguache County before ending up in Cripple Creek; Lee grew up in Cripple Creek.
For Saguache County residents, Ellis book “The Life of an Ordinary Woman,” published in 1929, is a must-read, highlighting Ellis’ pioneer life in the Colorado mining camps of the San Juan mountains, which includes the Bonanza Mine.
Produced by Rocky Mountain PBS and History Colorado, this series explores the people, events and places that have shaped Colorado. From the colorful characters who built the state to the events that shaped who we are and the places we call home, this series educates and entertains.
The “Ladies of the Mines” was screened In Durango, Colo. earlier this week and was the product of a contest built around PBS’ “Viewer’s Choice.” The public TV station received more than 100 submissions for the Viewers’ Choice contest but it was the topic suggested by Rudy and Andie Davison, who have homes in Durango and Telluride, that won the contest in spring 2015.
Colorado Experience’s “Ladies of the Mines” will take you on a journey to uncover the hardships, innovation and tenacity of the women following Colorado’s mining bug. This episode will premiere tonight January 14 at 7 p.m.
Family and friends gathered around the table of gratitude a few days early at the Thanksgiving Community Meal in Saguache yesterday. About 200 people were in attendance to enjoy a hearty plateful of the traditional fixins of turkey, potatoes, stuffing, and more. The food was delicious and prepared and served by a group of volunteers, this year working with The Colorado Trust Fund to bring grateful hearts together under one roof at the Community Building on November 22.
Once everyone had taken their seats, the evening opened with a prayer of gratitude by local pastor, Major Rettig. The hall was filled with lively conversation and laughter as generations of families from diverse cultural backgrounds and beliefs broke bread together in honor of the national day of gratitude which will officially take place this Thursday, Nov. 25 – Thanksgiving Day.
This year the entire cost of the meal – which was $1,000 – was picked by The Colorado Trust (CT), a health foundation dedicated to ending inequalities that affect racial, ethnic, low income and other vulnerable populations. After the meal, Arden Trewartha, a representative from the CT announced that the foundation would be having a heighten presence in the community, as the trust asks the question what does Saguache need to be a healthier community? The trust has already gathered a small group of people to help to begin answer this questions, however they are looking for more people to become involved. If you are interested in serving as a member of this committee, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Did you catch the documentary – Colorado Experience: The San Luis Valley which aired last week on Rocky Mountain PBS? Well, if you didn’t, you’re in luck, because you can view it right here on Saguache Today.
The film is a very well-done account of the fascinating history of the San Luis Valley focusing on some of the Valley’s first and oldest: Oldest town, church, water rights, land grants and the original Coloradans, the Utes! Examine the lasting impact of the cultural, artistic and architectural contributions of “Colorado’s First Town.”
Trunk or Treat Doles out Halloween Fun at Fire House
The Saguache Volunteer Fire Department held their annual Trunk or Trick on Halloween, Oct. 31 at the fire house. This yearly event allows kids to dress up and go trick or treating in a safe, family-friendly environment. There was a great turnout of princesses, ghosts and goblins as the kids walked in the costume parade held inside the fire house. The top prizes were bicycles and the all kids held their heads high as they each got to show off their colorful costume.
Then it was off to some Trunk or Treating as local residents and volunteers set up their car trunks filled with Halloween goodies in the fire house parking lot. Volunteers were heartily stocked with buckets of fun-sized candies ready to be doled out by the handfuls to Trick or Treaters, tall and small, to each and all!
Thanks to everyone for making this another great, safe Halloween. It’s one of the many reasons it’s great to live in Saguache Today!
Halloween in Saguache: Costumes, Candy and Kids!
Saguache celebrated Halloween in great festive fashion, offering a number of different celebrations for kids of all ages.
While residents have spent great attention to their autumnal harvest scenes, it’s always the kids dressed up as their favorite character or hero that steals the show.