Tag Archives: Saguache Chamber of Commerce

Saguache News – September 14

New “Scavenger Hunt” Event for Fall Festival

On September 15, The Town of Saguache, Colorado’s Fall Festival will include an exciting new event, a Transmedia Story and Scavenger Hunt experience beginning at 10 a.m. on 4th Street in down town of Saguache. This exciting new feature of the Fall Festival will lead participants on an adventure throughout town and environs, experiencing a story and a game.

The event is free and open to the public. Just come to Saguache and find the Transmedia table to start. Along the way, there will be prizes with a grand prize at the end. Transmedia storytelling Is “the practice of designing, sharing, and participating in a cohesive story experience across multiple traditional and digital delivery platforms – for entertainment, advertising and marketing, or social change.” It will be more than a story; it will be an exciting experience. Participants follow clues to find other clues leading to prizes and memorable places and characters.transmedia event at fall festival

The Fall Festival story this year will integrate various media into the story and create an exciting experience for Saguache residents and visitors. This fall the media to be used will involve traditional platforms such as books, photographs, theater featuring actual historical people and places. It will introduce new digital platformsthat can be accessed by your smart phone.There will also be access to the story without a cell phone.

The story’s transmedia platforms integrate local special places, businesses and activities and nearby historic and scenic locations in Saguache. A variety of rewards are built into the story as participants move from point to point with a grand prize at the end. This event is sponsored by the Saguache County Tourism Council and created with the technical and creative help of MZRCuprey, a private media company headquartered in Saguache County. To preregister or for more information email saguachetransmedia@gmail.com.

25th Annual Saguache Fall Festival & Quilt Show

By Carita Ginn, Saguache Chamber of Commerce Secretary

Fall is coming!  Come help us celebrate this annual event originally created to celebrate hand-made crafts and the harvest.

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Performers from the Salida Circus will be on hand to entertain the kids at Saturday’s Fall Festival! However this year they will be entertaining downtown instead of the park due to the Community Building renovations. Photo: Saguache Today/Kathy Bedell.

New for 2018, this annual event will occur on Main Street (4th Street in downtown Saguache between Denver Avenue and Christy Avenue).  Fun starts at 9 a.m. and continues until 4 p.m.  Vendors from all over come to exhibit their wares, including our Saguache Sagebrush Quilters. These ladies will be showing their efforts for the year along with offering the chance to win a quilt door prize. Come make a bid on Silent Auction items, offered as the only annual fundraiser for the Saguache Chamber. Our local Friends of the Saguache Library will be offering their world-famous root beer floats. Artists will be offering treasures for the eye and the body and soul. Food vendors along with our local restaurants will be offering pallet-pleasing items. Saguache Volunteer Fire Department will host a beer garden from noon until 4 p.m.

In conjunction with this year’s event, the 5th Annual Saguache County Photo Contest will culminate with judging of the entries on Saturday, Sept. 15.  Entries will be on exhibit at the Methodist Fellowship Hall on 6th Street.

Have a seat or get some exercise dancing to live music during the day from Seat of the Pants String Band, The Roadrunners and Old School.  Also, Salida Circus will be on hand to entertain you.

Fall Festival_2_Road Runners

Local rockers Road Runners will make a return performance to this year’s Fall Festival & Quilt Show on September 15. Catch their show in downtown Saguache this year!

As in previous years, funding has been made possible thanks to Saguache County Tourism and Saguache County Sales Tax Grants.  Aventa Credit Union has generously donated entertainment funding.  The Saguache Chamber of Commerce wishes to thank all who assist with making this annual event a continued success. 

Come, experience the fun in Saguache!

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Saguache News – September 9

25th Annual Saguache Fall Festival & Quilt Show

By Carita Ginn, Saguache Chamber of Commerce Secretary

Fall is coming!  Come help us celebrate this annual event originally created to celebrate hand-made crafts and the harvest.

Fall Festival 2016_Saguache Today_3

Performers from the Salida Circus will be on hand to entertain the kids at Saturday’s Fall Festival! However this year they will be entertaining downtown instead of the park due to the Community Building renovations. Photo: Saguache Today/Kathy Bedell.

New for 2018, this annual event will occur on Main Street (4th Street in downtown Saguache between Denver Avenue and Christy Avenue).  Fun starts at 9 a.m. and continues until 4 p.m.  Vendors from all over come to exhibit their wares, including our Saguache Sagebrush Quilters. These ladies will be showing their efforts for the year along with offering the chance to win a quilt door prize. Come make a bid on Silent Auction items, offered as the only annual fundraiser for the Saguache Chamber. Our local Friends of the Saguache Library will be offering their world-famous root beer floats. Artists will be offering treasures for the eye and the body and soul. Food vendors along with our local restaurants will be offering pallet-pleasing items. Saguache Volunteer Fire Department will host a beer garden from noon until 4 p.m.

In conjunction with this year’s event, the 5th Annual Saguache County Photo Contest will culminate with judging of the entries on Saturday, Sept. 15.  Entries will be on exhibit at the Methodist Fellowship Hall on 6th Street.

Have a seat or get some exercise dancing to live music during the day from Seat of the Pants String Band, The Roadrunners and Old School.  Also, Salida Circus will be on hand to entertain you.

Fall Festival_2_Road Runners

Local rockers Road Runners will make a return performance to this year’s Fall Festival & Quilt Show on September 15. Catch their show in downtown Saguache this year!

As in previous years, funding has been made possible thanks to Saguache County Tourism and Saguache County Sales Tax Grants.  Aventa Credit Union has generously donated entertainment funding.  The Saguache Chamber of Commerce wishes to thank all who assist with making this annual event a continued success. 

Come, experience the fun in Saguache!

Saguache News – August 13

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!

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Byron Williams garden at the Smith Market Gallery won the blue ribbon in the Hollyhock Garden category. Photo: Saguache Today/Kathy Bedell

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.

Quilt art contest Chamber at Saguache HollyHock Festival

Hollyhock Festival attendees admire the first place (adult) Hollyhock Art Contest Award for the beautiful handmade quilt made by Lacy Reed. Photo: Saguache Today

Saguache News – May 3

New Bus Line Plan Moves Forward

By Kathy Bedell © Saguache Today

Transportation. It’s usually at the top of the list for needed improvements in Saguache Today. Getting from one end of the San Luis Valley to the other can be a real chore for coordinating medical appointments or shopping trips, especially if you don’t have your own wheels. But there’s good news.

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No matter the season, getting from one end of the San Luis Valley to another can be challenging for those who do not have their own vehicles.

According to Saguache Chamber of Commerce President Barry Van Sant, the newly established Western San Luis Valley Transit Committee (West SLV) has made significant strides in bringing a new bus line to the valley, perhaps as early as June 1.

“As a remote community, with few services, it was a natural fit for the Chamber to pursue CDOT (Colorado Department of Transportation) about this initiative and investigate the possibilities of bringing transit service to the important Gunbarrel travel corridor,” said Van Sant.

Those efforts are now more than a year in the making, and include coordinated efforts from the Town of Saguache, the Town of Center, the City of Monte Vista, the Town of Del Norte, Rio Grande County, Saguache County, and the Saguache Chamber, all of whom entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) by establishing the West SLV.

As the population in the valley grows, transportation needs do as well. So West SLV is staying ahead of the curve and in partnership with the Chaffee Shuttle acting as the fiduciary agent, the group has submitted a proposal for a $25,000 CDOT grant. These monies will allow the group to hire a transit consultant to investigate and research the routes, potential ridership, and pricing for the development of an ongoing public transit service.

According to the Chaffee Shuttle’s Executive Director Connie Cole, West SLV will likely secure those funds in the fall, initiating a more formal study. However, in the short term, something else in the transportation world has shifted, creating the opportunity to bring in an interim shuttle service with a target start date of June 1. The Eagle Line Shuttle will provide service from Del Norte to Salida and from Saguache to Alamosa once a week.  

For readers who may not know, the Chaffee Shuttle was created in 2003 stemming from Salida’s Neighbor to Neighbor program that Director Connie Cole has been running for the past 19 years. In 2017, this transportation system provided more than 15,000 FREE rides to Chaffee County residents and visitors, taking them to the doctors, to Wal-Mart and yes, even to the liquor store. Although the service is free, donations help offset operating and vehicle maintenance costs.

Chaffee Shuttle Winefest

The Chaffee Shuttle is taking this group of ladies to Winefest! Photo: Chaffee Shuttle.

It’s been a popular service. So much so, that last year Bustang announced that they would be stepping in and carving out a couple of the shuttle’s routes. Bustang is the increasingly popular luxury transportation line which connects the major corridors in Colorado, offering free wi-fi and comfortable accommodations for its passengers. Its success along the 1-25 and I-70 corridors is a testament to the shifting norms regarding public transportation.

“Bustang is going to take part of my bus routes that run from Alamosa to Salida to Pueblo, and from Gunnison to Denver,” stated Cole in an exclusive Saguache Today interview.

And that’s great news for West SLV because as Bustang absorbs those routes, it frees up three buses from the Chaffee Shuttle fleet. And if all of the rest of the moving pieces fall into place, that could mean wheels on the ground sooner, rather than later for the newly developed Eagle Line Shuttle.

One of the initial challenges will be drivers. Down the road, funding might be available, however to get things rolling now, West SLV Transit is currently seeking two volunteer bus drivers to run these routes. One driver would be located in Del Norte, the other in Saguache.  Those who are interested in volunteering one day a week to drive the Eagle Line Shuttle should contact Connie Cole, at 719-530-8980.

Chaffee Shuttle bus

The Shuttle! Coming soon to a bus stop near you in Saguache Today? Stay tuned!

But that’s not the only way readers can help. You can also take a brief transportation survey. Not only will this data provide some information on the short term needs, it will also demonstrate community support for future funding opportunities. In other words, a few minutes of your time, will mean expanded transportation opportunities matter to you! Thanks! The survey can be found HERE.

For more information about West SLV Transit contact Saguache Chamber President, Barry Van Sant at 719-322-7298.

 “These leaders are working hard to provide transportation to their communities,” stated Cole. “The program is being successfully talked about and moving forward!” Please show them your support!

Writer Kathy Bedell owns The Great Pumpkin, LLC, a media company located in Leadville, Colorado which publishes SaguacheToday.com and LeadvilleToday.com.

 

Saguache News – April 9

Annual ‘State of Chamber’ Presented Last Week

On April 3, Barry Van Sant President of the Saguache Chamber of Commerce gave the Annual State of the Chamber report at the Saguache County Road and Bridge meeting room. Here are the highlights from that presentation as submitted by Carita Ginn, Chamber Secretary. Please support your local chamber by becoming a member. The rates are low and the benefits are high!

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Saguache Chamber President Barry Van Sant participates in a presentation during the Annual Planning Meeting for the Saguache Chamber of Commerce. Photo: Saguache Today/Kathy Bedell

CONTINUE TO GROW

2017 saw the Chamber continue to grow and evolve as the largest community service organization in Saguache County. Membership numbers continued to hover near 70 members again in 2017. A great accomplishment for a town of less than 500 citizens.

Once again, the Chamber received grants from the Saguache Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) to help fund the advertising, marketing, and operations of for the three annual Chamber events: The Hollyhock Festival, The Art Festival, and the Fall Festival & Quilt Show. The BOCC also contributed to the Chamber’s annual marketing project targeting San Luis Valley (SLV) related publications and Internet sites in order to promote the Town and County of Saguache. The Chamber spent over 60% of its annual budget promoting the town and county, inviting people to come shop, play, and live in our beautiful rural community.

THE ONGOING CHAMBER BUSINESS EFFORT

Generally speaking the “Chamber Year” begins in April of each year when the Chamber President announces the results on the annual Chamber elections and then gives the Annual State of the Chamber presentation to the membership. The 2017 Chamber year had two Board positions up for election. The resulting assignments for the 2017 Chamber year were as follows:

  • President – Barry Van Sant
  • Vice President – J. Byron Williams
  • Secretary – Carita Ginn
  • Treasurer – Jean Collier
  • Member-at-Large – Theo Boudreaux

Each month Chamber members meet to discuss current events, Chamber events and plans, and to hear from various invited speakers who share their background and passion for the Town of Saguache, Saguache County and the SLV. The General Membership meetings are designed to be informative and interesting social events. In 2017, the Chamber Board invited speakers to cover a wide range of interesting topics that are uniquely targeted to Chamber members and non-members alike.

The Chamber Speakers in 2017 were:

  1. Mr. & Mrs. Dee & Lee Bates – Mill Creek Ranch at Old Cow Town
  2. Mr. Eric Grossman – Mayor, Creede, The SLV Branding Initiative Project
  3. Mr. Darryl Reinsel – Owner, Darry Reinsel Home Improvements
  4. Ms. Lorraine Quintana, Owner, Big Valley Motel and Wigwam Hair Salon
  5. Ms. Holly Anderson – Area Director, AirMed Care Network
  6. Ms. Liza Marron – Executive Director, SLV Local Foods Coalition
  7. Mr. Roland Gyallay-Pap, Development Director, Saguaceh County Sustainable Enviroment and Economic Development
  8. Ms. Brenda Garcia – Owner, Bear Claw Computer Services and Westwind Cleaning Company
  9. Mr. Travis Garoutte – Superintendent, MVS School District RE-1
  10. Mr. Steve Stewart & Ms. Cathy Kent – Owners, The Saguache Hotel
  11. Ms. Laurie Vigil – Community Coordinator, HEART of Saguache/KV
  12. Mr. Ken Frye – Chapter President, The Old Spanish Trail Association

NEW PROJECTS, POLICIES, INITIATIVES, ETC. ACCOMPLISHED 

THE COWBOY & THE HOLLYHOCK  – In 2017 the Chamber went through an extensive review and development process to register the Chamber logo, known as the Cowboy & the Hollyhocks, with the Colorado Secretary of State. This trademark registration protects the use of the logo for next five years within the State of Colorado. This milestone is a great achievement for the Chamber as was deemed necessary due to extensive brand recognition the Cowboy & the Hollyhock logo has attained over the last few years. Saguahce Chamber logoAlso, as part of this effort, the Trademark Committee also developed prototype contracts for both Retail Sales and Consignment Sales of Chamber products. This enables 3rd party resellers to stock and promote the sales of “Standard Chamber Products”. All standard chamber products can be identified by the use of the Chamber logo displayed prominently on the product e.g. cups, caps, t-shirts, scarves, etc.

NEW AND IMPROVED CHAMBER WEBSITE – After 10 years, and late in the 2017 Chamber year, the Chamber released a new and improved website. Efforts began on this project early in 2017. As requirements were gathered and resources acquired the Chamber Board formed a Website Re-do committee in the Fall. In March 2018 the new website was announced and made available to the public.

THE SAGUACHE SENIOR CARE CENTER INITIATIVE  – The Saguache Chamber, for the first time in its history, and after extensive vetting and review, spearheaded a funding support campaign for Valley-to-Valley Senior Care to raise money and garner community support for a new senior care center on the outskirts of the town of Saguache. This Care Center will provide daytime services for the elderly and their families in the area. Essential services are offered that will greatly enhance the quality of life for the elderly. The new care center is also going to provide 24 by 7 elderly care with six rooms available for those needing full time care. This is the first time the Chamber has “adopted” a major cause throwing its full weight at this initiative in recognition of the need and value this care center can bring to our community. As of this writing, 2017 progress is being made. Grant funding, in-kind support, and the Chamber funding program are all working toward making this happen. The Chamber is hopeful that these efforts result in the groundbreaking and construction of this facility in the 2018-2019 timeframe.

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Join the fun! Join the Saguache Chamber of Commerce. Photo: Saguache Today/Kathy Bedell

THE WESTERN SAN LUIS VALLEY TRANSIT COMMITTEE INITIATIVE  – In early 2017, the Chamber learned of new developments within the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) to bring bus service to the San Luis Valley. As a remote community, with few services, it was a natural fit for the Chamber to pursue CDOT about this initiative and investigate the possibilities of bringing transit service to the important Gunbarrel (Hwy. 285/Hwy. 160) travel corridor. As such, working with the Town of Saguache, the Town of Center, the City of Monte Vista, the Town of Del Norte, Rio Grande County, and Saguache County, the Chamber has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with these entities to create the Western San Luis Valley Transit Committee and submitted a request for a grant from CDOT to conduct a study of the Gunbarrel corridor. Neighbor to Neighbor, the 501c corporate owner of the Chaffee Shuttle in Salida, has agreed to be the fiscal agent for this effort. The goal is to gather the data needed to impress upon CDOT to include this travel corridor in future implementations of the Bustang Outrider service, and to provide data to third-party providers who might be willing to establish smaller shuttle services to our town.

OTHER IMPORTANT ACCOMPLISHMENTS

  • Chamber Officially took ownership of the Christmas Decorations project at Otto Mears Park and purchased many new lights and decorations and decorated the park.
  • The Chamber updated and released the new Saguache Business Tear-off Map • The Chamber’s new Product Refresh Committee had its first-ever release of a new Standard Chamber Product line
  • Helped Support the Creation of a new SLV-wide Chamber Coalition
  •  The Chamber wrote and released its first-ever Chamber Position Statement to address the unfortunate turmoil on Saguache Town Board
  • Chamber entered into an agreement with SLVFD to open the first-ever beer garden at the Fall Festival & Quilt Show
  • Chamber sponsored the first Ribbon Cutting ceremony in several years
  • Working with Mountain Valley School the Chamber has begun videotaping Chamber Speakers

LOOKING AHEAD BIGGER & BETTER FESTIVALS  – Again in 2018, the Chamber is acquiring fund 2017 as well as the funding model of the Chamber. As such, during fiscal year 2018, the Chamber Board of Directors will be working with our Treasurer to transition our annual budget from a calendar year fiscal budget to an April to March fiscal year.

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Byron Williams garden at the Smith Market Gallery won the blue ribbon in the Hollyhock Garden category. Photo: Saguache Today/Kathy Bedell

REVIEW THE MEMBERSHIP MODEL TO POTENTIALLY INCREASE REVENUE  – With the advent of the new Chamber website, the Chamber will now be able to measure the success of the website and determine which pages on the site are used the most. With this additional data there may be opportunities for members to purchase a higher-level of membership to create more exposure for their businesses. Likewise, there may be opportunities to sell advertising on the website. As such a committee to review the membership levels and rules is planning to meet in the fall to review this data and determine if the Chamber can raise more revenue through its website. Ultimately the Chamber Board would like to reduce its dependence on grant funding to fund its mission.

WEST SLV TRANSIT STUDY PARTICIPATION  – The Chamber President is the project manager for the West SLV Transit Study, should it be awarded to the West SLV Transit Committee. As such, the Chamber will be involved in acquiring a transit consultant and monitoring the progress of the selected consultant on the study. This effort should be ongoing and concluded sometime in 2019.

SAGUACHE SENIOR CARE CENTER PARTICIPATION  – The Chamber will continue to monitor and support Valley-to-Valley Senior Care in the pursuit of this important project.

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Stephanie Beuchler (left) and Barry Van Sant (right) hold down the booth for the Saguache Chamber of Commerce which presents the annual Saguache Art Festival.

CONCLUSION  – On a sad note, the Chamber year was marred by the loss of one of our most devoted supporters, Ms. Kate Vasha. Ms. Vasha was not able to devote a lot of her time to the Chamber, but she was always an ardent supporter and she could always be relied upon to back the Chamber members and mission. Ms. Vasha was a powerful force in Saguache government and helped establish many important activities that are still vibrant and active today in our town. She will be greatly missed.

It was a busy year. The festivals were bigger and better than ever. The Chamber Board and Committees tackled many new important business problems; creating new policies and business practices to help smooth the way for future Chamber Boards and members. The Chamber took on major economic development related initiatives that should bring more jobs, business and services to the community; as well as additional revenue to the town and county.

But once again we must recognize the selfless sacrifice of our members own personal time and money contributed each year to make these things happened. Again in 2017, the Chamber members and other community members donated over 1400 hours of effort into our community putting on events, seminars, and donating time and monies to needy individuals, businesses, and organizations. The Chamber is entirely run by volunteers. The level of effort contributed by volunteers in 2017 is a testament to the community.

However, in order to achieve our goals of 2018 to get bigger and better and to expand our outreach and services, the need and importance of volunteers continues to grow. There are current openings in several areas identified in the Chamber Roles Matrix where more help is needed. Please consider becoming a volunteer and assuming one of more of these roles. The Chamber volunteer is the real hero of this organization and we simply cannot do it without you! Thank you for another great Chamber year and we, the Board, look forward to working with you to make 2018 another great year.

Sincerely, Barry Van Sant, President J Bryon Williams, Vice President Carita Ginn, Secretary Jean Collier, Treasurer Theo Boudreaux, Member-at-Large.

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Thanks to (right to left) Theo Boudreaux, Carla Quintana and Jean Collier with the Saguache Chamber of Commerce for their volunteer efforts at the Saguache Fall Festival. It takes a village – everyone efforts are appreciated!

Latest News – September 27

24th Annual Fall Festival & Quilt Show Recap 

By Carita Ginn, Saguache Chamber of Commerce

The 2017 event has officially been recorded.  The last Saguache Chamber sponsored event for this year was a success.  Measuring success can be done in many ways.  As Chamber Secretary, I choose to measure it in the happiness of those who attended.  Vendors and visitors were pleased with the selection of entertainment along with the delicacies offered-both food and handmade treasurers alike.

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The Salida Circus entertains the crowds, with some help from a few local kids, during the 24th Annual Saguache Fall Festival & Quilt Show which was held at Otto Mears Park on September 16. Photo Saguache Today/Kathy Bedell.

The Saguache County Museum started our day with their last pancake & sausage breakfast for 2017.  The Chamber was overwhelmed by your generosity for all the Silent Auction items-with over 30 contributors donating more than 70 items-including a handmade quilt from Caroline Irwin and the Saguache Sagebrush Quilters.  The Quilters’ fundraiser of their own handmade quilt was given away as a door prize.  Visitors appreciated all their hard work in the items offered as well as their demonstrations throughout the day. 

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The Saguache Volunteer Fire Department served up some suds and BBQ at the 24th Annual Saguache Fall Festival & Quilt Show. Photo: Saguache Today/Kathy Bedell. Thanks for keeping Saguache County safe!

The fundraiser for the Saguache Volunteer Fire Department came as a Beer Garden including Brats and Burgers.  The Friends of the Library offered baked goods and their World Famous Root Beer Floats later in the day.  Our vendors came from as far north as Castle Rock and as far south as Arizona.  Without the visitors, both local and out-of-town, these fundraisers would not have been profitable.

Entertainment came in many forms.  From the Salida Circus performers demonstrating their talents to teaching children how to be performers.  The Adams State Alpine Backbeat Drum Line livened up the entire park with their contributions to the entertainment lineup.  Wonderful sounds resonated throughout Otto Mears Park thanks to the following:  Seat of the Pants String Band, Cheap Therapy, Roadrunners & Pint and a Half.  Tom Dessain kept the sounds audible.  We want to thank Tim Coleman for the use of his stage and thank the Town of Saguache for the use of the Community Building and Otto Mears Park.  Having this venue on the highway helps to draw in visitors.  This helps not only our event but also local businesses.

We cannot forget all those who worked silently in the background to keep this event on task: starting with our Saguache Chamber Board Members-Barry Van Sant, Jean Collier, Byron Williams, Theo Boudreaux and Carita Ginn;

Fall Festival_Saguache Today_2017_2

Thanks to (right to left) Theo Boudreaux, Carla Quintana and Jean Collier with the Saguache Chamber of Commerce for their volunteer efforts at the Saguache Fall Festival. It takes a village – everyone efforts are appreciated!

Chamber members Maria Archuleta and Carla Quintana along w/Fall Festival Committee members Laura Archuleta and Heather Salaz worked tirelessly on the Silent Auction booth; the remaining FF Committee- Rita Bennett, Ruth Horn (her daughter Charity Gallegos and grandson Logan filled in for her since she was called away), Tony Sandoval (along with his assistants Michael & Floyd) were all there to perform whatever was needed.  This event could not have been as successful as it was without all this support.

Lastly, we want to acknowledge the financial support offered by the Saguache County Commissioners through Sales Tax Grants and entertainment sponsor, Aventa Credit Union.  These funds allowed the Chamber to solicit the entertainment and promote this event through advertising.

Mark your calendars for next year – September 15, 2018-to come and celebrate the 25th Annual Fall Festival and Quilt Show.  We will be planning something extra special and you do not want to miss that!

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Local rockers Road Runners drew in the crowds as one of FIVE live musical acts during the 14th Annual Saguache Fall Festival & Quilt Show on September 16.

Latest News – September 16

Fall Festival & Quilt Show in Saguache Today

In Saguache Today, Sept. 16, Otto Mears Park will come alive with the sights and sounds of autumn at the 24th Annual Fall Festival & Quilt Show.  Presented by the Saguache Chamber of Commerce, the yearly occasion celebrates the harvest season with good food, hand-made quilts, a full line-up of live music, family fun and a variety of vendors sure to have you taking out your wallet!

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The 24th Annual Fall Festival & Quilt Show offers quilting demonstrations and the Chamber’s ONLY Silent Auction fundraiser which usually beings out the good loot to place your bid on! You can find the fun in the Community Building on September 16.

The day kicks off at 7 a.m. with the Saguache County Museum serving up some of their famous hot cakes and sausage, including beverage for only $5. You can find them under the park pavilion. They will be serving breakfast until 11 a.m. for you late risers!

The day’s festival schedule kicks into high gear at 9 a.m. when the vendors pop-up in the park and the Community Building opens for the much-anticipated Silent Auction. This is the chamber’s only official fundraiser, so there are usually some top notch things to bid on. Please support their efforts.

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Performers from the Salida Circus will be on hand to entertain the kids!

And while you’re in the Community Building be sure to take in the beautiful design work being presented and demonstrated by the Saguache Sagebrush Quilters. They will have a handmade quilt as a door prize, so be sure to get your ticket!  

From there, head out to cruise the park and shop the vendors, offering a variety of wares from food, to jewelry to handcrafted artwork. Live music will also be offered throughout the day starting at 10 a.m. And this year, there is quite a line-up, so get ready to be entertained by some of the best acts around, including: 

  • Seat of the Pants String Band – This duo is the epitome of old timey, grass roots, down home rocking chair bluegrass. Together forever, this husband and wife combo are like a sweet sunny summer morning. This is a great way to start the day so don’t miss them at 10 a.m.
  • Cheap Therapy – Saguache’s own Barry Monroe brings his brainchild to the stage. Cheap Therapy delivers unique originals with a tropical pop, white-boy reggae, groove shuffle vibe. They dish out harmonies so smooth you can ride ‘em like a slide.
  • Alpine Backbeats Drum Line – Catch the precision rhythms of the Alpine Backbeats Drum Line from Adams State University in Alamosa. This ensemble has eleven drummers playing bass, snare, tenor drums plus cymbals. They have been together for 2 years and have performed over thirty shows. Delaney Armstrong manages the drum line and James Doyle is the Professor.  This will be acoustic, on the grass and lots of fun! 
  • Roadrunners – Speeding across the valley from Saguache is “Roadrunners.” This is a five-piece country rock band with a beat that will kick you to your feet and get you dancing. Members are Rick Grontz on Keyboards and vocals, Mike Croft on drums, Ed Johnson on guitar and vocals, Mike Brill on guitar and vocals and Jack Barton on bass.  Catch them After lunch on Saturday.
  • Pint and a Half – Pint and a Half plays to crowds all over Colorado with forays into other neighboring states. Their folk roots Americana style is propelled by electrified acoustic guitar, bedrock percussion, blues harmonica, and close vocal harmonies. This band always delivers a tremendous show with both tears and dancing as standard features. Don’t miss them this afternoon.

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    The 24th Annual Saguache Fall Festival & Quilt Show has an incredible musical line-up with some of the best bands in the valley! Come and join the fun at Otto Mears Park on September 16. Photo: Saguache Today/Kathy Bedell

Of course, there’s plenty of family fun to be had at the Saguache Fall Festival. Make sure the kids are at the park, starting at noon to see the Salida Circus performers offering face painting, stilt walkers, a magician and balloon clown. You can catch some of the circus performers in between the musical acts and throughout the park; they will be clowning around until 4 p.m.

At 3:30 p.m. the chamber will announce the winners of the silent auction, as well as hold the drawing for a beautiful handmade quilt. The fall festival is sponsored  by Saguache County Commissioners & Aventa Credit Union.  Come, celebrate the season on Saturday, Sept. 16 at the Saguache Fall Festival! See you at the park!

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