Tag Archives: Saguache County Colorado

Latest News – August 1

Flowers – and Flooding – Greet Hollyhock Festival

The 6th Annual Saguache Hollyhock Festival saw a bit of sunshine last Saturday which was a welcome reprieve from relentless rain Saguache has been seeing for more than a couple of weeks.

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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

While some of the gardens experienced a pretty good hail lashing the day before the July 29 event, most sprang back to life with some tender, love and care from their owners. Garden tour-ists seemed to make a goodtime of it regardless, exchanging gardening tips and of course, conversations about the weather .

This year’s garden winners for the 2017 Saguache Hollyhock Festival could be found on the same street, but a few blocks apart. The winner in the Hollyhock Garden category was Byron Williams, artist and owner of the Smith Market Gallery. “The judges must have seen them before all this rain, when they were at their peak,” Williams said in front of is artists shop at the corner of 5th and Denver Streets. And while there were plenty of the official town flowers gracing his garden, many seemed to be bowing in homage to the ancient settlers who brought them here.

The blue ribbon top prize in the garden category went to Sarah Krantz and Dave Smalley for their entertaining and whimsical garden at 655 5th Street.

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The see-saw feature in Sarah Krantz and Dave Smalley’s whimsical garden was one of the things that garnered it the top prize for the garden catagory.

From the campfire feature to the fake alligator in the newly-formed swamp created from all the recent rain, most visitors left with a smile. But for those who really wanted to throw their heads back in laughter, it was the giant hand-crafted see-saw feature that took the cake!

And while all of the floral beauty could be seen outside, the festival’s homage to the Hollyhock continued inside the Saguache Community Center as well.

“We’ve seen about 100 people, so far,” stated Committee Member Sarah Krantz and that was only at 12:30, with two and a half hours left to the celebration. There was plenty of fun for the kiddos with Hollyhock doll making with Lacey Reed, face-painting by Town Administrator Pam Fye and the Saguache Girl Scouts kept busy making windsocks to place in gardens.

The locals show up to support the fundraising efforts from the Saguache Volunteer Fire Department serving up some delicious hamburgers and frito pie with some of those roasted chilies on top.

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The 6th Annual Saguache Hollyhock Festival brought good crowds out to the Saguache Community Center last Saturday, July 29. Want to see more photos? CLICK

The Friends of the library served their famous root beer floats and Don Baker of Evergreen Apiaries was on-hand extracting some of his delicious honey for tasting and to buy!

 In the Hollyhock art contest which is open only to residents of Saguache, it was Wade Collins who took the top price for his piece: Offering. In the youth contest which artist Samantha “Sami” Robinson’s painting “The Hollyhock” garnered the blue ribbon.

“We want to expand the art competition for next year,” said Hollyhock Committee Member Caroline Irwin. “We are hoping to get more students involved by offering some kind of art class earlier in the spring, so that they can submit work for this show.”

Girl scouts_Face Painting

The face painting with Town Administrator Pam Fye was a big hit with the kiddos!

There has also been some discussion about having a separate category for those artists who do not live within the town of Saguache, which would cast the net of submissions a bit farther as well.

That’s a wrap for the 6th Annual Saguache Hollyhock Festival report. Next up on the Chamber of Commerce event calendar is the Saguache Art Festival, which will be Saturday, August 19. Stay tuned to Saguache Today for coming details.



Latest News – July 29

Hollyhocks Celebrated in Saguache Today

Don’t let the rain deter you from getting to the 6th Annual Hollyhock Festival in Saguache Today from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. It just mean sthatthe gardens you tour today will be extra lush and green. Plus there’s plenty of fun and Hollyhock activties inside at the Saguache Community Building should the rain return.

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The Town of Saguache’s official flower – the Hollyhock – will be celebrated with great fanfare and affection at the 6th Annual Hollyhock Festival on July 29. Photo: SaguacheToday/Lynn Nowikowski.

Presented by the Saguache Chamber of Commerce, this event has grown in popularity, finding many San Luis Valley residents joining in the celebration of Saguache’s official town flower!  So if you’re looking for the shade of the tall trees and haven’t stopped into downtown Saguache for a while, be sure to include this self-guided walking tour in your plans to see what’s new.

Hollyhock Festival goers will begin their route at Otto Mears Park in Saguache. Check in at the Community Building anytime between at 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. More than a dozen gardens, some with Hollyhocks, some without, will be on display as gardeners compete for generous prizes.

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Pictured here standing next to one of the Hollyhock artworks from last year, Saguache Mayor Greg Terrell is the official Hollyhock Festival greeter. Photo: Saguache Today/Kathy Bedell.

The celebration of Saguache’s official flower commemorates the dedication of early settlers who brought the hollyhocks and old-fashioned roses to the area. In addition to the delightful tour, master gardeners will hold a plant clinic. So if you’ve been wondering what’s been going on with your green thumb, this is the place to do it!  And be sure to bring the kids along for a special session on how to create a Hollyhock doll; of course the adults are welcome too! There will also be Hollyhock plants which will be potted and available to buy for your garden!

In addition to the beauty created by Mother Nature, local galleries will have their artwork on display, many pieces highlighting the delightful Hollyhock. Artists’ work will also be displayed in the Community Building, all featuring glorious Hollyhock in various mediums – painting, needlework, carving, etc. Be sure to be there at 2 p.m., when the winners of the best adult and juvenile Hollyhock art will be announced. It all leads up to the grand announcement of the first, second and third place prizes will be awarded for the best Hollyhock garden and the best general garden.

As part of the Saguache Hollyhock Festival there will be breakfast, snacks and lunch available in the Community Building as a fundraiser for the Saguache Volunteer Fire Department. So fuel up before you tour the gardens, or when you come back for the awards and announcements. In addition, those World Famous Root Beer Floats will also be offered by the Friends of the Saguache Public Library.

Hollyhock Festival Doll

Children enjoy making Hollyhock dolls from the town’s official flower while sipping on a homemade root beer float from the Friends of the Library.

Once you are finished touring the gardens, you’ll want to make a day of it! From downtown’s Magpie Art Gallery, the Hauck Pedersen art gallery and The Range to Antiques, Etc., the Fenton Studio Pottery, and Smith Market Gallery just a few blocks off main street, if you haven’t visited in a while, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to see a thriving arts community in Saguache Today.

There are a lots of new and thriving businesses on 4th Street, Saguache’s downtown business and arts district. Be sure to visit the Welcome Center, along with the 4th Street Food Store, and Blue Earth Thrift Store, and don’t miss out on the new Saguache Bicycle Service shop located behind the thrift store.  Wander over to see a movie at the Cozy Castle Cinema.

There are also now a few dining options in Saguache. Of course, the 4th Street Diner and Oasis Restaurant are favorites among locals, but also check out the Village Pub now in its second summer. The Saguache Hotel is undergoing some renovation work, so be sure to “check in;” that’s just one of the many exciting things happening in Saguache Today!

So make it a lovely day of gardens and small town enjoyments at the 6th Annual Saguache Hollyhock Festival on Saturday, July 29. The Hollyhock Festival is presented by The Saguache Chamber of Commerce with the generous support from the following sponsors – Thank You! Saguache County Commissioners, North River Greenhouse in Alamosa, Monte Vista Co-op, Walmart in Alamosa & Salida, True Value in Salida, Salida Greenhouse, SLV Garden Center in Monte Vista, Always Azul in Villa Grove, Catlin’s Greenhouse in Monte Vista, Brady’s West Greenhouse in Salida, Yvonne Halburian in Saguache, Saguache Office of Rio Grande National Forest.


The garden competition includes a Hollyhock and general garden category. Pictured here is one of last year’s winners.

Latest News – July 25

Fire Festival Open to Saguache Students

Saguache Today readers may remember the great success that local students demonstrated at last January’s “Telluride Fire Festival.” Add to that a life lesson about the satisfaction in seeing a project to completion, especially when it’s a beautiful piece of art that lights up the Colorado night sky .


Max Zapak is at the controls of the Saguache student-created, three-headed sculpture which was on display at the 2017 Telluride Fire Festival last January.

Last week, the Telluride Fire Festival in collaboration with Coldharbour Institute, announced that this program is again open to students in Saguache County. The partners have received a micro-grant from the Burners Without Borders Community Program to produce the Second Annual Two-Day Fire Art Program for Youth.

For those unfamiliatr with the event, each year, The Coldharbour Institute and Telluride Fire Festival collaborate to bring a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) program, which engages historically underrepresented (economically, racially, physically) students from three rural areas of Colorado and bring them to Telluride for two weekends. In November they bring them to Telluride to work in the Deep Creek Experimental Mine (https://www.facebook.com/deepcreekmine) with experienced burner artists to develop and execute an amazing fire sculpture. In January, students are invited back to participate as exhibitors at the Telluride Fire Festival (www.telluridefirefestival.org) and experience the other spectacular fire artistry. 


The arts are alive at Mountain Valley Schools in Saguache. Pictured here are students who participated in the sculpture project for the 2017 Telluride Fire Festival. From left to right—Andy McKim, clay instructor from Moffat Consolidated School District 2, Ryker Poor, Taleb Nelson, Ida Green, Casey Groom, Alyssa Chavez, Jodeelee Rigdon. Photo: Telluride Fire Festival

With the goal of engaging students in the wonders of science, technology, engineering, art and math in a way that sets their synapses to popping, the group once again will invite 15 students from the Saguache County/San Luis Valley, Gunnison Basin, and San Miguel County. At least four artists/crafts people/professionals from various areas of art and engineering – metal, pottery, drawing, painting, structural engineering, etc. – are brought in to mentor and teach.

Over the course of two and a half days in November, the kid’s research, design, plan, and build the sculpture. They learn not only the academic bases of STEAM, but also the very real job preparation of welding and engineering, as well as an immersive introduction into art.

While they have 15 kids building the sculpture, thousands have the pleasure of experiencing the final project at the January Telluride Fire Festival. In addition, the sculptures also take a tour for viewing in various student regions. The program has artists, engineers, fire safety experts, educational experts, graduate students, college students and high school students all working together to develop the sculpture, STEAM knowledge, as well as leadership and educator skills at all levels. 

Here are the details:

  • Dates: November 17-19
  • Time: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Locations in Telluride: Ah Haa School for the Arts, Artists Collaborative in Deep Creek Mine
  • Cost: $400 (Scholarships are available)
  • Tuition includes lodging, meals, transportation, and materials. The class is limited to 15 participants.  


Student can apply for a scholarship by submitting two paragraphs about why a scholarship is needed for student participation to erin@telluridefireferstival.org. The deadline to request a scholarship is November 1.

More About the Telluride Fire Festival
The Telluride Fire Festival, a 501c3 organization, is an interactive fire art experience offering workshops and outdoor displays of fire artistry to attendees to enable all to immerse themselves in fire arts. Dates for 2018 are January 19-21.

For more about the Festival, to give a student scholarship donation, volunteer, or submit a fire installation for consideration, or subscribe to their enews, visit www.telluridefirefestival.org or email erin@telluridefirefestival.org.

Latest News – July 22

H.E.A.R.T Offers Dinner, Movie for Interview

The Health, Equity, Action, Resident Team (H.E.A.R.T) of Saguache/Lazy KV will be hosting an interview event next Tuesday, July 25. This event is open to all local families with Elementary School-Aged Children residing in the Town of Saguache & Lazy KV Estates, located several miles east of town.

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H.E.A.R.T of Saguache is looking to interiew families of Elementary School-Aged living in Saguache Today. Event to be held July 25.

The H.E.A.R.T,  working in partnership with The Colorado Trust is in the process of gathering information on poverty and economic development which has been identified as a priority issue by residents in the community. They will be holding the interview event at the Village Pub, locate din downtown Saguache on Tuesday, July 25, starting at 5 p.m.

Families with elementary-aged youth will be served dinner during the interview process, followed by the movie “Despicable Me 3,” playing at Cozy Castle Cinema. Dinner and the movie are free of charge for participation in the event; including popcorn and drinks at the show! 

Please RSVP as seating at the cinema is limited. Include your name, contact information and number of participants attending. RSVP: Call/Text/Email Lacy Reed at 719-248-1327 or by email at lacynicole@me.com.


Latest News – July 20

Supplemental Food Distribution in Saguache Today

Food Box Canon CityThe next Supplemental Commodity Distribution and CSFP will be today, Thursday, July 20, from 2 – 3:30 p.m. at the commodity building at 505 3rd Street in Saguache and this morning in Center from 10:30 a.m. to 12 Noon at the Kiwanis Building at 5th & Broadway.
Everyone is welcome for the supplemental distribution!
If available, please bring proof of income, residency, and photo id. If you are having someone pick up for you, don’t forget to send in your proxy form.
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Seniors Saving Money with SHED in Saguache Today

Saguache County seniors are taking advantage of the SHED (Saguache Healthy Elders Discount) program and saving hundreds of dollars every week at the 4th Street Food Store.

The weekly truck arrives with more food to re-stock the shelves at the 4th Street Food Store in downtown Saguache. Photo: Saguache Today/Lynn Nowiskee.

To sign up for SHED membership, you must be 60 years of age or older and reside in Saguache County.  Members receive a 20% discount on all food purchases at the nonprofit grocery.  Ride-share and/or grocery delivery service also is available through SHED.

The program, started last fall with generous support from the Saguache County commissioners, is intended to help seniors on fixed incomes who earn too much to qualify for other assistance but still struggle to make ends meet. 

Participation is increasing steadily as awareness of the program grows.   Nearly 40% of our customers now are taking the SHED discount, and we encourage eligible residents to do so as needed.

From squash to cherries, summer’s fruits & vegetables are coming soon to 4th St Food Store.

With the discount, on prices already significantly lower than those offered at comparable health or local food stores, low-income residents no longer need to drive 100 or so miles roundtrip to shop for healthy choices.

That saves time, gas money, wear and tear on vehicles, and it keeps more tax dollars in Saguache County.

The 4th Street Food Store, a nonprofit project of Saguache Works, is dedicated to providing affordable access to fresh, healthy food, to supporting Valley food producers and to creating jobs for area residents. Lower prices, and SHED discounts, leave very little margin to cover overhead expenses and to pay store staff.   Saguache Works very much appreciates, therefore, those senior customers who can afford to pay full price and decline to take food discounts.

To sign up for SHED, or to inquire about ride services, stop by the 4th Street Food Store, at 404 4th St. in downtown Saguache, or call 719-655-0216.

Fresh Fruits Available at 4th Street Food Store

In other food news, Saguache Works posted on the Facebook Page the following information:

Are you looking for cases of fresh western slope produce? Suzanne, who supplies our 4th Street Food Store with Colorado western slope produce, is taking orders. Apricots and cherries are in now! Perfect for canning or freezing, too! Suzanne can be reached at (970) 985-8692 (sorry, no texts). Call her to set up an order and make arrangements to meet for pick up. Saguache Works would also like to extend thanks to Suzanne for helping us supply fresh Colorado produce to our community!

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Summer’s fresh fruits and vegetables are available at the 4th Street Food store in downtown Saguache Today!

Latest News – July 18

Calling All Artists for Hollyhock Art

As part of the 6th Annual Hollyhock Festival in Saguache on Saturday, July 29 there will be an “all things Hollyhock” art contest and show.  

Pictured here standing next to one of the Hollyhock artworks from last year, Saguache Mayor Greg Terrell is the official Hollyhock Festival greeter. Photo: Saguache Today/Kathy Bedell.

There are two divisions:  Adults and Youth (K-12).  The art items will be judged prior to display on Saturday July 29 at the Community Building, 525 7th Street in Saguache from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.  Winners will be announced July 29 at 2 p.m. with ribbons, recognition, and prizes awarded.

Artists interested in entering their Hollyhock creations are asked to bring their entries to the Saguache Town Hall at 504 San Juan Ave, Saguache from Monday thru Thursday July 17-July 20 during the hours of 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.  Town staff will gather the items for the Hollyhock Festival committee.  Artwork is to be picked up at the Community Building, July 29 after 2 p.m.  Contact  Caroline, 719-850-0051 with any questions or text inquires.

Hollyhocks, Alcea rosea, were one of the earliest plants brought to the new world.  Originally from Asia, the plant’s hardiness, drought tolerance, and soil adaptability supports its cultivation throughout the Middle East, Europe and North American continents. The hollyhock plants growing in the southwestern region are probably descendants of the first seeds planted when the area became settled.

The town of Saguache adopted the Hollyhock as the town flower in 2012 and since 2013 there have been self-guided tours of town gardens and yards. For 2017 the Hollyhock Festival will be held on July 29 with maps and Hollyhock seeds and plants available at the Community Building at Otto Mears Park located at 525 7th Street, Saguache.  

Other activities that day will include hands-on-activities, face-painting (yes, the entire family would enjoy this event), master gardeners clinic, bee-keeping display, and so much more. The Sixth Annual Saguache Hollyhock Festival on July 29 will be a great way to enjoy a Saturday among flowers and friends. Come visit and may everyone’s Hollyhocks grow straight, tall and be weed free.

Latest News – July 17

School Hosts Community Meeting Wednesday

Mountain Valley School (MVS) will hold a BEST Grant and 2017 bond election information meeting at the Saguache County Road and Bridge Building, 305 W. 3rd at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, July 19.

Mountain Valley School Sign

Mountain Valley School District will take the bond issue to voters in order to secure the matching funds for the BEST grant. 

In May, the district announced that they were awarded a $27 million grant from the State of Colorado’s BEST program. The next step will play out at the polls as voters decide if they are willing to pass a $3.7 million bond this November to build a new school and athletic facilities for students and the community.

The receipt of the BEST grant is contingent on the matching contribution through the bond issue. In other words, it will ultimately be up to voters whether the project moves forward.

According to documents on the Colorado Department of Education’s website, MVS proposed a complete replacement of Pre-Kindergarten through 12th Grade educational facilities.


The purpose of Wednesday’s meeting will be

  • Celebrate the success in obtaining the BEST grant.
  • Review the proposed plan for the school.
  • Discuss the 2017 bond election.
  • Questions and answers.
  • Everyone is invited to learn and provide their input.

What is a BEST Grant:

Established in 2008 with the signing of C.R.S.22-43.7, BEST provides an annual amount of funding through the Colorado Department of Education in the form of competitive grants to school districts, charter schools, institute charter schools, boards of cooperative educational services, and the Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind. BEST funds can be used for the construction of new schools as well as general construction and renovation of existing school facility systems and structures.