Tag Archives: Saguache events

Saguache News – August 17

Saguache Art Festival On Saturday, Downtown

The 9th Annual Saguache Art Festival will be held this Saturday August 18 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  This year’s festival will feature a variety of artists and crafters, with music and food throughout Downtown Saguache.

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From arts demonstrations to incredible works on display, come and see what’s new at the Saguache Arts Festival August 18. Photo: Saguache Today.

Saguache Art Festival maps will be available throughout Downtown. The Saguache Hotel will display art and antiques, 4th Street Diner will feature local artists and always amazing pie. Antiques Etc. will have eclectic antiques and local glass art. The Fentons will do a live pottery demonstration at their studio on San Juan around the corner from the Village Pub, serving up pizza, pasta and a full bar. The Magpie features Judith Page’s mixed media artwork and artifacts from Africa and the Middle East. The Range will exhibit painting by Gaby Wolodarski, an artist from Montevallo, Alabama.

The 9th Annual Saguache Arts Festival is sponsored by the Saguache Chamber of Commerce.

In case you missed it, here is the video from the special commemoration of Saguache artist Byron Williams at last month’s Hollyhock Festival by the chamber. Williams was also a supporter of the annual art festival. Art patrons will miss stopping into his Smith Market Gallery which he operated for many years as his gallery and studio. Good luck on the next chapter, Byron!


Meet The Artist:

Kelsey Hauck_Saguache Artist

Saguache artist Kelsey Pedersen Photo: June Savage.

Visit Hauck/Pedersen, in business in Saguache for over two decades, showcasing figurative expressionist art. Kelsey Hauck displays paintings, collage, sculpture, 100’s of works on paper, and antiquities throughout her 1886 storefront building.  Hauck has lived throughout the Southwest and has traveled widely in Europe. She came to Saguache in 1993 with her late husband Doug Pedersen.

Pedersen and Hauck met in 1966 in New York City when he hired her at the Whitney Museum of American Art’s first Education Department. Both artists have a strong interest in philosophy, classical music, education, and organic food. Their artwork deals with the human condition.

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!


Saguache News – August 16

Dawn Breaks Over New Chapter, School Year 

New Dawn Over New School Year Saguache today

The dawn of a new morning breaks over the a new school year and a new school building for 2018-19. It’s back-to-school time in Saguache Today

Back-To-School. While these three little words evoke a variety of emotions this time of year, from a sad goodbye to the carefree days of summer, to the excitement of a new school year! But in Saguache Today, back-to-school is all about community and celebrating a new chapter for Mountain Valley Schools. And yes, well some back-to-school stuff too! So head on over to Mountain Valley School for their Open House Bar-b-que from 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.  Meet the teachers and learn all about the school year. Enrollment packets are currently available and may be picked up from 8 .m. – 4 p.m. in the office.

As most readers know. The Mountain Valley School District is currently underway with a lala million dollar renovation project that will bring the buildings and facility up to a 21st century safe, learning environment. It’s an exciting time for teachers, students and everyone involved in education in Saguache Today. Come and support their efforts and see how the new building is coming along!

School blessing

The Mountain Valley School held a land blessing ceremony in May to commemorate the ground breaking for the new school building which was passed by voters in November 2017. To see more photos, CLICK HERE. Photo: Saguache Today/Kathy Bedell

Last November, Saguache County voter’s approved a $3.7 million Building Excellent Schools Today (BEST) grant initiative. Since then, the district has kept an aggressive timeline in order to meet construction goals. Early this summer, school and community officials welcomed state and corporate partners in a community ground-breaking ceremony. Come and check out the progress since then!Back to school BBQ

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 – August 9

“Let There Be Light”


A vehicle’s headlights are one of the most important items in your vehicle, and yet it’s often one of the most overlooked items.  Your ability to see clearly and be seen clearly at night is very important and is all due to your headlights. 

Headlights have improved over the years to help with seeing at night.  The introduction of Light-Emitting Diodes or better known as LED headlights have improved night driving dramatically.  Making them shine brighter and more clearly to help identify items on the roadway.  Most of the older vehicles have a halogen headlight, which is much dimmer in comparison.

So let’s talk about some of the things that can diminish the brightness of your headlights.  The first one is probably the most common.  Some light covers will tarnish and get a film over it causing the light to dim, thus not allowing the clarity needed when using them.  It’s easy to tell because your light cover will look yellowish and cloudy when you look at them.  If you see problems like that you might want to change them out or get them cleaned professionally.

Another issue that happens to headlights is having them move out of alignment.  This can happen due to loose bolts or just movement from being bounced around when driving on the roads.  You should check your headlight alignment at least once a year.  Sometimes you may see one light shining way above the road, or lighting up the ground just in front of your vehicle.

Lightning_Saguache Today

Driving Tip: A great tip to help you be able to follow the road is to use the fog line. The fog line is the white stripe on the right side of your lane. Simply use that as a guide to let you know you are still in your lane.

A vehicle needs to have at least two headlights to the front of the vehicle and at the outer edges of the vehicle.  Also placement cannot be lower than 24”, or higher than 54” from the ground to the center of the headlamp.

When a car is coming in the opposite direction at night it can sometimes be a little blinding trying to see past an oncoming car’s light.  A great tip to help you be able to follow the road is to use the fog line.  The fog line is the white stripe on the right side of your lane.  Simply use that as a guide to let you know you are still in your lane. By using your peripheral vision for the oncoming vehicle and focusing on the fog line you won’t blind yourself and won’t have to worry about drifting off the roadway.

So while we are talking about blinding other drivers, let’s discuss when to turn off those brights.  When you have oncoming vehicles on the roadway, you are required to dim your lights before you are within 500’ of the other car.  When you are behind another car and you are both going the same direction you are required to dim your lights before you are within 200’.

State law dictates that if the situation makes it to where you can’t see for at least 1000’ you need to have your headlights on.  This could be anything from darkness, dust storms, or snow storms; pretty much anything that diminishes your view.  Now days a lot of vehicles have automatic lights that will turn on when you get into those situations, but if you don’t have that option, please make sure you turn them on. If you do have that option occasionally check to make sure they are turning on when they are supposed to come on.   Also in Colorado you are required to have your lights on within 30 minutes of sunset and no sooner than 30 minutes before sunrise.

So I hope this shined a little information your way.

As always, safe travels!

Desert road at night far west usa 2009

Colorado Driving Law: When you have oncoming vehicles on the roadway, you are required to dim your lights before you are within 500’ of the other car.  When you are behind another car and you are both going the same direction you are required to dim your lights before you are within 200’.

Saguache News – August 7

Saguache Ranger Station Gets Help from HistoriCorps

It’s nice when the follow-up story reports more good news, and future efforts to restore a part of history in Saguache Today. This is that kind of story.

HistoriCorps, a Denver-based nonprofit dedicated to preserving America’s historic structures, in collaboration with the Rio Grande National Forest, will restore several remaining components of the Saguache Ranger Station later this month from August 25 – 29. The station is located right in town at 400 5th Street and known for its emblematic southwestern architecture.


Historic photo from August 9, 1940 of the Saguache Ranger Station, located at 400 5th Street in Saguache. Photo Credit: Rio Grande National Forest

The Saguache Ranger Station was constructed in 1939 to serve as a ranger residence, office and garage. Assisted by the Civilian Conservation Corps, the United States Forest Service (USFS) designed and built this Pueblo-style complex. The complex is described as “the best-preserved representative of a Pueblo-style complex, as well as one of the best preserved CCC-era Region 2 urban ranger stations in Colorado,” according to the USFS. Currently, the Ranger’s residence and garage are still in use as constructed, while the office has been converted to a bunkhouse to serve seasonal USFS employees.

“What’s so great about this station is that it has continuously served the public for 79 years as an administrative site for the Rio Grande National Forest. Adaptive reuse is crucial to maintaining the lives of historic buildings, and I’m honored that we have been invited back to keep on breathing life into this one,” stated HistoriCorps Director of Operations Jonas Landes, expressing his enthusiasm about the group’s opportunity to return to this site. It is also duly noted that Landes led the 2009 work, so welcome back!

HistoriCorps is a service learning partner of the U.S. Forest Service, Department of Agriculture committed to the preservation and stewardship of significant resources on public lands. And the Saguache Ranger Station holds a special place with the group as it was the site of its first project in 2009. Now, almost a decade later, volunteers and experts from the community, state, and across the nation, will join HistoriCorps for the next part of this station’s story. 


This month’s work on the Saguache Ranger Station will focus primarily on the severely deteriorated wooden vigas which will be replaced or restored, as well as caulked and re-painted. Photo Credit: HistoriCorps

This month’s work will focus primarily on the severely deteriorated wooden vigas which will be replaced or restored, as well as caulked and re-painted. The bunkhouse’s vigas, or log beams, are an interesting and iconic element of southwestern architecture. The popular style has been imitated in modern architecture as well, primarily for decorative purposes.

“The vigas we will work on support the bunkhouse structurally, and over time have deteriorated. Help us repair them so this building can continue to serve the public!” Landes said.

For anyone who may be interested in volunteering to help on this project, register HERE.

About HistoriCorps: HistoriCorps, founded in 2009, is a 501(c)3 that provides volunteers of all skill levels with a hands-on experience preserving historic structures for public benefit across America. Volunteers work with HistoriCorps’ seasoned professionals to learn preservation skills and put those skills to work saving historic places. HistoriCorps works to ensure America’s cultural and historical resources will be enjoyed by generations to come. 



Saguache News – August 6

Laura Archuleta Next Chamber Speaker on Tuesday

The Saguache Chamber of Commerce continues with their speaker program tomorrow, August 7 featuring Laura Archuleta. Many of you know Archuleta for her years of service with the US Fish & Wildlife Service and as a local entrepreneur and sole proprietor of Findley Ridge Herbals.

Fall Festival_2_Chamber Bary Van Sant

This year’s 25th Annual Fall Festival & Quilt Show is sponsored by the Saguache Chamber and will take place September 15. Pictured here from last year’s festival is Saguache President Barry Van sant Photo: Saguache Today/Kathy Bedell

In recent years, she has taken to world travel, all across North America and around the globe on several exciting journeys.  Come, here about Archuleta’s adventures in Nepal! Laura will be speaking about her Everest Base Camp Circuit Trek and her visit to Chitwan National Park. Covering both the highest of lands in Nepal’s Himalayas and the lowest of lands in the Nepal’s Terai Lowlands.

The Chamber monthly meetings (as always) are open to the public. Please contact the Chamber at info@saguachechamber.org or call Barry at 719-322-7298 if you have any questions about this meeting or if you’d like to be part of the Chamber Speaker Program in the future.

Join others from the community at 6 p.m. at the County Road & Bridge at 305 3rd. St. in Saguache on Tuesday, Aug. 7.


Saguache News – August 5

St. John Church Gets New Life

Several dozen Catholic faithful, along with historic preservationists packed the St. John the Baptist in La Garita on July 28 to celebrate the most recent milestone of a new roof and ongoing efforts to restore the historic structure.  

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The pews were full at the St. John the Baptist in La Garita on July 28 as the San Juan Catholic Spiritual Center celebrated Mass along with a new roof and cross for the historic building located in Saguache Today.

Father Pat Valdez, a San Luis Valley (SLV) native and former Pastor of Sangre De Cristo Parish in San Luis, Colorado celebrated Mass, followed by a community lunch. Afterwards attendees were treated to a presentation entitled. “Remembering Our Catholic Ancestors in the San Luis Valley,” by Kathy Archuleta, whose family’s foundation – the Archuleta Family Foundation – has been instrumental in helping the Pueblo Diocese, who own the facility, keep this part of the SLV’s history alive!

The San Juan Catholic Spiritual Center’s 2018 Summer Events continues at the end of this month with another presentation scheduled for Wednesday, August 29: “Passion of St. John the Baptist.”  

For readers unfamiliar with the center, it is a unique 10-acre site that offers a historical view of cultural traditions and a Catholic way of life brought from old Spain by the first Hispano settlers who traveled to the Spanish northern frontier from New Mexico.

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A new roof and cross for the church’s steeple were celebrated with Mass, a community meal and presentation about the Catholics influence in the San Luis Valley on July 28. Photo: Saguache Today/Kathy Bedell

As noted on the San Juan Catholic Spiritual Center’s website, it’s a place of panoramic beauty, in the northern portion of the San Luis Valley, protected by the rugged San Juan Mountain Range to the west and looks across the vast valley floor towards the majestic Sangre de Cristo Mountains to the east.

As a visitor, you can trace the path of the Hispano settlers when you see St. John the Baptist Catholic Church; as you pause at the site of the ruins of the old convent, now a monument dedicated to San Juan Bautista; as you wander through the rows of graves in the Carnero Creek Cemetery you can see family inscriptions and old gravesite markers; and finally, as you look upon a recent addition to the San Juan Catholic Spiritual Center, a Rosary Walk dedicated to Saint John Paul II.

And if you like scenic natural beauty to accompany your spiritual quests, then the view from the “top of the hill” will not disappoint.  

In 2007, a revitalization of the church and the surrounding property was inspired and guided by Father Joseph Vigil of the San Juan Catholic Community.  Through his efforts, a renewed pride emerged for the treasure and beauty of the tradition and history of the church.   As a result, the interior of the church has been restored, and the grounds now include walkways, a monument dedicated to St. John the Baptist, and a rosary walk dedicated to St. John Paul II.  

Then according to their website, early this spring, the Pueblo Diocese accepted the Archuleta Family Foundation’s request to donate and manage replacement of the church roof.  Not only did they give the approval to more forward but offered wonderful support in the efforts at the San Juan Catholic Spiritual Center. They were fortunate to receive great work from ZTEC Construction who traveled each day from La Jara, Colorado. 

St John Church_old Roof _saguache Today

With thanks to the Archuleta Family Foundation, the roof to the St. John the Baptist Church in La Garita was replace this spring. Photo: San Juan Catholic Spiritual Center webiste.

During the roof replacement, it was discovered that the steeple’s cross was very weather-beaten and needed to be replaced.  A new cross was built by Ed Kulp with the help of his wife Kathy.  It was Ed who envisioned the concept of the St. John Paul II Rosary Walk and also constructed the decade monuments.  Ed and Kathy are closely involved with the Archuleta Family Foundation in maintaining and planning events for the Spiritual Center. When the cross was ready to be installed, Fr. Stephen Injoalu, from the San Juan Catholic Community in Monte Vista, blessed the cross.

Collectively, the St. John Church and surrounding features comprise the San Juan Catholic Spiritual Center, dedicated to the courageous Hispano people who settled in La Garita and to the Priests and Sisters that supported them in their Catholic faith.  It is also dedicated to the Penitentes who helped keep the Catholic faith alive in the absence of priests during the early settlement.

So if there are any Saguache Today readers who are looking for a “place of peace, prayer and reflection in the San Luis Valley,” head toward La Garita and the San Juan Catholic Spiritual Center and take advantage their next program, the last one this summer on August 29!

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Hollyhocks are in bloom along the St. John Paul II Rosary Walk at the San Juan Catholic Spiritual Center in La Garita. Photo: Saguache Today/Kathy Bedell