Folk Art Festival Sept. 14-16

       In keeping with the Orchard House's 100-year anniversary, restoration of the second and third floors of the prominent building at Rock Ledge Ranch will again be the beneficiary of proceeds from the annual Folk Art Festival.
       “The festival has the privilege and worthy goal of raising funds that continue the restoration of Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site and Living History Museum,” reads a press release from Kathy Read of Holly Berry House Inc., who started organizing the large outdoor sales event as an annual ranch fundraiser 29 years ago.
       The festival, featuring creations by more than 200 artisans from around the United States, is scheduled Friday through Sunday, Sept. 14-16 at Rock Ledge. Times are Friday, Sept. 15, from noon to 6 p.m.; Saturday, Sept. 16, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday, Sept. 19, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
       Simultaneous activities will be daily live music at the festival by banjo player Jody Adams (of the Palmer Divide band), house tours and the Piecing Partners' quilt auction in the Carriage House.
       The city-owned, 1800s-era working ranch is southwest of 30th Street and Gateway Road in the Garden of the Gods.
       The Orchard House was built by Colorado Springs founder William Palmer in 1907. Funded by grants and festival donations, the restoration project started in mid- July and should be completed by the end of this month, according to ranch manager Andy Morris. Previous restoration efforts, aided by the Folk Art Festival, have restored the ranch's 1880s Rock Ledge House.
       “I'm excited by what's been going on over the years at the ranch,” said Read, who also owns the Holly Berry House and Needleworks in Old Colorado City. “It's now getting to the point where it's just astounding. People are looking at the ranch as an important part of Colorado Springs.”
       She also lauded the historical accuracy of the restoration, which has been based on research by an architectural firm. The project “is costly and takes a lot of work,” she said. “But it's going to last a long time.”
       Festival admission is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors and $2 for children ages 6 to 12. Tickets are good for all three days.
       Artisan wares will be offered in rows of tents and booths set up on the hayfield just east of the ranch's Rock Ledge House. Because attendance often overflows the ranch's parking lot, two shuttle buses run regularly through the Garden of the Gods during the event, picking up people from the city park's other lots.

Westside Pioneer/press release