Holly Berry gifts from now on to ‘preserve the restoration’

       Going into the 33rd year of the Holly Berry House Folk Art Festival Sept. 16-18, plans call for the Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site to be, as always, the recipient of event proceeds.
       The only difference, according to Kathy Read, owner of the Holly Berry shop in Old Colorado City and festival founder/ organizer, is that earnings from now on will be assigned to a special foundation fund to “preserve the restoration [that's taken place there over the years] and purchase artifacts for historic educational programs.”
       The city-owned, 1880s-style working ranch is off Gateway Road at 30th Street.
       Featuring about 165 artisans from around the country selling a variety of craft items, the festival will set up again in a temporarily fenced-off area of the Rock Ledge hayfield.
       Festival times are Friday, Sept. 16, from noon to 6 p.m.; Saturday, Sept. 17, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday, Sept. 18, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission costs are $6 for adults, $5 for seniors and $2 for children ages 6 to 12. Tickets are good for all three days.
       Over the years, the event has raised more than $1 million for the ranch, according to Read. Previously, the money had gone to the city for designated restoration projects (including the work at the Orchard and Rock Ledge houses). But with the city having slashed its funding for the ranch over the last couple of years, Read is pleased that its volunteer Living History Association (LHA) has brought to life a foundation dedicated to ranch preservation, separate from the city. “I just think it's important because so much has been done but has to be taken care of,” she said. “With this fund, if something breaks, Andy [Morris, the ranch manager] can go and get things fixed pretty quick.”
       Live music at the festival will be provided by Jody Adams, playing all three days. Outside the festival gates, at no charge, there will be a silent auction for quilts by the Piecing Partners organization in the ranch's Carriage House, tours of the Rock Ledge House and an opportunity to watch blacksmiths in the ranch's Blacksmith Shop.

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