Rock Ledge hosts First Nations Day Oct. 16
Harvest Day draws estimated 3,000 Oct. 2

       As an alternative to Columbus Day the same week, the Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site will present First Nations Day - exhibits and demonstrations of American Indian culture through dance, storytelling, food and art from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 16.
       The event will follow the ranch's annual Harvest Day Oct. 2, which drew an estimated 3,000 people, according to Andy Morris, ranch manager.
       Special guests and presentors scheduled for First Nations Day are the Black Tongue Dakota Drum Group; Seven Falls Dancers; Bear Claw Native American Entertainment; Teoilhuikatl Dancers; Alden Naranjo, Southern Ute tribal historian; Lorene Willis and Brian Vigil, of Jicarilla Apache cultural affairs; Jared Weston King, interpreter for the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.; and D. Christopher Yellow Eagle.
       In addition, the Ranch's elk and buffalo hide tipis will be set up for storytelling. It's estimated that there are less than a dozen or so hide tipis in the world, according to Cheryl Catalano, lead interpreter for Rock Ledge.
       About 10 artists, vendors or demonstrators are also scheduled.
       Activities will be concentrated near the Carriage House, Catalano said.
       Harvest Day events included tractor and horsedrawn wagon rides, live music, trick-roping, oldtime children's games and sales of ranch-grown pumpkins.
       On some of the wagon rides, the passengers were treated to banjo picking by area musician and longtime Rock Ledge volunteer Mark Gardner.
       “It was a good-sized crowd,” Morris said. “I felt proud we had so many activities going on.”
       Rock Ledge Ranch is in the Garden of the Gods, off Gateway Road just west of 30th Street.
       Costs for the First Nations event are $5 for adults, $3 for seniors and students, $1 for ages 6-12 and no charge for ages 6 and under.
       Other than special events and school field trips, the city-owned Rock Ledge is closed to the public for the season. In past years, the old-fashioned working ranch would be open on weekends in the fall, but budget cutbacks changed that this year. The next event will be Nov. 13 - Hog Butchery day, when meat-processing aspects will be shown.
       For more information, call the ranch at 578-6777.

Westside Pioneer article from press releases