‘Country Christmas’ Sept. 17-19
200-some folk artists coming to festival at Rock Ledge Ranch

       The 26th annual Country Christmas Folk Art Festival will add to the amenities at the Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site Sept. 17- 19.
       More than 200 American folk artists from across the country will present their art to festival attendees, with admission proceeds going to the restoration and preservation of the second floor of Rock Ledge Ranch's Orchard House, according to Kathy Read, an Old Colorado City business owner who organizes the event each year.
       There is no separate admission charge for the festival. People buying tickets to the ranch those days can also attend the festival.
       “The quality of this handmade artwork, the charming setting of the historic ranch and the unique beauty of the Garden of the Gods Park, all contribute to this festival's reputation as one of the finest of its kind in the United States,” Read said. “You will find beautifully crafted original folk art, fine jewelry and art, clothing with flair, elegant florals, seasonal decorations, hand-crafted furniture and many more 'one-of-a-kind' items that are unique to this group of carefully chosen artists.”
       Festival hours are noon to 6 Friday, Sept. 17; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 18; and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 19.
       City buses will shuttle people to the ranch from nearby parking lots.
       The city-owned Rock Ledge Ranch is a working facility that uses the actual site and buildings of a ranch that was started in the early days of Colorado Springs. Volunteers man the facility in the summer months, dressed in the styles of the late 1800s. The festival will add to the normal offerings to visitors, which include tours, food, music and demonstrations.
       The ranch is in the Garden of the Gods, off Gateway Road near 30th Street.
       Admission prices to Rock Ledge are $5 for adults, $3 for seniors and students, and $1 for children ages 6 to 12. For more information, call 633-2026.

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