Two big merchant events this month
Folk Art Fest in 27th year at Rock Ledge

       The second floor of the Rock Ledge Ranch's Orchard House will be the beneficiary of this year's 27th annual “Country Christmas” Folk Art Festival at the historic site.
       The fair/fund raiser, led by Kathy Read of Old Colorado City's Holly Berry House, will feature more than 200 invited artists and crafters from around the United States - as well as a few from this area - Sept. 16-18.
       “The quality of the 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 nation,” reads a press release. “You will find beautifully crafted original folk art, fine jewelry and art, clothing with flair, elegant florals, seasonal decorations, hand-crafted furniture and more 'one-of-a-kind' items that are unique to this group of carefully chosen artists.”
       According to Cheryl Catalano, lead interpreter for Rock Ledge Ranch, the Folk Art Festival is the major fund raiser for the city- owned facility, turning over more than $20,000 a year to the city-owned working ranch.
       The Orchard House, which was built by Colorado Springs founder William Palmer in 1907, has been restored completely to historic specifications on its first floor and on part of the second floor.
       “It's sort of sad to have that floor half done,” Read said. The work, which will be “expensive and time-consuming,” will include restoring walls, trim and carpet in two bedrooms, two bathrooms and one dressing room.
       Festival hours are noon to 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 17; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 18; and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 19.
       Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and $1 for children ages 6 to 12.

From a press release