SAGUACHE — The Saguache Arts Walk and Hollyhock Festival will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on July 30. For more than a decade, the Arts Walk and Hollyhock Festival drew crowds on different days. But after the Saguache Chamber of Commerce combined the events last year, the tradition became even more festive.
The artists will set up on the courthouse lawn. This year, hollyhock plants and seed cards will be sold across the street outside the Saguache Hotel. The 2022 Hollyhock Seed Card features the artwork of Caroline Irwin, the 2021 art contest winner.
The 2022 art contest includes divisions for children under 18 and adults. To enter, artists can deliver their work to Saguache Town Hall during the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. between July 18 and July 22.
Prizes for all contests will be awarded at 2 p.m. First-place winners will take home $100 in cash. Second and third place winners in all three categories (hollyhock garden, non-hollyhock garden, and art contest) will take home prizes valued at $75 and $50, respectively.
Former Saguache artist and resident, Byron Williams, sparked the first Arts Walk 13 years ago. Known for his decorative gourds (and love of hollyhocks), Williams sought to celebrate more artists in town and showcase their work.
Once the hollyhock was selected as the town flower, Williams was instrumental in establishing the Hollyhock Festival 11 years ago. Hollyhocks are hardy, drought-tolerant, and flexible enough to adapt to soil conditions. The colorful flowers bloom today in the Middle East, Europe, and North America, some perhaps planted in the San Luis Valley during the early 19th century.
For the first year of the Hollyhock Festival, former mayor Greg Terrell dressed as a gnome. Williams dressed as “Johnny Hollyhock”, a nod to Johnny Appleseed. Several ladies from Saguache dressed as garden fairies. These costumes added spice to the festive atmosphere.
As a special attraction this year, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., AirMedCare Network representatives will showcase their helicopter on the football field of Mountain Valley School. Cara Reano will be available to explain how their membership program works. When medical conditions require urgent help unavailable in the San Luis Valley, AirMedCare members can be assured they are covered.
The Saguache Volunteer Fire Department will sell breakfast burritos at the “Fire Hut” at 330 Denver Ave. near the post office starting at 9 a.m. Mountain Valley School students raising funds for a trip to Europe next year will set up at the Cozy Castle Cinema across from the Welcome Center on 4th Street.
Hollyhocks flash their colors all over Saguache. Event organizers will print a map to guide people to gardens (hollyhock and non-hollyhock), and more than two dozen "fairy houses" sprinkled around town. The map will also show food vendors and local shops.
Artists who want to take part in the 2022 Arts Walk can contact Sarah Krantz at 913-484-8983 or email her at [email protected]
The Arts Walk and Hollyhock Festival received funding from the Saguache County Sales Tax Grant, the Town of Saguache, and the Saguache Tourism Council. Volunteers and community participation drive this event.
For more information, visit the Saguache Chamber website www.saguachechamber.org, the Chamber's Facebook page, or send email to [email protected]