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Annual Shamrock Festival benefits local organizations

The seventh annual St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church Shamrock Festival will be held on Saturday, Aug. 21, beginning at 8:30 a.m.

This much-anticipated community event will be held at the church campus, located at 225 South Pagosa Blvd., next to Pagosa Mountain Hospital.

 The Shamrock Festival provides a wide array of opportunities for all members of the family while greatly benefiting the Archuleta County community.  Activities include a family-focused garage sale, silent auction, the always-popular Book Nook, a raffle drawing for a beautifully hand-crafted quilt, bake sale and a delicious Western Barbecue Dinner. 

Father Doug Neel, church rector, says, “ ... outreach is an essential mission of St. Patrick’s Church and our church members work very hard creating an exceptional event for our community. The annual Shamrock Festival has become an event enthusiastically supported by the Pagosa Springs community because all festival proceeds are awarded to local nonprofit organizations.   Archuleta County service organizations are experiencing an increased demand for services by a growing number of residents.   At St. Patrick’s Church our Community Outreach programs, such as the Shamrock Festival, are extremely important missions because they help support our community.”

St. Patrick’s Church raised more than $10,000 during the 2009 festival for local community programs.

 The Neighbor-to-Neighbor Garage Sale will include sports equipment for children and adults, small kitchen appliances, hand tools and gently-used children’s toys.  The garage sale provides an additional opportunity for the church to assist our neighbors during these challenging economic times, as families will find many basic items at very reasonable prices.

 The always-popular Book Nook is back again this year.  An extensive selection of previously enjoyed paperback and hardback books is available. There is a wide variety of authors, topics, educational texts, travel guides, children’s books, and puzzles.  At $1 per hardback and 25 cents for paperbacks, this is the perfect opportunity to build your reading library for those long winter nights.

 Many of the county’s top bakers are creating a variety of delicious baked goods for the festival’s bake sale.  Enjoy gourmet cookies, pies, cakes and other specialty-baked goods.  Coffee, iced and hot tea will be available to enjoy while shopping the baked goods, stocking up on books or the visiting the garage sale.

 The women of St. Patrick’s lovingly create a special quilt for the Shamrock Festival each year. This year is no exception, with the beautiful Arrowhead Star pattern quilt designed in red, tan, blue and cream fabric.  The quilt is queen-sized with matching pillow shams.

 The winning raffle ticket for the quilt will be selected during the festival dinner.  The winner does not have to be present and the quilt will be shipped at no charge.   Raffle tickets are $1 each and can be purchased at the church office, by phone at 731-1727 and from church members. 

  The silent auction is another exciting event held during the festival.  Numerous local artisans and craftspeople are completing their unique creations for the Silent Auction. Many are one-of-a-kind items designed especially for the evening.   Quality auction items include signed pottery pieces by local artists and a picnic basket filled with wine, cheese and assorted delectable foods.  Jewelry pieces include two beautiful necklaces - one pearl and a second with small diamonds and sapphires.  Also available is a set of crystal champagne glasses and kitchen knives. 

 Complete your visit to the festival with a Western Barbecue Dinner, then dance the night away to the music of a favorite local band, Leadfoot Ruthie.  The catered Americana-themed dinner includes barbecue brisket and all the fixings, along with a variety of gourmet desserts.  Bottles of wine will be available for purchase and there will be an open bar.  Dinner tickets are available from the church office for $10 each and seating is limited to 100.  

 The band, Leadfoot Ruthie, is lead by church member Mark DeVoti.  With over 100 years of combined musical experience, the band members play a mix of oldies, ’70s, and ’80s tunes, country and rock-n-roll.

 Community donations for the garage sale and Book Nook are being accepted on Saturdays between 9:30 and 11 a.m. until Aug. 14 at Airport Storage or by special arrangement through the church at 731-5801.

 Organizations benefiting from the 2009 Shamrock Festival included Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Teen Center, Seeds of Learning, Hospice of Mercy, Archuleta County Victim Assistance, Habitat for Habitat, Pagosa Mountain Hospital Indigent Fund, the Pagosa Pregnancy Center and the Pagosa Outreach Committee.