Shamrock Festival a fun way to give

Photo courtesy Sally Neel Wes Arrighetti and Bill Newell helping to construct the play cabin that will be auctioned at this year’s Shamrock Festival, benefitting Habitat for Humanity and St. Patrick’s Outreach Ministries. The festival will be held at St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church, Aug. 8, from 5 to 8 p.m.

Photo courtesy Sally Neel
Wes Arrighetti and Bill Newell helping to construct the play cabin that will be auctioned at this year’s Shamrock Festival, benefitting Habitat for Humanity and St. Patrick’s Outreach Ministries. The festival will be held at St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church, Aug. 8, from 5 to 8 p.m.

By Sally Neel
Special to The PREVIEW

Visitors to Pagosa Springs often comment on the beauty of our surroundings, as well as the beautiful people who live here. Pagosa Springs is a place where people generously reach out to take care of neighbors in need and manage to have a great deal of fun in the process. St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church will provide the perfect opportunity to do just that at this year’s Shamrock Festival.

St. Patrick’s Shamrock Festival, benefitting Habitat for Humanity and St. Patrick’s community outreach, is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 8, beginning at 4 p.m.

The fun will take place on the church parking lot, with music provided by local blues artist Jack Ellis. And for those who want to kick up their heels, Ryan Hazelbaker, the phenomenal director and choreographer for Thingamajig Theatre Company, will be on hand to teach you how to line dance.

Jack Ellis is an amazing performer, a one-man band, whose rapport with his audience is genuine and always entertaining. He often can be heard at local venues. He is also generous with his talents, often singing and playing for such venues as Loaves and Fishes during its Thursday free lunches and in support of community outreach.

“We are so grateful to Jack for agreeing to play for the Shamrock Festival,” said Fr. Doug Neel, rector of St. Patrick’s. “He is a terrific musician who not only brings our favorite songs to life, but makes us want to sing and dance along.”

Anyone who has seen the musical productions of “Tarzan” or “Damn Yankees” or marveled at the choreography of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” all currently playing at the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts, can thank the directing and choreographic talents of Ryan Hazelbaker for helping to bring them to life. He also choreographed Creede Repertory Theatre’s current production of “Guys and Dolls.”

A native of New Orleans, Hazelbaker received his bachelor’s degree from Northwestern State University of Louisiana in musical theater performance and directing/choreography. He has been working with Thingamajig for the past year, helping to bring his magic to the stage.

“I figured if I am going to learn to line dance, I want to learn from the best,” said Neel. “It will certainly take a professional to help get my two left feet coordinated and I am confident that Ryan will make it fun for all of us. If I can do this, anyone can.”

During the morning of Aug. 8, from 9 a.m. to noon, the church library will be open to sell a great selection of used books at the ridiculously low prices of 25 cents for paperbacks and $1 for hardbacks. The proceeds will benefit church outreach projects.

The Shamrock Festival will begin at 4 p.m. and will include a silent auction that will feature a hand-constructed child’s play cabin, solidly built with redwood by the men of St. Patrick’s and members of the Habitat for Humanity Board of Directors. This play cabin is not only beautiful, it is also sturdy and a treasure that can be handed down to future generations. The proceeds from this and all other silent auction items will benefit Habitat’s 25th house build in Archuleta County.

Nonprofit groups who wish to have a booth at the festival are invited to call the church at 731-5801 to reserve a spot. The cost for the space is $100 or the cost to purchase five tickets to the event.

Tickets are $20 and include a great selection of hors d’oeuvres, two drink tickets, entertainment, silent auction and the opportunity to give your support to Habitat for Humanity and St. Patrick’s Outreach Ministries. Tickets may be purchased at the offices of St. Patrick’s or Habitat for Humanity. St. Patrick’s is located at 225 S. Pagosa Blvd.

This story was posted on July 31, 2015.