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A few words about Celebrate the Fork…

By September 6, 2015September 7th, 2015No Comments


After the Delta County Independent proclaimed: “FIRST CELEBRATE THE FORK A SUCCESS!” we had to reflect on how everything went over the two days of our first celebration of the creative folks who live in the North Fork Valley. The Friends of the Coalition fund raising dinner was sold out and a huge success, with Heritage Hall decorated as never before, complete with draped walls, a canopied ceiling, floral arrangements and an elegant table.

The centerpiece of the night was exhibits from artisans and craftsmen whose works made, “I never knew ………” the comment of the day.


The exhibitors were:

  • Gerry Wedekind – Aspen Turnings with fine furniture and lamps
  • North Fork Authors – that Rita Claggett assembled and displayed
  • Len Chmiel – with his art never before shown in the area
  • Nancy Becker – A recent arrival to the North Fork
  • Marley Hodgson – With his lifestyle Collections from his Smith Fork Gallery
  • Jen Sanborn – Whose paintings of birds have really caught everyone’s attention
  • Lynn Mattingly – Exquisite Quilts
  • Flora Lovelace – Prize winner for her Handmade Dolls
  • Dona Doye – With vibrant colors
  • North Rim Glass Studio – Whose Sculptured Glass pieces have everyone in awe
  • Ned Norton – Hand Tooled Leatherwork from a Nationally prominent Saddlemaker
  • North Fork Valley Musicians – A display of the music by local Musicians
  • Jim Agius – With his work in progress, an Eagle with 10 foot wingspan.
  • Ira Houseweart – with a Metal Sculpture that was ten feet tall
  • Bob Heid – Whose Indian Beadwork was fantastic

Everyone enjoyed the food that had been prepared by the leading chefs and culinary experts of the North Fork and served by Hotchkiss High School and Hotchkiss K-8 Students that showed a level of skill and attention that was commented on by all


Our Arts and Crafts Fair opened at 10:00 AM with two locations with vendors lining the concert area in their booths and inside Heritage Hall on tables. Everyone got to see the works of the exhibitors from Friday night as well as members and other vendors displaying their works inside Heritage Hall.

Some great comments came from the vendors including,

  • “It’s been beyond my expectations; The Valley has been needing this kind of event.” ~Mary Hockenbery
  • “Business has been steady” ~Bette Baron Cyr
  • “Not the typical event around here, hope we can have it every year” ~Val Stucker
  • “Oh yes, I’ve been to a number of “these” all over the Western Slope and even Loveland, Colorado, but this was the most lucrative – that’s a Cowboy word for money.”~ Bob, Little Hawk, Heid.

Saturday’s concert line up was just what we hoped! Something for everyone! We started the day with choirs and Gospel groups from area churches:

  • Saddle Mountain Fellowship Praise Team
  • Linda McVehil, duet
  • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Paonia, choir
  • Paonia Friends Church Praise Team
  • Church of Christ Children’s Choir
  • Van Tuin – United Methodist Church of Paonia
  • Then moved to an 18 member group led by David Alderdice,

To get the crowd limber for the rest of the day we presented:

  • Julia Desmond, Needlerock Meditation and Wellness Center
  • The Marimba Project
  • The Yoga Tree with Willi Moore

The stage got electric after that, starting with:

  • David Starr, solo guitar
  • Beth Williams and David Snider
  • Michael Meadows and MOJO
  • The 3 Tinkers
  • The Scones
  • The North Fork Flyers and Harry Harpoon

Nobody sat the rest of the evening as we presented the Headliners

  • Travis Mann Band with Special Guest Guthrie Trapp
  • Otis Taylor Band featuring Anne Harris on Violin

We’ve already started thinking about how we can top this one next year and be ready for some surprises. After all, we do want to be creative!