After a two-year hiatus, the Chaffee Home & Garden Show returned on Saturday and Sunday at the Chaffee County Fairgrounds in Poncha Springs.
More than 1,500 people attended the fair to see the 51 vendors and 60 booths. The event showcased both local suppliers and companies from across the country. Event organizer Janet Franz said some even traveled from New York and Texas to run a booth at the event.
The show grossed more than $30,000. “This is our most important fundraiser for the Salida Sunrise Rotary Club,” said Franz. “Everything we do goes back to the community.”
She said Sunrise Rotary has awarded approximately $125,000 in scholarships to students and $109,000 in community grants raised through the show over the past decade. She said, “Everything we do is local.”
In addition to the vendors, the event featured a children’s activity building with games such as bocce ball and cornhole. Colorado Parks and Wildlife hosted an archery clinic for children. “We have a lot of kids who have never shot before,” said Tyler Kersey, the district’s wildlife manager. “It’s always cool to see kids being happy and excited about something.” It was CPW’s first time having a booth at the event. The activity building also had a giant Jenga game and coloring pages.
On Saturday, a mobile clinic at the fair offered COVID-19 vaccinations. Franz said, “As soon as they pulled up, there was a queue.”
Four prizes were awarded at the fair. Brady’s West, a garden center, won the Best in Show award for its booth that showcased outdoor landscaping.
Colorado Central Magazine won the Rookie of the Year Award. “This is my first time attending the show as a vendor,” said publisher Cailey McDermott. “The people were all very warm and friendly.” Salida magazine covers a variety of subjects, including history and agriculture, throughout central Colorado. McDermott said, “The whole focus is on building community and a sense of home.”
Pelino Excavation and American Landscape Outpost shared a booth and won the Best Building Product award.
The Greater Arkansas River and Nature Association won the ribbon for Best Green Booth. The organization offered information about GARNA and hosted a giveaway for composting and recycling services. Cat Anderson, subsidiary of GARNA, said: “It’s going well; there is a steady stream of people.”
Gary DeJong, President of American Overhead Door, said, “This event was like a family reunion; I missed those faces.”