SOUTH FORK— The Rio Grande Club, just outside of South Fork, was hopping this past weekend with holiday shoppers from around the Valley. The annual Winterfest kicked off Friday, Dec. 8 to bring the holiday spirit to the snowless town, and with it came a myriad of vendors offering homemade gifts, local businesses with sweet treats and even Santa himself for a fun-filled event.
While driving up the curved road leading to the club, guests were met with holiday cheer in the form of wooden figures placed on the side of the road directing them to the club. Snowmen, reindeer and even some elves stood resolute against the snowless terrain, offering a hint of the holiday spirit to those looking for a small-town holiday shopping treat. A display of snowmobiles and OHVs could be seen just outside the clubhouse doors, set up like a sleigh that just may have been transportation for the big man himself.
Christmas music spilled out of the huge wooden doors of the clubhouse adding to the building glee of the holiday to come. Just inside the doors, Chamber Assistant Director Joe McCarn with McCarn Computers greeted guests and gave them a walk-through of the things to do inside. McCarn also offered each individual a raffle ticket for door prizes provided by local organizations and businesses that were up for grabs throughout the two-day event.
Off to the left, South Fork Town Trustee and owner of the Cabin, Vicky Phillips, had a table adorned with freshly cut pine boughs for her wreath-making booth. Guests gathered around the table to learn how to make homemade wreaths and spent the morning decorating their new Christmas decorations with bright red bows, glittering ribbon and cute figures provided by Phillips. The day was off to a great start and there was much more in store for guests as the day wore on.
Upstairs the rooms and hallways were filled with local and out-of-town vendors offering everything from blown glass ornaments to handmade soaps, winter apparel, decadent baked goods and much more. A group of carolers took to the balcony and began singing Christmas songs that floated throughout the building while shoppers made their way from room to room.
At the end of the main hall, Santa and his helper set up shop for the children to come and give him their Christmas wishes. Afterwards, Santa posed for parents to take pictures and sent the children off with a stocking stuffed full of candy. Just down from Santa’s workshop, the children could partake in an ornament-making booth and decorate cookies while their parents shopped.
Throughout the day, McCarn called out raffle ticket numbers for the winners of door prizes which included ski passes, tickets to the Creede Repertory Theatre, weekend trips, bottles of delicious wine and much more.
Hundreds of holiday shoppers made their way to the Rio Grande Club throughout the two-day event. A huge thank you goes out to all who helped make the weekend a great success!