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Shamrock Festival ready to rock ’n roll

After literally hundreds of hours of volunteer preparation time, St. Patrick’s 2011 Shamrock Festival is ready to rock ‘n roll.

The party begins with a gala event on Friday, Aug. 12, at 6 p.m. There will be a preview and early bidding on spectacular items in the silent auction. The auction will be held in the church, with piano and vocal entertainment provided by Sally and Robert Neel. After viewing the items up for bid and staking your early claims, guests will be invited to the parish hall for cocktails, refreshments and a short one-act play, “A Cut Above The Rest,” presented by members of Music Boosters. Tickets for the gala cost $15 and will be sold at the door. Proceeds will benefit the work of Music Boosters to support arts in our public schools.

Last January, St. Patrick’s Shamrock committees began asking parishioners to start looking through their closets, jewelry boxes, storage units, garages and book shelves to find things to donate to the silent auction, the yard sale, and the used book sale. Additionally, each organization in the church donated a basket of items for the silent auction. Episcopalians are seldom short of excess stuff and they gave generously to help support efforts to provide funding for local non-profit organizations. They filled three Airport Storage units with yard sale items, brought over one hundred items for the silent auction, and so many used books that the book committee was compelled to have a pre-Shamrock book sale to accommodate them all.

St. Patrick’s Shamrock Festival silent auction this year features a wonderful collection of diverse items. There are several vintage and estate pieces of jewelry including a 14K gold brooch with star sapphires and pearls, a vintage jeweled peacock pin, gold and silver necklaces, earrings and sets, and a 14K gold tanzanite and diamond bracelet. There will also be numerous gift baskets, a countertop vintage wine opener, lots of art and sculpture, handmade quilts, an early 1900s pecan wood buffet with carved mirror, an antique oval utility box dated 1867, and gift certificates of all kinds. For the fishing enthusiasts, there will be an Orvis fly rod with custom made wood wall rack, and a Quantum Optix spinning rod and custom made wood four-rod floor stand. There will also be the ever-popular fly fishing excursion with Father Doug Neel — priceless!

Each year the men of St. Patrick’s erect a huge tent behind the church for the festival. On Saturday morning, at 8 a.m., the tent will be filled to the brim with a huge variety of yard sale items. Whether you are looking for toys, used furniture, kitchen items, Christmas decorations, tools, household or gift items, the Shamrock Festival Yard Sale will have plenty of items to grab at bargain prices. Everything will be priced to sell and there will be something there to interest just about anyone. Get there early and plan to shop with gusto, because the sale ends at noon.

While you are there on Saturday morning, check out the Shamrock Book Nook located in the church library. They will have hundreds of gently used books for sale at only 25 cents for paperbacks and one dollar for hard backs. Some of the books are new releases. Additionally, there are some beautiful travel books, coffee table books, as well as CDs, DVDs, VCR movies, and books on tape available. The Book Nook will be open from 8 a.m. Saturday until noon.

As soon as the sales have ended, the tent will be transformed into an elegant dining venue. The Festival Silent Auction will be open to the public in the church at 4 p.m. There is no admission charge for the auction, so come and put your bid down for some of the great items on display. No one need go hungry or thirsty at the Shamrock Festival. There will be delicious hors d’oeuvres, as well as cocktails and non-alcoholic drinks available to enjoy before the Festival dinner under the tent at 6 p.m. Dinner tickets are $20 and are now on sale in the church office. Local band, Leadfoot Ruthie will be on hand to add their lively music to the evening, so don’t forget to wear your dancin’ shoes!

The auction will close at 7:30 p.m. and items will be available for pickup at 8.

If you have not bought your raffle tickets for the gorgeous handmade Shamrock Quilt, don’t wait. Tickets are going fast and there is a limited number being sold. You can buy a book of twelve tickets for only $10, or six tickets for $5, or individual tickets for $1. This amazing queen-sized quilt and matching pillow shams was made by the St. Patrick’s Quilt Ministry and will adorn one lucky winner’s bed. The quilt, called “Pagosa Peak,” has an intricate design of lovely fall colors, reminiscent of the gorgeous colors adorning the trees each fall on our surrounding mountains. Any tickets still available will be sold at the Friday night gala, but you can be sure to get yours now by going by the church office.

“I am immensely proud of the work our parish family has given to this event,” says Fr. Doug Neel, rector of St. Patrick’s. “As Christians, we are dedicated heart and soul to fulfilling our mission to assist those in need. The Shamrock Festival allows people from all over our community to come together to enjoy the fun opportunities being offered and participate in the worthy goal to support local non-profit organizations.”

Many people in our community, young and old alike, will benefit from this colossal effort and the generosity of those who attend this weekend’s festivities. All the proceeds will be donated locally to assist non-profit organizations.

• Friday, Aug. 12:

6 p.m.: Silent Auction Preview in the church with entertainment.

6:30 –7 p.m.: Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres in parish hall.

7 p.m.: One act play “A Cut Above the Rest” by Music Boosters.

• Saturday, Aug. 13:

8 a.m.-noon: Yard Sale in tent behind the church; Book Nook Sale in church library.

4 p.m.: Silent Auction begins in church; cocktails and hors d’oeuvres available.

6 p.m.: Dinner under the tent; quilt raffle drawing; entertainment by Leadfoot Ruthie with outdoor dancing to follow.

7:30 p.m.: Auction bidding closes.

8 p.m.: Silent Auction items available for payment and pickup.

• Sunday, Aug. 14:

8 and 10 a.m.: Worship under the tent.

St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church is located at 225 S. Pagosa Blvd. For more information, call 731-5801, or visit the church’s website,

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