The 17th Annual Wuertz Gourd Festival and Arizona Gourd Society Competition in Casa Grande last month was a blast for Spirit of the Desert patch members. Most members describe it like a gourd holiday. Running over several days, it’s full of classes, seeing friends you might only see once a year, shopping, and great competition.
The registration for this year’s competition was headed by member Deanna Dawes and staffed by volunteers in the patch. What a surprise to receive 60 more entries than last year! They processed and placed the 243 entries in five hours before the judging began that evening. The judging is very thorough and regulated by American Gourd Society rules. In the end, our patch members won 24 ribbons. Congratulations to those members:
Novice—Cindy Bosch, Cheryl Stokes
Intermediate—Carl Cooper, Lorraine Longpre, Deanna Dawes (4), Barbara Thompson, Christie Inman, Pattie Langton, Lynn O’Malia
Advanced—Pattie Langton, Deanna Dawes (2), Carl Cooper (2), Mary Park (3)
Masters—Julie Hemer (2), Best of Division, Best of Show
There are photographs of their work on our website, SpiritDesertGourds.com.
Also at the show, our patch members sold their finished gourd art from our large booth in the vendor hall. It was a good year for sales. Usually, the gourd festival is attended by over 10,000 people, and the crowds seemed similar to last year.
March will continue to be a fun time for the Gourders. We have several classes and demos coming up, plus our workshops. Check the website for more information.
And our monthly meeting will be on Wednesday, March 18, at the Poolside Complex of Oakwood CC. We will meet at 4 p.m. for our yearly “garage sale.” There will be hors d’oeuvres, hosted by the patch, while drinks will be available from the cash bar. We plan to have a “White Elephant” gift exchange and a few other games. This is the last meeting of the season for some of our snowbird members, and it will feature fun rather than business.
Did you go to the festival and get inspired? We do have members ready and willing to mentor new members! Check our website at SpiritDesertGourds.com to find out more. Anyone in the Valley is welcome.