Spirit of the Desert Gourd Patch news

Spirit of the Desert gourd patch ended the year with a fantastic Christmas party at Poolside in Oakwood. Wonderful food and a gourd ornament gift exchange were the highlights. Getting together socially and sharing is a key part of our group.

The patch starts the new year with new officers. Colleen McKnight will serve as president, and Thelma Edwards will serve as secretary. Lorraine Longpre will continue as vice president and Carol Reese will continue as treasurer. The board and membership thank Vickie McKenna (past president) and Lynn O’Malia (past secretary) for their excellent service as they leave the board.

January will be a busy month as the patch prepares for the huge Wuertz Gourd festival February 8-11 in Casa Grande. It will be our second year chairing the Arizona Gourd Society annual state gourd art competition. Our patch members have taken on leadership roles including overseeing the four-day event, registration, volunteers, judging, fundraising and volunteer food services. This is an incredible amount of work, but the value of having such a great competition is worth it. This is one of the best and largest gourd competitions in the United States, and it will be open to the public Friday through Sunday, February 9-11.

At the festival, our patch will also have a triple booth for gourd sales. All our members are encouraged to bring finished gourds to sell, and with nearly 50 members, there is plenty of variety. Look for our large Spirit of the Desert banner in the vendor building and stop by our booth to say hi!

Our patch is always happy to welcome new members. Our monthly meetings are the third Thursday of each month, 4:00-6:00 p.m. in the Arts and Crafts Room of the Oakwood Country Club. Membership is open to anyone in the valley; dues are $25 per year and include membership in the Arizona Gourd Society. Our patch also hosts several workshops per week for hands-on education.

More information is always available at our website, SpiritDesertGourds.com.