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Celebrate the Fork dinner set for Oct. 1

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The second Celebrate the Fork Farm to Table dinner, a fundraiser for the North Fork Valley Creative District, will be held Saturday, Oct. 1, at Heritage Hall in Hotchkiss. This year's menu options, all made from locally sourced products, include pheasant or beef Bourguignon. Gluten-free and vegetarian options are also available. All beverages, including beer, wine, and spirits from Jack Rabbit Hill, are also locally sourced.

Colorado Creative Industries, a division of the Governor's Office of Economic Development & International Trade, identified the North Fork Valley as an Emerging Creative District in 2012, and in 2014 granted the area full creative district status. The NFVCD is special in that CCI saw the North Fork area as unique for its concentration of organic farms and growing local food industries and accepted the premise in their application that "value-added agriculture is creative," said NFVCD board member and project manager Dave Mitchell.

Members are working to create art exhibits for the event using the value-added agriculture premise, said Mitchell. In keeping with the theme of agriculture as art, Paonia artist Ryan Strand will convert Heritage Hall into a garden of giant fruits and vegetables using his signature willow branch sculptures and lights.

Following dinner, attendees can peruse exhibits by numerous local artists and coalition members, including an exhibit of works by local authors, while enjoying music by Mike Gwinn and David Snyder. This is the time that people can really enjoy each other's company and talk about art and agriculture, said Mitchell.

All proceeds go toward continuing the creative district's mission of supporting a strong and balanced economy through the area's creative sector. In a presentation to the Hotchkiss Town Council last Thursday, Mitchell said coalition members met recently with local community leaders to discuss the creation of housing and work environments for North Fork area artists, similar to that provided by Elsewhere Studios in Paonia.

"We hope someday that we'll be making a bigger impact than we are today, but we continue to move forward."

Last year's event sold out early. For ticket pricing and more information, email contact@northforkcreative.org.

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North Fork
Celebrate the Fork, event, Hotchkiss
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