Some 140 miles southwest of Denver lies the quaint mountain town of Salida. The Chaffee County destination is known for its arts and outdoor recreation—and this summer, its artistic presence is being bolstered by a new artisan festival, the Sherman Market. Happening six times this summer in downtown Salida (dates below), visitors can find Colorado-made goods, artwork, clothing, and accessories from a rotation of nine Colorado vendors, while also enjoying live music from local artists.
The series is the brainchild of Evergreen-based couple Cate and Greg Kenny, who purchased the historic Sherman Hotel late last year. What used to be an American Cross Hospital is now a retail space that sits just blocks from the Arkansas River in downtown Salida. The building is also home to three lofts, known now as The Sherman Lofts, which was where the couple stayed when they visited Salida for the first time last summer. The rustic and sleek lofts overlook a previously unused, courtyard, which will now serve as the Sherman Market’s new home.
“Salida’s such an art-focused community,” says Cate. “We thought we could open this space up to let vendors come in, sell their wares—and also bring another attraction to Salida.”
Cate, an artist herself (some of her works hangs in the lofts), courted most of the vendors through social media. Using her own style as an aesthetic, she looked for artists, clothing, food, and music that make high-quality products that could be described as “bohemian, up-to-date, hipster-ish, or just something that Salida would respond to,” says Cate. The market was not a hard sell to the artists and vendors, who saw it as an opportunity to bring their craft into a city that’s full of art, culture, and community—or just as a reason to visit Salida.
The market will be open for six weekends this summer, most on the same weekend as other local events, such as Fibark, one of the oldest whitewater festivals, or the Salida Riverside Fine Arts Festival. Kickoff weekend—June 3 and 4—will feature vendors such as Niyol Jewelry and The Denver Fashion Truck, as well as music from Salida local James Brett Jarnagin. “We hope to create an energetic vibe where people can appreciate art and all things handmade, even if you don’t shop,” says Cate.
If you go: The Sherman Market will be open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on the following weekends: June 3–4, June 17–18, June 24–25, July 15–16, July 22–23, and August 5–6.