Six reasons to (virtually) attend Carbondale First Friday tonight |

Six reasons to (virtually) attend Carbondale First Friday tonight

A scene from last year's Pride Parade on Main Street in Carbondale.
Chelsea Self/Post Independent file

Even though the community gathering aspect of Carbondale’s monthly First Friday celebration is on hold for now, there are still plenty of reasons to (virtually) attend this fun-filled evening with local businesses and creatives.

The Carbondale Chamber of Commerce and Carbondale First Fridays have partnered with Carbondale Arts and Thunder River Theatre Company to produce the live-streamed Pride & Family Block Party, which will stream from 6–8 p.m. Friday at

Unfortunately, the PRIDE Parade will not be a part of the festivities this year, but the focus will continue to be on celebrating PRIDE in the community. To that end, some middle school and high school students may speak on behalf of PRIDE in the community, Carbondale Mayor Dan Richardson will read a proclamation, and the PRIDE flag will be raised outside of Town Hall.

Michelle Marlowe, who has organized May’s First Friday Family Block Party for the past nine years, said the event will still include many of the organizations that have, in the past, made it such a special event.

The virtual Block Party will be emceed by DJs from the Andy Zanca Youth Empowerment Program, and will include:

1. Youth Music

Roaring Fork High School senior Rex Hamilton produced a video of himself and a few fellow RFHS seniors playing two songs — each from their own remote location.

“It’s showcasing what the family block party has been for the last nine years, but done virtually,” Marlowe said. “Music has always been a big part of it.”

2. Bonedale Flashmob

Alexandra Jerkunica, of Coredination, Bonedale Ballet and Bonedale Flashmob, will be teaching live the beginning of a new flashmob that everyone — kids and adults alike — can learn at home.

“I’ll do it piece by piece very simply because it’s for everybody, you don’t have to be a dancer,” Jerkunica said. “It’s just people coming together and bringing this joy to the community and for themselves too, because when you dance it just makes you feel good, and sharing it with other spreads the joy around.”

This newest flashmob created by Jerkunica will eventually be part of a larger celebration after the lifting of the social distancing order.

3. Handmakery Crafts

Ami Maes will create a do-it-yourself craft, called “A Cone For Community” supporting the six Cs — Creating + Community + Collaboration + Coming together + Children + #Carbondaleco.

“Handmakery was part of the very first Family Block Party and has been with us creating each and every year,” Marlowe said.

4. Colorado Animal Rescue

Wes Boyd, director of Colorado Animal Rescue (CARE), will present an update on the organization and do a fun live pet segment.

5. Carbondale Recreation & Community Center

The Rec Center has been a big part of the Family Block Party since its first year, Marlowe said. This year it will perform the flag-raising of both the American Flag and Pride Flag, as well as an additional fun segment.

6. Smiling Goat Ranch

The ranch, which uses animals to help people with their neurosensory conditions like autism, PTSD, anxiety and depression, will add a segment, led by Sheryl Barto, which will focus on what to do if you are going nuts in lockdown. They will also showcase some of their amazing animals, including bunnies, dogs, goats, miniature horses and therapy horses.

A preliminary event to the First Friday celebration will be a Yard Art Walk, created by Carbondale Arts and the Carbondale Creative District, which will happen from 4–6 p.m.

The idea is for the town’s creatives to place their art outside their homes or studios for the rest of the community to admire. It can either be art they’ve recently created or art they’ve had for years. They may then take photos and tag @carbondalearts and #carbondaleartshare.

This is an excellent opportunity for the community to walk their neighborhoods, while practicing social distancing, and discover how artistic their neighbors are.

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