Eight things to love about Carbondale Mountain Fair | PostIndependent.com

Eight things to love about Carbondale Mountain Fair

The women's woodsplitting contest at Carbondale Mountain Fair begins at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday.
Post Independent file

Carbondale Mountain Fair Friday schedule

Venue: Sopris Park

Noon — Artisan booths and some food booths open

4 p.m. — Children’s Carnival opens (Oasis); opening blessing by Roland McCook, Ute elder, followed by the Rhythm of the Heart Community Drum Circle (Gazebo)

5 p.m. — Rising Crane Marial Arts Demo (Oasis); Music by Sleep Justice (Gazebo stage)

5:45 p.m. — Sopris Soarers aerial dancers perform “Up and Over the Rainbow” (Gazebo); Local Artists Tent reception and silent auction opens.

6 p.m. — Roll Academy Concert by student musicians (Oasis)

6:15 p.m. — Music by The Deer (Gazebo stage)

7:30 p.m. — More “Over the Rainbow” dance performers (Gazebo)

7:40 p.m. — Tua Nua Belly Dance (Gazebo)

8 p.m. — Music by Ponder the Albatross (Gazebo stage); Children’s Carnival closes for the night

Mountain Fair continues Saturday and Sunday. See the daily schedule in the Post Independent each day and online at postindependent.com

Something about the Carbondale Mountain Fair inspires love in many forms — love of community, love of place, love of expression, love of freedom. Here are eight things about Mountain Fair to love.

The dress code

Mountain Fair has always been an “anything goes” kind of festival with fair-goers showing up in everything from old Mountain Fair T-shirts to full costumes. In the spirit of this year’s Rainbow Connection theme, Friday is tie-dye day, Saturday is monochrome (one color, preferably bright) and Sunday is “Creatures of the Rainbow.”

The vendors

You can find almost any kind of art, craft, clothing or jewelry at the fair, including some unexpected finds. Looking for signs or paintings made from recycled beehives? A handcrafted broom? A bonsai tree? A hanging chair? Goat milk body products? You’ll find it all at Mountain Fair.

The food

Of course, no festival would be complete without a wide variety of culinary choices to keep you fueled up. The food vendors at Mountain Fair offer everything from traditional favorites like bratwurst and funnel cakes to slightly more exotic fair like wild boar sliders and Indian cuisine.

Dancers in front of the Gazebo stage at a past Carbondale Mountain Fair.
Post Independent File


Besides the dancing that always seems to be happening in front of the Gazebo stage, rain or shine, several professional dancers will perform, as well. On Friday, the Sopris Soarers do an aerial ballet at 5:45 p.m. and the Tua Nua Belly Dance performs at 7:40 p.m.; on Saturday, Crystal River Ballet performs at 10 a.m., and a Community Contra Dance with Froze Blossom begins at 11 a.m. On Sunday, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Folklorico performs at 11 a.m.

Fun for kids

The Oasis carnival is a fun kids’ area that includes a bounce house, dunk tank, rope ladder, lollipop tree, duck pond, bean bag toss and a tumble bubble.

Local artists

The Locals’ Booth and Silent Auction tent includes a wide variety of paintings, prints, jewelry, photography, pottery and glass, all made by Roaring Fork Valley artists.

The music

Obviously, right? It’s a festival! Over the years, the music at Mountain Fair has created many of the most tangible “remember when” moments sticking in fair-goers memories, and this year promises to be no exception.

The festival music opens with a community drum circle at 4 p.m. Friday, and continues at 5 p.m. with local high school rockers Sleepy Justice.

At 6:15 p.m. it’s the “psychotropic soundscapes and tranquil, vivid dream-pop” of The Deer, and at 8 p.m., Ponder the Albatross hits the stage with “frenetic mandolin and guitar riffs and ferocious fiddle solos.”

On Saturday and Sunday mornings at 9:15 a.m., All Music Together’s Annie Flynn and Eric Baumhier gather the children together to sing, dance and drum. Also on Saturday, singing cowpokes will perform cowboy songs at 11 a.m. and Chris Bank gathers his JAS Aspen students for a performance at 1 p.m.

Saturday music on the Gazebo stage begins at 11 a.m. with Froze Blossom leading a community contra dance. At 12:30 p.m., Hubby Jenkins hits the stage with his brand of old-time American music. At 2:45 p.m. Carbondale’s Let Them Roar will flow with other musicians to create White Water Runoff. At 5:40 p.m. the Alcapones play Jamaican ska, rocksteady and reggae, and the night concludes with Latin and Caribbean beats and American funk and rock from Jyemo Club.

In the Oasis on Sunday, the Yuchaladies perform on their ukeleles at noon, and the Carbondale Rhythm Collective, a group of local African music enthusiasts, perform at 2:45 p.m.

On the Gazebo stage Sunday, the Earthbeat Choir performs at 10 a.m., Mintze + Jem + John plays traditional Irish music at noon, and country music with Callin’ Old Souls begins at 1:15 p.m. At 3 p.m., Hymn For Her plays backwoods country and blues with “a dose of desert rock psychedelia,” and at 5:40 p.m. The Burroughs close out the fair with classic soul standards.

Adult limbo begins at 2 p.m. Saturday at Carbondale Mountain Fair.
Post Independent File

Contests and competitions

So, you’re a competitive type who needs an adrenaline rush to get in the festival spirit? Mountain Fair includes several fun contests and competitions that can be as much fun to watch as they are to participate in.

Saturday starts off at 7:15 a.m. with the Mt. Sopris Runoff — a 14-mile race from the old Emma Schoolhouse to Sopris Park. If you’re looking for something a little bit easier, the 4-Mile Fair Run begins high up on Prince Creek Road and descends all the way to the park.

On Sunday, the Porcupine Loop Bike Race begins on Prince Creek Road at 7:45 a.m. and follows the Porcupine Loop Trail and other area single tracks before descending to the finish at Sopris Park.

One of the most popular contests over the years at Mountain Fair is the Wood Splitting Championships, which always draws large crowds to the park’s Open Space to see both men and women take their best whacks. The men’s competition starts at 4:30 p.m. Saturday and the women’s competition begins at 4:30 p.m. Sunday.

Who says you need a beach to have a limbo contest? Mountain Fair has one of the best you’ll see, right here in the heart of the Elk Mountains. The fun starts at 2 p.m. Saturday.

If you’d rather be fishing, Roaring Fork Valley fishing legend Gill Finn hosts a Fly-Casting Competition at 11 a.m. Saturday in the Open Space.

A singles horseshoe competition begins at noon on Saturday, and the doubles competition starts at noon on Sunday.

Pie baking and cake baking contests take place Saturday and Sunday mornings, respectively, with judging at 11 a.m. The best part about these contests is that all the entries are then sold by the slice.


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