Carbondale Mountain Fair: Gathering of kindred spirits |

Carbondale Mountain Fair: Gathering of kindred spirits

Scenes from the limbo contest at the 46th Annual Carbondale Mountain Fair.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

Love is all you need this weekend in Carbondale, as the 47th annual Carbondale Mountain Fair will pack Sopris Park with music, crafts, food and fun.

More than 140 artisans from across the country will gather at the park for the three day event for demonstrations and to sell their handmade crafts including metal and wood art, silkscreens, painted glass flowers, custom leather shoes, goats milk lotion, organic clothing, raw honey and jewelry.

Food from 20 different vendors will give visitors to the fair a chance to try tasty cuisine from Greece, India, Mexico and more.

The festivities will get under way tonight with the traditional opening blessing, but for the first time in more than 30 years, Fred “Lightning Heart” Haberlein won’t be there to greet the crowds with his loving spirituality and spontaneity.

“I’m excited to come back to the valley and see everyone, I just thought it would be fitting to bring Fred’s name up at the fair one last time and bless him for all he did.”Thomas Lawley

Haberlein, a noted muralist from Glenwood Springs and a familiar face at Mountain Fair every year, passed away earlier this year after a battle with esophageal cancer.

In remembrance of Lightning Heart, the fair will be dedicated to him, as former executive director Thomas Lawley, who now lives in Santa Fe, N.M., will honor his long time friend with a special tribute.

Organizers invited Lawley, who led the Carbondale Council on Arts and Humanities (now Carbondale Arts) from 1987-2003, to give this year’s opening blessing. It was Lawley who invited Haberlein to give the opening blessing for the first time back in the late 1980s. Lawley had heard about Haberlein’s spirituality and his work with the Yaqui Tribe.

“We were both alike, we loved the fair and its demonstration of what’s possible when kindred spirits come together with open hearts to love one another.” Lawley said of Haberlein.

For Lawley, it will be a home coming. It’s been six years since he last made the trip north for the Mountain Fair. “I’m excited to come back to the valley and see everyone, I just thought it would be fitting to bring Fred’s name up at the fair one last time and bless him for all he did.”

A few of the first day events will include the annual Rhythm of the Heart Community Drum Circle, and a special toast to firefighters who have been battling the Lake Christine fire.

Music highlights from tonight’s schedule include locally based musician Jackson Emmer, who Rolling Stone Magazine named one of the “10 new country artists you need to know.” He will get things started at 5 p.m.

Headlining day one will be Bridget & Tierro, featuring Tierro Lee (founding member of Kan’Nal) joining forces with Bridget Law (a founding member of Elephant Revival) for a super group of energetic guitar and sweet melodies.

For all seeking a little competition, the Mt. Sopris Runoff 14-mile and 4-mile fair runs will kick of the competitive events Saturday morning, followed by a fly-casting competition and adult limbo, and women’s wood splitting (men on Sunday). There’s also the traditional pie (Saturday) and cake (Sunday) baking competitions, and more.

It takes more than 300 volunteers to give the festival life every year, with more than 20,000 people passing through the event. For more information and the complete three-day schedule of this years Mountain Fair go to

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