July First Friday to feature restaurants, music, artwork

LET THEM ROAR to headline socially-distanced 20th annual Mt. Sopris Music Fest

Carbondale's downtown restaurants will be open for July's First Friday.

While it won’t be a full-blown, Main Street crawl-style First Friday celebration this month, the town of Carbondale’s downtown restaurants will be open for business, Steve’s Guitars will present a socially-distanced version of the Mt. Sopris Music Fest and Carbondale Arts will open its R2 Gallery to a new exhibition.

Carbondale is not technically advertising a First Friday like the ones they’ve produced in pre-coronavirus times, said Carbondale Arts Director Amy Kimberly.

“We won’t be closing the streets down like people are used to,” she said. “But we have amazing restaurants, the R2 Gallery will be open with a new show, and there will be some live music.

“People will be able to find their own adventure.”

Carbondale’s LET THEM ROAR will headline the 20th annual Mt. Sopris Music Fest, which will be played in the fenced, grassy lot on the northwest corner of Sixth and Main Streets.

“They’re going to let us set up some music within the fenced area, so it’s basically just for people walking down the sidewalk on First Friday,” said Steve Standiford of Steve’s Guitars. “They’ll be able to hear some live music outside for the first time in a while.”

The music will begin at 6 p.m. with local singer-songwriter Wes Engstrom, who will be followed by Glenwood country/rock band Feeding Giants before LET THEM ROAR takes the stage.

Grassroots TV will livestream the concert ( as it has for all the Streamin’ Steve’s broadcasts over the past few weeks.

Now in its 20th year, the Mt. Sopris Music Fest has stayed with its original formula of featuring only local artists, Standiford said.

“It kind of started off as a pendulum swing for Mountain Fair because the original Mountain Fairs had only local acts and then it evolved to only touring acts,” Standiford said. “So I said ‘let’s have a Mountain Music Fair,’ so we called it that for a few years, and we kept true to that goal of just only having local players.”

Carbondale Arts’ R2 Gallery inside the Launchpad will be open until 7 p.m. Friday with it newest show, called: “The Flashcard Project.”

The show’s curator, local artist Wewer Keohane, sent randomly chosen flash cards to 75 artists as a prompt to examine their time of isolation during the pandemic. More than 50 artists accepted the challenge, and their artwork comprises the exhibition.

All the artwork will be up for auction online at for the duration of the show, which will run through July 31.

On the website, viewers will be able to see an image of the original flash cards that inspired the artists’ works and are invited to enjoy the creativity that evolved from the process.

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