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Spirit of Mountain Fair still alive this summer

Fair returning as 'a smaller, simpler experience' with an emphasis on social distancing measures

Dancers perform for the crowd to start up the wood splitting competition at the 48th Annual Carbondale Mountain Fair on Saturday afternoon.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

For those bemoaning the myriad of event cancellations this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Carbondale Arts has some better news for you. Mountain Fair will still trot out its unique brand of small town fun for its 49th edition July 24-26, although it’s not likely to look like past Mountain Fairs.

The fair will be spread in “small bursts” throughout Carbondale instead of occupying its traditional location in Sopris Park, and it will be “a smaller, simpler experience,” according to a statement from Carbondale Arts.

“Our goal was to create something that would represent the spirit of Mountain Fair and that would be flexible, because it could change at any moment,” said Carbondale Arts Executive Director Amy Kimberly. “We’ve also worked with our town government quite a bit about what would feel right and what wouldn’t feel right. And we’ve had a lot of input, a lot of ideas from people, and we just kind of took the best from that.”

Kimberly stressed that the plan for this year’s fair is still in its infancy, due to the fact that everything was on hold until Gov. Jared Polis updated Colorado’s Safer at Home order on May 25. As such, the basic premise of this year’s fair — to create a Mountain Fair-like spirit while maintaining social distancing — is reflected in the few planned events that Carbondale Arts has revealed.

• The Friday night tradition of starting the fair with drumming will be maintained, albeit with everyone in town encouraged to do their drumming in their own yards or on nearby sidewalks. “We hope to raise the sky. This world needs a lot of healing,” stated Carbondale Arts.

• Competitions will still be held on Saturday, and although most of those are still in the works, Kimberly did say that some may involve dogs or pets — traditionally banned from the festivities at Sopris Park — and others may involve baking, of the chocolate chip cookie, pie and cake variety.

• A flat-bed truck or trailer, populated by performing musicians, will be driven through neighborhoods around the town. Kimberly said the musicians who will perform are mainly locally or regionally based, with some possibly coming from the Front Range.

“This is a good time to support them, and hopefully they will support us,” she said.

With the logistics of having musicians on a moving vehicle being somewhat challenging, Kimberly said it is likely they will stop to play “a song here and a song there,” but not for long as the goal is still to prevent too many people from gathering in one place.

• A benefit concert to raise funds for next year’s 50th Carbondale Mountain Fair will stream live from Steve’s Guitars on Saturday night. It will feature “music, performance and storytelling,” and, “people are encouraged to gather in small, safe groups to watch it together” stated Carbondale Arts. The musicians for that concert are still being lined up, Kimberly said, but they should be announced soon.

• Youth activities, a Sunday event, and a possible vendor area are also being planned.

The traditional Mountain Fair T-shirt — this year designed by contest winner Jade Meyer — will go on sale in early July, and will thereafter be available for purchase at the Carbondale Farmers Market and The Launchpad.

Additional information and full schedule details are forthcoming at CarbondaleArts.com.

jbear@postindependent.com


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