Mountain Fair: Music, arts, ‘really fun funky stuff’
In a town well known locally for events and festivals, Mountain Fair is the biggest of them all.
The three-day festival commences Friday afternoon at Carbondale’s Sopris Park and runs through the weekend, with a wide array of booths, music, and other activities.
“I love it,” said Carbondale Arts Director Amy Kimberly, who has overseen the fair in various capacities for a decade. “There’s no shortage of things to look at and experience.”
As always, Mountain Fair includes an eclectic mix of musical acts, including bluesy Tango Alpha Tango, musical storytellers Pigpen Theatre Company, afrofunk Atomga, and western Americana with the Black Lillies. This year also marks the return of The Colorado Ambassadors of Gospel. Spoken word performances are also planned throughout the fair.
“We always try to represent many genres of music and facets of the community,” Kimberly said. “There’s a great mix of fine arts and crafts and some really fun funky stuff.”
More than 145 vendors are poised to bring everything from clothing and jewelry to wooden toys and upcycled glass flowers. New this year is the Scavenger Industries maker booth, which will offers scheduled workshops in jewelry, printmaking, rag rug crochet and more, as well as ongoing opportunities to get a Mountain Fair utility belt, a henna tattoo or letterpress your own postcard.
Of course, there’s also plenty of in park dining options in addition to the downtown restaurant scene. Catch local favorites like Señor Taco Show and Slow Groovin’ BBQ, classic fair food like kettle corn and funnel cakes, as well as more exotic options like Ethiopian and Greek cuisine.
A family area called the Oasis provides a venue for family friendly entertainment, booths and games, as well as all-ages programming like the acoustic jam Saturday afternoon. There’s also plenty of room for competition, with everything from baking to limbo to wood splitting.
In an effort to keep the event environmentally friendly, Kimberly encouraged attendees to bring their own cup, but noted that no glass containers or dogs are allowed in town parks.
The fair is also looking for volunteers for everything from selling T-shirts and Peace Patrolling the fairgrounds to Green Team and backstage security. Folks who give over four hours of their time are also eligible to receive a Mountain Fair T-shirt and enter a raffle to win their very own New Belgium Cruiser Bike. Volunteers can sign up at http://www.carbondalearts.com.
With record attendance last year, Carbondale Arts is expecting as many as 20,000 visitors from around the state, country and world. This year’s theme is CommUNITY.
“This year, the feeling of unity is what we’re really going for,” Kimberly said. “Our country and world has been in a lot of conflict, and the fair is a chance for people to come together and feel connected.”
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