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Basalt River Days caps off summer

The season’s final festival features great music, pancakes, trout-kissing and Wild West funStaff ReportSummer heat may not have relented, but the days are winding down to fall. The last festival of the summer is on tap this weekend, the 2003 Basalt River Days.Hosted by the Basalt Chamber of Commerce, the 6th annual Basalt River Days takes place in Arbaney Park. There’s a great lineup of music and activities in Basalt’s celebration of its gold medal rivers.On Friday, the festivities kick off with a sidewalk sale on Midland Avenue, the Midland Avenue Depot celebration with food and music from Los Gitanos, and an oyster bar at Two Rivers Caf.Saturday’s festivities will feature a pancake breakfast and the music of Twirp Anderson and John Sommers, the Basalt Half Marathon, a Basalt Library book sale, the River Days Parade down Midland Ave. and more music from the Doug and Tracy McLain Band, the Frying Pan Bluegrass Band and Nina Story.Also featured are Anita Witt and her wondrous animals Whiskey the trick horse and Sadie the dog. Witt, who may very well be a throwback to Buffalo Bill’s famous Wild West show, performs cowboy songs, rope tricks, and is ably assisted by Whiskey and Sadie. She will lead the River Days parade right on over to Arbaney Park, where she’ll perform her rope tricks and sing a few songs.Sunday brings more pancakes, a harmonica contest, a model boat race, tug of war, trout kissing contest and a pie contest. Music comes from the Beaters and Buckwheat Zydeco.An interesting assortment of booths this year feature wonderful food, artisans of all types, and lots of free activities for the whole family. Fine art, photography, jewelry, and pottery will be offered amid balloons and clowns. Kids will love the climbing wall, obstacle run, super slide, human bowling, dunk tank and a kids bounce. The Kids’ Island will offer an array of free, live entertainment and fun, interactive workshops. Ventriloquist Wayne Francis is this year’s featured performer. The Carbondale Clay Center will host one of the many interactive, informative booths with activities for kids.The Chamber Beer Garden will serve Breckenridge Beer and Sauza margaritas this year from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Renowned magician Doc Eason will grace the garden both Saturday and Sunday.Parking is always at a premium in Basalt, so consider taking the Trout Shuttle, which will run from downtown Basalt to Arbaney Park by way of Two Rivers Road. The shuttle will run from noon until 7 p.m., Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday. The Trout Shuttle will connect with the regularly scheduled RFTA bus system for both upvalley and downvalley routes.Basalt River Days is organized by the Basalt Chamber of Commerce and made possible by many sponsors.No dogs, glass or alcohol are permitted in Arbaney Park during the festival.For more information about River Days, call 927-4031 or check http://www.basaltriverdays.com or http://www.basaltchamber.com.

Zydeco and jazz. What a combination. This year Basalt River Days features the jazzy, bluesy voice of Nina Storey and the swampy creole music of Buckwheat Zydeco. Storey plays at 5:30 p.m. Saturday and Buckwheat takes the stage at 5 p.m. Sunday, in Arbaney Park.Both have played in the valley before and are strong local favorites.Storey, of Boulder, first broke on the music scene in 1993 with the release of her first CD, “Guilt and Honey.” She’s hooked audiences with her stunning live performances that blend blues, funk, alternative rock and jazz.The Denver Post said of Storey, “Soulful sparkplug Nina Storey might well be called La Nia … she can stir up a storm when she belts out her self-penned soul-funk tunes. She’s starting to build an out-of-state audience and her album `Shades’ shows she has what it takes to become a national storey.”Buckwheat Zydeco is the real deal. AKA Stanley “Buckwheat” Dural Jr., he was born in Lafayette, La., in the heart of creole country, and was the first zydeco artist signed to a major record label. Son of a zydeco accordionist, he grew up steeped in the Afro-Caribbean rhythm, blues, soul, rock, country and French-rooted cajun music of the creole’s white neighbors. He began his career in the late 1960s and by 1971 was fronting his own R&B band. He went on to play organ and piano with the acknowledged King of Zydeco Clifton Chenier and in 1979 left to form his own group, Buckwheat Zydeco.Buckwheat has done it all, touring with Willie Nelson, Eric Clapton and Keith Richards and appearing with the Boston Pops Orchestra and playing at both of President Clinton’s inaugurals, appearing on television and composing music for major motion pictures.

FridayNoon: Midland Avenue Downtown Festival4:30 p.m. Two Rivers Cafe Oyster Bar and BarbecueSaturday6:15 a.m. Basalt Half Marathon registration, Basalt Middle School7 a.m. Lions Pancake Breakfast, Arbaney Park7:45 a.m. Basalt Half Marathon9 a.m. Twirp Anderson & John Sommers 10 a.m. Bike decorating, Ajax Bike and Sport, Midland Ave.10 a.m. Library Book Sale, Lion’s Park10 a.m. Kid’s Island opens: clowns, games, free kids entertainment10 a.m. Artisans and Food Booths open11 a.m. Beer and Wine Garden opens with Magician Doc Eason 11:30 a.m. River Days ParadeNoon: Anita Witt, Whiskey & Sadie rodeo tricks, Arbaney Park1 p.m. MAD Dog Hot Dog Eating contest12:45 p.m. Music with Anne Schwener1:15 p.m. The Doug & Tracey McLain Band3 p.m. Frying Pan Bluegrass Band4:30 p.m. Fly Casting contest5:30 p.m. Nina StoreySunday7 a.m. Lions Pancake Breakfast10 a.m. Kids activities open10 a.m. Artisan and Food Booths open10 a.m. Beer and Wine Garden open with Magician Doc Eason11 a.m. Harmonica contest12 p.m.Model Boat Race12:30 p.m. Pie entries accepted at Info Booth12:30 p.m. The Beaters1 p.m. Pie Baking contest2 p.m. Tug-o-War2:30 p.m. Gregg Michael Mysoir Band4 p.m. Kiss the Trout & Harmonica contests5 p.m. Buckwheat Zydeco


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