Carbondale’s May First Friday features block party, pride parade, Rotary ball drop, kid games and more |

Carbondale’s May First Friday features block party, pride parade, Rotary ball drop, kid games and more

A scene from the 2019 Pride Parade on Main Street in Carbondale.
Chelsea Self/Post Independent file

Carbondale celebrates the first Friday of the month 12 months out of the year with a street party of some sort and a chance to take in all that Main Street has to offer.

But each May, a collective group of organizers pulls out all the stops for one of the biggest First Friday celebrations of all, featuring a Family Block Party and a chance to celebrate the town’s youth as the school year winds down.   

The 11th annual Family Block Party highlights First Friday this week, with a variety of events and fundraising opportunities for various youth- and animal-centered programs on tap from 4-8 p.m. at the Fourth Street Plaza, according to a news release about this year’s event. 

The evening also includes a newer tradition, the Pride Parade, held in conjunction with the Gender Sexualities Alliance (GSA) at Carbondale Middle School. The student organization focuses attention on LGBTQ+ racial and gender justice issues and advocates for safer schools and healthier communities, the release states. 

The Pride Parade takes place on Main Street, with staging between Snowmass Drive and Second Street at 5:15 p.m. and with the parade beginning at 5:30 p.m. All are welcome to join.

“The Family Block Party benefits kids and animals in our community and is a labor of love,” said event founder and organizer Michelle Marlow, who works with her high school-aged daughter, Payton, to put on the event.

Admission is free, but there is a suggested donation of $10 per person, with different organizations sponsoring different booths and attractions in the KidZone. They include:

  • The Andy Zanca Youth Empowerment Program (AZYEP) Youth Stage
  • Games and activities put on by the Carbondale Recreation and Community Center
  • Arts and crafts by Handmakery
  • Carbondale Arts’ Rosybelle Mobile Maker-Space bus
  • Colorado Animal Rescue (CARE) “adorable adoptables” and Silent Auction

All proceeds from the event are to go back to the community and benefit valley youth and family programming and organizations, including CARE, AZYEP, GSA of Carbondale Middle School, LIFT-UP, the Rita B. Fund, Smiling Goat Ranch, and Sopris Children’s Fund (formerly Angel Tree: Seasons of Giving).

There will also be food trucks from Slow Groovin’ BBQ, Sundae and Senor Mango, as well as a Block Party Beer & Spirit Garden for the adults, featuring local beers and cocktails.

And, as usual, First Friday offers an opportunity to check out Carbondale’s Creative District with its variety of local arts, galleries, shopping, restaurants and more.

Carbondale Rotary Fireball Drop

The May First Friday has also become the landing spot for the Rotary Club of Carbondale’s biggest fundraiser of the years, the Fireball Drop.

Around 1,000 ping pong balls have been purchased and will be dropped from the Carbondale Fire Department ladder truck onto targets in Sopris Park at 5 p.m. Friday.

Balls can be adopted from any Carbondale Rotarian or at the sales table at Carbondale City Market, with proceeds benefiting Carbondale Rotary’s student scholarships, community grants and environmental projects, Rotary Youth Exchange and other youth services.

RFV Circle full moon ceremony

Later in the evening, at 6:30 p.m., a Native American full moon fire ceremony is also taking place at Nuche Park, located across from the Prince Creek turnoff on Colorado Highway 133 just south of Carbondale. Attendees should bring a chair or blanket to sit on and tobacco for prayers.

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