Carbondale’s Our Town, One Table event celebrates diversity
David Conry of Glenwood Springs wasn’t quite sure what he was in for when he was invited to join a table at Carbondale’s Our Town, One Table community picnic Sunday evening.
But he had a hunch.
“This is what makes Carbondale so much fun,” Conry said as he roamed the brightly decorated rows of tables lining Fourth Street — all with their own interpretation of the evening’s “Over the Rainbow” theme.
“I love community events, and seeing everybody come out to have some fun,” Conry said. “A lot of fun stuff happens here in Carbondale, so it’s always a treat.
“We have all kinds of food lined up over there. I can’t wait!,” he said.
Conry was part of the Wanner party, organized by longtime Carbondale residents Pat and Ralph Wanner.
Pat said she had been to three of the four past One Table events but always with other friends who had invited them along.
“This year, we decided to invite some of our friends and do our own thing,” she said of the fifth anniversary event. “We have a lot of creative people who all pitched in to do the decorations.”
The result was a pair of rainbow arches stretching lengthwise across two tables. Each member of the party wore a color of the rainbow.
“It’s fun, just to see everybody, and to see folks you haven’t seen in a while,” Ralph Wanner said.
Our Town, One Table is part community potluck, part dinner party, only with each of the individual parties gathered in one central location. Throw in a little roving dinner music and some other spontaneous entertainment, and call it yet another Carbondale celebration.
“It just sounded like a fun community event,” said another first-time participant, Jessica Mason, as she and her young son, Kade, made their way to the table they were invited to join.
“So, we made a bunch of food, put together some flowers for the table, and came down.”
Renee Ramge gathered up a table of Redstone residents for the party.
“We’re excited about anything that brings the community together,” she said. “We just wanted to come down and support the Carbondale folks in their efforts to build a stronger community that’s united.”
Before the guests arrived, Stefani Soychak was busy putting up the decorations for her True Nature Healing Arts table — a series of umbrellas, representing clouds, each with little raindrops.
“Because there wouldn’t be rainbows without the rain,” she said.
“We just moved here a couple of months ago, and just can’t get over the overwhelming kindness … and this just feels like something out of a movie, where people can come together and share a meal in the middle of the street.”
Niki Delson and Judie Blanchard helped organize a table for the new Carbondale Age Friendly Community Initiative, which has been working with the town government to make Carbondale more senior-friendly.
Joining them were the Senior Matters group and several residents from the Heritage Park nursing home.
“We believe in building community,” Delson said. “It’s a way of just celebrating Carbondale, and I think one community under a rainbow really says who we are.”
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