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Dandelion Day grows far beyond its namesake

Dandelion Day, like the plant that sprouts up all over the Roaring Fork Valley, has grown a bit this year.

“It’s always had an environmental theme,” said Mary Harris, a Carbondale Environmental Board member, and a Dandelion Day organizer. “This is just stepping it up a notch.”

This year Dandelion Day, which is Saturday, May 8, has been combined with Carbondale’s Earth Day celebration, to create one, Earth-friendly event.



Much of what happens on Dandelion Day will be similar to years past, but with a twist.

Instead of a dandelion parade to kick off the celebration, the parade will be a “Procession of the Species.”



“We’ve got so much creative potential,” Dandelion Day organizer Soozie Friedmar said of the parade. “This year I think it will be even bigger with more species involved.”

In addition to creative citizens, classes from around the valley will participate in the parade.

The Waldorf School’s first- and second-grade classes will dress up as red-wing blackbirds and dandelions, said teacher Lisa Huber.

Though the theme of the parade has been expanded, the big difference in this year’s Dandelion Day is what will happen in downtown Carbondale.

Students and environmental organizations will set up booths in downtown businesses, and the city will provide free snacks.

“It’s going to be crazy because there is so much going on downtown and in the park,” said Harris.

In addition to the displays, the Black Nugget will be hosting the world famous Jimmy Ibbotson and Rick Rock, while the Pour House will feature the Hell Roaring String Band and K.T.

As in Dandelion Day of years past, environmental speakers and bands will fill the day in the park.

Doc Phillips, who founded Dandelion Day, will open the ceremonies, followed by Greg Hanscom of High Country News, Gregg Cassarini of the Colorado Environmental Coalition, and Calvin Lee, a local attorney, all speaking about local environmental issues.

The speakers will be followed by the bands Sweet Sunny South of Paonia, and Swivel Hips Smith from Boulder.

“It’s going to basically be a big party,” said Harris, “and hopefully bring awareness to people about environmental issues that need attention.”

Contact Ryan Graff: 945-8515, ext. 520

rgraff@postindependent.com

– 8 a.m. ” Flea Market

– 8-10 a.m. ” Vendor registration and set-up

– 9-10 a.m. ” Devon Alves and friends (homegrown blues and folk)

– 11 a.m. ” Procession of the Species parade (starts at Second and Main)

– 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. ” Official opening at Sopris Park with: African drumming, Doc Phillip, environmental skits and speakers

– 12:30-2 p.m. ” Sweet Sunny South (bluegrass from Paonia)

– 1:30 p.m. ” Sopris Park Pavilion: dandelion bake-off judging (entries to be dropped off by 1 p.m.)

– 2-3 p.m. ” Speakers and awards ceremony (awards: best parade costume, best art bike, dandelion bake-off winner, T-shirt design winner, slow bike race winner, best dandelion, and Pete Olenick with the “Why Vote” Essay Contest winner)

– 3 p.m. ” Swivel Hips Smith (funky jams from Boulder)


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