Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park to host weekend Mudslide Festival
Festival to recognize CDOT, replace lost revenue from canyon closures
Mud doesn’t typically flow uphill. It’s even more rare for it to hop on a gondola, but that’s exactly what’s happening this weekend at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park.
In the wake of mudslides and general frustrations over Glenwood Canyon closures, the park is in the unprecedented position of having to attract guests on Labor Day weekend. With mud on everyone’s mind, the park got creative with what general manager Nancy Heard called the last big opportunity of the summer season: hosting a three-day mudslide-themed festival.
“There was a good energy in the planning process,” Heard said. “Everyone had fun with it. I wanted to do mud wrestling, but that got rejected.”
Instead of mud wrestling, guests will have to settle for muddy balloons, sandbag races, a mud dunk tank and mud-themed food and drink for the three-day festival. Starting at 2 p.m. Friday, live music begins with Flo Muddy and The Downhill Disasters, normally known as the Colorado Currys, a local folk/swing/rock/bluegrass/Irish group. They’ll play through 5 p.m. to cap day one.
On Saturday, the dunk tank will begin at 1 p.m., including some of Glenwood Springs’ prominent leaders. Mayor Jonathan Godes will be among the few under fire.
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“He was also even into mud wrestling and signed up for that before I even had the chance to ask,” Heard said.
Saturday will conclude with live music from Byrne Scar and the Mud People, known in normal times as Whiskey Stomp, another local group.
Sunday will have more mud dunking (with a couple spots for would-be victims still open) starting at 1 p.m. once again. Mud Slide Slim and The Detours (The Goodman Band) will play from 5-8 p.m. to close the one-off festival.
Food options include mudslides and mudslide pies from the Lookout Grille and Smokehouse, while the gift shop will have rocky road fudge. Chocolate rock candy will also be given away, as long as supplies last.
The event is also in recognition of the Colorado Department of Transportation, Heard said. The Caverns and Iron Mountain Hot Springs staff will present CDOT workers with coffee and donuts in their parking lot on Sept. 9 in appreciation for their work in getting even one lane each way open so expeditiously. The gesture was originally scheduled for Sept. 2 but was, appropriately, postponed due to forecasted rain.
Heard said attendance at the park plummets when Glenwood Canyon is closed and “fear” of the canyon closing has resulted in a 25% decline in attendance. The festival was created to recognize the work being done on the canyon and replace some of that revenue.
And if the canyon closes again over the weekend?
“We don’t have any audibles,” Heard laughed. “It’ll either be a celebration or a recognition of the mudslides.”
Tickets to the festival are the price of the gondola ride up, $16 for a child aged 3 to 12 or $21 for ages 13 and up.
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