River Days moves closer to the river for its ninth year
BASALT – It’s only fitting that Basalt’s celebration of its gold-medal waters for trout fishing is moving closer to the Roaring Fork River this year.The ninth annual Basalt River Days will take place at Lions Park – where the Basalt Chamber of Commerce’s red caboose sits, along with Town Hall and the library – Saturday, Aug. 19, with kickoff events on Friday evening.River Days is changing locations from Arbaney Park out of necessity. Construction at the campuses of the Basalt middle and elementary schools makes access to the park more difficult.The activities will take up the entire park plus Midland Spur, the street in front of Town Hall and the library. The move to the more visible site could be a blessing in disguise. “A lot of people have said they are excited to have it downtown,” said Chamber director Liz Phillips.Although they had a smaller space to work with, Phillips and other festival organizers will pack the day with loads of activities and services ranging from kids’ games and a dunk tank to a beer garden and food booths.Musician Nina Storey, the headliner at the first River Days, returns to the festival’s main stage at 12:45 p.m. Saturday.The annual Lions Club Pancake breakfast kicks off events at 7 a.m. Saturday. Bobby Mason and the All Stars close things out with a performance from 5:45-7:45 p.m.The beer garden, featuring beer from the Breckenridge Brewery, will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday.A handful of events on Friday will kick off the celebration. Kids activities featuring magician Doc Eason will start at the Riverwalk Plaza downtown at 3:30 p.m. At 6 p.m. Friday, there will be a special performance at Lions Park by the Roaring Fork Old-Time Celtic Band. The 40 string musicians will join Andrea Early, a caller of contra dance, which is similar to square dancing.A complete schedule of events is available on the web at http://www.basaltriverdays.com.Volunteers are needed for everything from security to running kids’ games. Four hours of work nets a volunteer a River Days T-shirt. Call the chamber at 927-4031 to help.Phillips was uncertain if the move from Arbaney to Lions Park is permanent. The response to this year’s event will help determine the future location.For the event, parking will be available at Old Pond Park by Taqueria el Nopal, the middle school parking lot and the dirt lot between the skate park and the Basalt post office.Scott Condon’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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