‘Rolling Down the River’ during Basalt River Days
BASALT – The Wyly Community Art Center and Camp Chip-A-Tooth are bringing to life a living river with a variety of aquatic creatures and plants for its community parade entry in Saturday’s Basalt River Days parade.The Wyly has been hosting free community workshops with teacher Sherri Kuecker to put together its parade float highlighting one of the defining characteristics of the valley – water.”This year we thought, ‘Let’s come up with something specific to this valley,'” said Deb Jones, executive director of the art center. “This is about these two beautiful rivers coming together.”About 30 community members, including participants from the two organizations, are expected to help create a “River of Life” with a blue tarp in a “wiggly pattern” for this performance art-type piece, Jones said.”We’re all going to be ‘in’ the river – fish, plants, insects, whatever each artist comes up with,” she said. Camp Chip-A-Tooth is creating banners and hopes to have a fishing boat floating on the river, too, she added.The River Days parade, “Rolling Down the River,” begins with the Basalt Rural Fire Protection District at 11:30 a.m. at Two Rivers Road. A long-standing tradition, the parade includes kids, clowns, horses and floats marching along Midland Avenue through downtown.Children walking in the parade also have a chance to win a bicycle. To qualify, youth must register at 10 a.m. at the decorating station (at the Old Bridge, next to 7-Eleven). All participants should line up streamside by 11:15 a.m.The parade is only one portion of the annual River Days festival, in its 10th year. The two-day event features live music, magic, crafts, games, baking contests, fly-fishing demonstrations, river ecology information from Roaring Fork Conservancy, and the Kiss-the-Trout contest. Events are in Lions Park, downtown next to the Basalt Library and town hall.Four locals are vying for the coveted Kiss-the-Trout honors, competing to win the most votes in the form of dollar bills. This year’s candidates include Chamber director Liz Phillip; Basalt Town Manager Bill Efting; local real estate broker Wendy Lucas; and River Days volunteer coordinator Xanadu Sission. The winner kisses a trout in honor of the Gold Medal rivers at 6 p.m. Saturday. Call the chamber at 927-4031 or visit http://www.basaltriverdays.com for information.River days scheduleToday• 4 p.m. – Slightly White, Basalt Battle of the Bands winner• 6 p.m. – Roaring Fork Old Time/Celtic Megaband and contra dance • 7:30 p.m. – BroadBand, featuring former members of NetworkSaturday• 8:30 a.m. – Heart of the Rockies – John Sommers, Twirp Anderson and Cash Cashman at the Lions Club pancake breakfast• 10:15 a.m. – Celebrate The Beat, local young dancers led by Tracy Straus• 12:30 p.m. – Earthbeat Choir• 1:15, 3 and 4:30 p.m. – The Handsome Little Devils Vaudeville act• Noon to 2:30 p.m. – Tobatana Marimba Ensemble• Noon and 2 p.m. – Magician Doc Eason, on stage in the Lions Park Cantina and roaming Basalt all day• 24 p.m. – Irie Still, reggae music• 6 p.m. – Blues singer/pianist Kelley HuntKids’ activities scheduleSaturday• 9:30 a.m. – Face painting, animal balloons and clowning with Buttons the Clown, at Aspen Land & Homes in Riverside Plaza• 10:30 a.m. – Pre-parade bike decorating, sponsored by Chaffin Light Real Estate, at the Old Bridge next to 7-Eleven• 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. – Kids’ Island opens, including The Handsome Little Devils, Jammin’ Jim, Buttons the Clown, games from Wienerdog Kids Toys, Euro Bungee, Tobatana Marimba Ensemble• 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Bounce House at Wienerdog Kids Toys• 11 a.m. – Gathering of The River of Life at Wyly Community Arts in Riverside Plaza• 11:30 a.m. – River Days Parade down Midland Avenue (line up at Streamside, east of 7-Eleven, across from the police station)• 12:30 p.m. – EarthBeat Choir, River Days Stage• Noon to 6 p.m. – Alternating shows and strolling around town with The Handsome Little Devils, Jammin’ Jim and Buttons the Clown
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