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Finding peace at Mountain Fair

April Clark
Staff Photo |

When I moved to Carbondale, Colo., 10 years ago I didn’t know I would fall in love. Within a month of arriving, I was introduced to a fair lady that would forever change my idea of peace, love and happiness.

I just thought that was a sticker on the back of a VW bus.

I first met Mountain Fair before I ever owned a pair of Chacos river sandals, used Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, or ate organic, non-dairy gluten-free anything. I was straight from the Midwest. Our festivals are highlighted by quickly erected Midway rides, festive beer gardens, and fried food that goes beyond the typical elephant ear and potato string.



We’re talking deep-fried Twinkies and gargantuan pork tenderloins, baby.

As humans we enjoy community, especially with our food and our song and our dance. We like to come together with good intentions to celebrate being alive.
At least that’s my take on it.

As humans we enjoy community, especially with our food and our song and our dance. We like to come together with good intentions to celebrate being alive.



At least that’s my take on it.

It seems to me it’s in our nature to want to be a part of each other’s lives and to celebrate our relationships with one another. For the most part. That is, until Black Friday gets hopping at 3 a.m. or the iPhone 6 debuts during the lunch hour.

Then all tarnation breaks loose.

I easily forget much of the madness that goes on in the world when I attend the Carbondale Mountain Fair. At this annual fundraiser for the Carbondale Council on Arts and Humanities (CCAH), art is reality. Visions become truth. And worries fade into happiness for three days in the last weekend of July.

It really is that lovely.

My first eight years attending Mountain Fair were purely a social experience. I came. I saw. I danced barefoot in the grass.

It was that simple.

In the last few years, as I’ve connected to CCAH through modeling in the fashion show and doing live theatre, I’ve been wearing new Mountain Fair hats. One of which involves eating pie and drinking champagne.

Exactly how I picture heaven to be.

I also have the opportunity to twirl a baton as a majorette, help the team with social media, and put on wristbands at the beer tent. This is because Mountain Fair is an event put on by so many dedicated volunteers I can’t list them all. For 42 years, the people of Carbondale have put on a magical show that brings kids of all ages together in the name of community. The last weekend of July is a special one in Carbondale.

Mountain Fair should be on everyone’s bucket list.

What turns my eyes into big flashing stars like in the old cartoons about Mountain Fair is the love shared between fairgoers. One of the quotes from Mountain Fair diva Amy Kimberly that I will always remember is when she was talking about the camaraderie in Carbondale when it comes to the town’s biggest show, drawing thousands to enjoy the weekend in the mountains.

“I see so many smiling faces at Mountain Fair and it just gives me faith in the world at large,” she said. “Maybe you had an issue with someone before you come to the fair but then you come there and before you know it, you’re dancing together, eating pie together, or chopping wood together. And that’s what it’s all about.”

That is what it’s all about, Amy.

It’s so great to see good friends out there chopping wood. To know another friend has baked a blueberry pie with all his heart. To feel the excitement of a few friends as they play the Friday night Mountain Fair Gazebo stage for the first time.

It’s like we’re all one big happy lovefest.

I just thought that was a sticker on the back of a VW bus.

— April E. Clark feels a change a’comin. She can be reached at aprilelizabethclark@gmail.com.


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