Fair Play in Carbondale | AspenTimes.com

Fair Play in Carbondale

Will Grandbois
A few folks have trouble taking orders from a cop in tie-dye, but most folks at Mountain Fair appreciate Carbondale PD's attire.
Will Grandbois / wgrandbois@postindependent.com |

In a town well-known locally for events and festivals, Mountain Fair is the biggest of them all.

The three-day festival commences this afternoon at Carbondale’s Sopris Park and runs through the weekend, with a wide array of booths, music and other activities.

“I love it,” said Carbondale Arts Director Amy Kimberly, who has overseen the fair in various capacities for a decade. “There’s no shortage of things to look at and experience.”

As always, it includes an eclectic mix of musical acts, including bluesy Tango Alpha Tango, musical storytellers Pigpen Theatre Co., afrofunk Atomga and Western Americana with the Black Lillies. This year also marks the return of The Colorado Ambassadors of Gospel. Spoken-word performances also are planned throughout the fair.

“We always try to represent many genres of music and facets of the community,” Kimberly said. “There’s a great mix of fine arts and crafts and some really fun, funky stuff.”

More than 145 vendors are poised to bring everything from clothing and jewelry to wooden toys and upcycled glass flowers. New this year is the Scavenger Industries maker booth, which will offers scheduled workshops in jewelry, printmaking, rag rug crochet and more as well as ongoing opportunities to get a Mountain Fair utility belt or henna tattoo or to letter press your own postcard.

Of course, there’s also plenty of in-park dining options in addition to the downtown restaurant scene. Catch local favorites like Senor Taco Show and Slow Groovin’ BBQ, classic fair food like kettle corn and funnel cakes as well as more exotic options like Ethiopian and Greek cuisine.

The Oasis provides a venue for family-friendly entertainment, booths and games as well as all-ages programming like the acoustic jam Saturday afternoon. There’s also plenty of room for competition, with everything from baking to limbo to woodsplitting.

In an effort to keep the event environmentally friendly, Kimberly encouraged attendees to bring their own cup, but noted that no glass containers or dogs are allowed in town parks.

The fair also is looking for volunteers for everything from selling T-shirts and Peace Patrolling the fairgrounds to the Green Team and backstage security. Folks who give over four hours of their time also are eligible to receive a Mountain Fair T-Shirt and enter a raffle to win a New Belgium Cruiser Bike. Volunteers can sign up at http://www.carbondale arts.com.

With record attendance last year, Carbondale Arts is expecting as many as 20,000 visitors from around the state, country and world. This year’s theme is CommUNITY.

“This year, the feeling of unity is what we’re really going for,” Kimberly said. “Our country and world has been in a lot of conflict, and the fair is a chance for people to come together and feel connected.”

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