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Carbondale Mountain Fair, a gathering of kindred spirits

Kyle Mills
Glenwood Springs Post Independent
Carbondale Mountain Fair runs from July 27 to 29.
Eric Allen/Courtesy photo

Love is all you need this weekend in Carbondale, as the 47th annual Carbondale Mountain Fair will pack Sopris Park with music, crafts, food and fun.

More than 140 artisans from across the country will gather at the park for demonstrations and to sell their handmade crafts, including metal and wood art, silkscreens, painted glass flowers, custom leather shoes, goat’s milk lotion, organic clothing, raw honey and jewelry at the three-day event.

Food from 20 different vendors will give visitors to the fair a chance to try tasty cuisine from Greece, India, Mexico and beyond.

The festivities will get underway today with the traditional opening blessing, but for the first time in more then 30 years Fred “Lightning Heart” Haberlein won’t be there to greet the crowds with his loving spirituality and spontaneity.

Haberlein died earlier this year after a battle with esophageal cancer.

In remembrance of Lightning Heart, the fair will be dedicated to him. Former Mountain Fair director Thomas Lawley, who now lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, will honor his friend with a special tribute.

Organizers invited Lawley — who led the Carbondale Council on Arts and Humanities (now Carbondale Arts) from 1987 to 2003 — to give this year’s opening blessing. It was Lawley who invited Haberlein to give the opening blessing for the first time back in the late 1980s. Lawley had heard about Haberlein’s spirituality and his work with the Yaqui Tribe.

“We were both alike. We loved the fair and its demonstration of what’s possible when kindred spirits come together with open hearts to love one another,” Lawley said about Haberlein.

For Lawley it will be a homecoming. It’s been six years since he last made the trip north for Mountain Fair.

“I’m excited to come back to the valley and see everyone, I just thought it would be fitting to bring Fred’s name up at the fair one last time and bless him for all he did.”

A few of the first-day events will include the annual Rhythm of the Heart Community Drum Circle, and a special toast to firefighters who have been battling the Lake Christine Fire.

Music highlights from today’s schedule include locally based musician Jackson Emmer, who Rolling Stone Magazine recently named one of the “10 New Country Artists You Need to Know,” will get things started at 5 p.m. Headlining day one will be Tierro + Bridget.

The Mount Sopris Runoff & Fair Run will kick of the competitive events, which also will include a fly-casting competition, wood splitting, pie and cake baking and more.

It takes more than 300 volunteers to give the festival life every year, with more than 20,000 people passing through the event. For more information and the complete three-day schedule of this year’s Mountain Fair go to carbondalearts.com


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