Mountain Mayhem: Harvest Party

May Selby
Mountain Mayhem
Ella Smith proudly presents her screenprinted t-shirt at the Harvest Party. May Selby photo.
ACES Board Trustee Leslie Lamont volunteers at the apple cider press. Photo courtesy of ACES.
Hay rides on a tractor-drawn trailer were a hit all weekend at the Harvest Party. Photo courtesy of ACES.
Rock Bottom Ranch’s Livestock Apprentice Shannon Hourigan teaches kids about the different kinds of chickens and how to feed them. Photo courtesy of ACES.


The radish pull station was a hit among guests of all ages. Photo courtesy of ACES.
Kennedy Knapp brought a used T-shirt to be screenprinted onsite by The Project Shop. Photo courtesy of ACES.
The pumpkin patch at Rock Bottom Ranch featured pumpkins in all shapes and sizes to be selected from and carved. May Selby photo.
Basalt High School's Pre-Collegiate Program volunteered as a group to give back to their community. Photo courtesy of ACES.
Pumpkin carving as a family. Photo courtesy of ACES.
Each day featured two different local bands: Elk Range (shown here) then Citizen Twang on Saturday and Dan Sheridan then Hell Roaring String Band on Sunday. Photo courtesy of ACES.

More than 800 community members over two days took part in Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES)’ Harvest Party at Rock Bottom Ranch. In the past, the fall tradition was held on one single afternoon with upwards of 1,400 guests. This year, it took place on Saturday, Oct. 16, and Sunday, Oct. 17, divided into four separate time slots to make a socially distant celebration on the picturesque plot of land near Willits. And, best of all, the weather cooperated with a glorious weekend of sunny skies and mild temperatures.

Access to the sold-out event included pumpkin carving, hayrides, farm tours, an opportunity to harvest and keep vegetables, play ranch games, make crafts and press apple cider. Food trucks offering salads, pizzas and empanadas were on site, offering fresh and healthy options for purchase. Each day featured live music in the open air barn with Elk Range followed by Citizen Twang on Saturday and Dan Sheridan followed by Hell Roaring String Band on Sunday.

Alix and Fabrizio Zangrill of Monkey House Carbondale were the premier Barnraiser Sponsor, Forum Phi underwrote the pumpkin patch, Alpine Bank sponsored the apple cider press, Of Grape and Grain provided the wine and Four Dogs in Basalt provided the beer. Seed Sower sponsors included Christie’s International Real Estate, Holy Cross Energy, Reese & Henry and Company, and KO Public Affairs.

“I think it’s important to remind people that harvest celebrations happen all over the world with food, traditional games, music and more to give thanks to the natural world which provides us so much!” noted Development Director Christy Mahon.

Thanks to ACES for continuing this tradition and connecting our community with nature in every season.

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