Asher on Aspen: That’s what I love about Sundays | AspenTimes.com

Asher on Aspen: That’s what I love about Sundays

Shannon Asher
Asher on Aspen

It wasn’t until a quarter past noon when I finally got around to changing out of my pajamas. An epic Saturday night on the town governed an extremely slow Sunday morning that could have easily turned into a day with high potential for naps and Netflix. If it wasn’t for the extremely beautiful weather, that’s probably where our day would have led.

Instead, a few friends and I decided to venture up Aspen Mountain for the weekly bluegrass music at the Sundeck. The event features a different bluegrass band each Sunday and this week, it was a group that called themselves Liver Down the River from Durango. This highly entertaining, five-piece band of musicians pulled their inspiration from countless river floats, campfires and Colorado living — or so they told us.

“We like dogs more than we like people,” I overheard one liftie say after being asked if dogs were allowed to ride the gondola. The 18-minute ride to the top of the mountain was the perfect opportunity to swap stories from the weekend’s festivities. Before we dug in too deep, I chugged a green juice and purchased a coffee to get me through the gondola ride. The weekend talking points consisted of Carbondale Mountain Fair, a bear sighting and the Belly Up shows.

The fair takes place in Carbondale — about a 45-minute cruise downvalley. “I’m not going past the roundabout this weekend,” a friend said when I tried to convince her to attend. Despite the drive, this weekend fair is a down-to-earth, wonderfully chaotic festival that is an opportune time to escape Aspen’s bubble. The fair presents live music, dozens of art vendors and an assortment of family-friendly competitions that don’t require you to wear shoes. There are some pretty funny characters who attend this kooky mountain fair but, in my opinion, that’s all the more reason to show up. It kind of reminds me of the Aspen Arts Festival — just with granola added.

It was also a popular weekend for Belly Up shows. The live music venue is known to bring in some pretty special acts this time of year, and this particular weekend was no exception. A locals’ favorite, Black Pistol Fire, played a sold-out show on Friday and CeeLo Green, known for hit single “F–k You,” played on Saturday. As usual, Black Pistol Fire got rowdy with intense crowd surfing and lively dance mobs. CeeLo Green sang the hits while also playing ‘80s classics like “Come on Eileen” and “Don’t Stop Believing.” He even pulled a few lucky souls onstage to dance with him.

Before we knew it, the gondola came to a halt and our conversation was interrupted. We stepped off the gondola and into a summer paradise complete with live music and lawn games galore. The scene looked like something out of an Old Navy commercial. Playing to a sea of tourists and locals, the band entertained Sunday concert goers from noon to 3 p.m. For me, bluegrass is quintessential mountain music and this Sunday gathering is the perfect way to wind down after a long week.

Children kept themselves entertained with the flood of lawn games that live on top of the mountain: life-size chess and checkers, giant Jenga, hula hoops, cornhole toss, spike ball, croquet and disc golf. My lovely hippie friend, who I swear should have been born in the ’70s, picked up a hula hoop and insisted I join her. I felt like a kid again and it was wonderful.

By the time I purchased my cheese pizza and Powerade, there were no seats left outside. I dodged a little girl twirling her dress and popped up on the ledge to take it all in. Stunning views of the Elk Mountain range painted the sky — laying as our backdrop for the Sunday Funday soiree. The sun beamed down with effortless beauty and there was nothing but good energy floating around. One could not ask for a more perfect summer day. At 11,200 feet — this Sunday experience atop the mountain almost felt like a spiritual one.

I can’t think of a more perfect way to end a long week and refuel the soul. Can you? Perusing around the Sundeck and listening to bluegrass music is the thing to do on Sunday afternoons in Aspen. Sometimes even the worst hangover can be cured with a little vitamin D. Just get outside — you’ll be happy you did.


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