A holiday event with some added flair in Carbondale | AspenTimes.com

A holiday event with some added flair in Carbondale

John StroudPost Independent Aspen, CO Colorado

Kelley Cox/Post IndependentThe creative forces behind the Airstream Village Holiday Market include, from left, Jeff Ellis, Andrea Chacos, Andrea Korber, Gavin Brooke and Erin Rigney. Also shown is Beer, the dog. The holiday event takes place in Carbondale beginning Friday.

CARBONDALE – A new kind of holiday bazaar and all-around community celebration is putting a new spin on the tradition of “silver bells” at Christmas time.Gavin Brooke and his fellow Airstream aficionados at Land & Shelter/Studio for Arts + Works (SAW) gallery in Carbondale had been looking for something fun to do with the shiny trailer units they had collected over the years.”We had a kernel of an idea that we knew would be a lot of fun,” Brooke said.So, as the holiday season approached, they shopped the idea around to use the trailers to form a corral and have an open air arts and crafts bazaar inside the encampment.”We had wanted to do something to get the SAW artists’ work in front of the general public for the holiday season, and this seemed like the perfect way to do it,” Brooke said.From there, with the help of organizer Andrea Chacos, the idea took off and has blossomed into a sort of wintertime mini-Mountain Fair.The Airstream Village Holiday Market takes place this Friday, Saturday and Sunday in the vacant lot at the corner of Highway 133 and Sopris Avenue. It will feature not only arts and crafts, but a bonfire festival with music, films after dark, a vendor selling fresh holiday trees, food vendors and even a visit by Santa Claus on Sunday.”This was one of the easiest events where I’ve had to go out and ask for money,” Chacos said. “It really resonated with a lot of people. It’s the essence of Carbondale.”A beverage stand selling coffee drinks, hot chocolate, beer, wine and other adult drinks will benefit the scholarship fund for the Roaring Fork Leadership program.Each year, the 22-year-old organization solicits applicants from the valleywide community to participate in its leadership course.”In these uncertain economic times, it is more critical than ever for community members to have the skills they need to be an effective leader, whether that’s at work, at home or in the community,” said Erin Rigney, co-owner of Rainy Day Designs in Carbondale, who now chairs the Roaring Fork Leadership board.”When Andrea and Gavin were thinking of a non-profit to invite to receive the sales of the liquor and beverage booth, they realized that RFL was their choice, since both of their spouses had gone through the leadership program recently,” Rigney said. “RFL has never done an event like this before, but in times like these we thought, ‘why not?'”To me, this is classic Carbondale,” she said of the event. “It’s random, quirky and fun.”Food vendors will include Smoke Barbecue of El Jebel, Nicky’s Quickies – selling gyros and other Greek foods – and Sabra’s Deli selling desserts.Among the art vendors will be Alleghany Meadows, who owns three of the Airstream trailers including his converted “Artstream” mobile ceramics studio, along with other SAW artists plus artists from the Carbondale Clay Center and the Carbondale Council on Arts and Humanities.There will also be a “Second Friday” art exhibit opening at the SAW gallery, located next door, as well as two movies on Friday, “The Grinch” at 5:30 p.m. and “A Christmas Story” at 7:30 p.m. Fire dancers will also perform Friday evening.Saturday activities will include live music and caroling around the fire, and several films from this year’s 5Points Film Festival will be shown after dark.”Sunday is the big day for kids,” Chacos said. “We’ll be having Santa and his sleigh, an elf and a real reindeer.”A photographer will be on hand to take pictures of the kids with Santa.The three local public elementary schools are also getting involved throughout the weekend with various fundraising booths, including the Crystal River Elementary School PTO, the Ross Montessori Parents Association and the Carbondale Community School third and fourth grade classes.”It’s turned into a big community-building event,” Brooke said. “This is why it’s worth it to survive in this crappy economy, to just have a big party like this.”jstroud@postindependent.com