Carbondale’s best party starts today |

Carbondale’s best party starts today

The 31st annual Carbondale Mountain Fair will be the hottest ticket in the valley this weekend, offering music, food and other fun on Friday through Sunday.

The fair is designed for people of all ages, with activities such as face painting and crafts for children and wood splitting and the ArtWalk for adults. It runs from 5 to 9 p.m. on Friday, and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

The fair is a fund-raiser for Carbondale Council on Arts and Humanities, a local nonprofit that organizes events throughout the year. While there is no admission price for the fair, the CCAH asks that people contribute money through the purchase of fair merchandise, raffle tickets and at the silent auctions. Proceeds pay for the event and go toward future activities of the CCAH.

Renee Maggert, assistant to the administrator of the fair, described the fair as “the greatest thing that Carbondale has. It’s lots of fun; people enjoy it. It’s such a great party and a wonderful time for the citizens of Carbondale, and it’s a 31-year tradition.”

A parade through Sopris Park marks the official opening for the Mountain Fair on Friday afternoon. Clowns from the performance troupe Living Folklore will lead the parade, which begins at 4 pm.

The parade will start in the Oasis and end at the gazebo, where Laurie Loeb will lead the drum circle, signaling the opening of the fair. Everyone is welcome to participate in the drum circle, and fairgoers should bring their own drums. Living Folklore will organize a parade each day of the fair.

Throughout the fair there will be continuous music, ranging from bluegrass to rock, folk to Celtic-grass, classical to blues, and various children’s groups. All music is free.

“I think the Celtic band is pretty exciting, and the Valley Jam Band, which is really 15 musicians from throughout the valley, will be performing, which is something I’m looking forward to,” Maggert said.

In addition to music, the fair will offer international cuisine and various art booths. Booth operators will sell everything from clothing and jewelry to lamps and silverware.

On Saturday, children will get the opportunity to sell some of their own crafts at the Kids Booth. Each item must be individually identified and children should drop off their crafts at 9 a.m. at the Oasis area.

There will also be several contests and a raffles during the fair. Contests include pie and cake making, a fly-casting competition, Mt. Sopris run-off, wood-splitting contests for men and women, horseshoe throwing, and a limbo contest.

The Mountain Fair Raffle will include prizes from 60 different local businesses and individuals. There will be over 100 prizes, including a grand prize from Crystal Travel-Carbondale of a $1,000 travel voucher, good for any destination within the next year.

The second prize is a one-week trip to Mazatlan, Mexico. Other prices include gift certificates, lodging and meals. Tickets will be sold at the fair. Winners do not need to be present at the time for the raffle.

The Mountain Fair will also include an ArtWalk on Sunday, from 10 a.m. until noon. The presentation of the local galleries and artists’ booths will be accompanied by a classical music performance.

The Mountain fair also holds a contest for the design of the fair’s annual logo. The winner receives $500, and this year’s winner was Azya Meredith Rice.

Trina Ortega, assistant to the director of the Mountain Fair, said the board searches for a logo “that really expresses the festiveness and joyousness of the fair and tries to capture the elements of what happens in the fair. One design may not capture everything, but they try to have a design that captures the happiness.”

The Mountain Fair is still looking for volunteers. Although they would prefer it if volunteers signed up in advance, all volunteers, even those who show up looking to help out, are welcome. Volunteers who work for at least four hours receive a free Mountain Fair T-shirt.

Maggert said, “We need 500 volunteers to put the fair together, and for the most part we get that every year.”

For more information on the fair, call 963-1680, or check out the Web site at

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