Crown Summerfest returns for second go Friday and Saturday in El Jebel |

Crown Summerfest returns for second go Friday and Saturday in El Jebel

When more than 2,500 people showed up to the inaugural Crown Summerfest at Crown Mountain Park last year, Nate Grinzinger took it as a sign the people wanted more. So he’s giving them more with the second annual event this weekend in El Jebel.

“The community really wants good, quality events in the midvalley and the lower valley. We are really trying to answer that,” said Grinzinger, who is the park and recreation manager for Crown Mountain Park. “We really wanted to design this event to bring the entire community together in one spot at one time. Didn’t really feel like any event has done that yet in the valley, so that was what I was really trying to go after with this one.”

The festivities start at 5 p.m. Friday at Crown Mountain Park with a soft opening that includes beer, food and live music. Boulder native and California resident Kevin Heinz will perform from 5 to 7 p.m., with the Los Angeles-based band Ivory Deville taking the stage at 7:20 p.m.

The beer and margarita tent and the food vendors will operate until 9 p.m. Friday.

The bulk of the action gets underway at 3 p.m. Saturday and runs through 9:30 p.m.

There is no fee to enter the festival.

“A big part of this is making it extremely affordable for the whole community,” Grinzinger said. “This one is for the community. It’s one of the feel-good type of events that is affordable, and this one is all about community development.”

Last year’s event was a single day, but the organizers decided to push it to two this year. They removed the outdoor movie from a summer ago, instead opting to “keep the music and the party going a little longer.”

While there will be plenty of entertainment for the adults — the entire event is enclosed in a giant beer garden — it’s being billed as very family-friendly. There will be a free kids bounce kingdom from 3 to 7 p.m. and a free kids “foam city” from 6 to 7 p.m. For a small fee there will be hot-air balloon tether rides from 6 to 8 p.m. with skydivers dropping in around 5:30 p.m.

An important piece of the festival is the valleywide taco competition from 3 to 7:45 p.m.

“There is amazing Mexican/Salvadorian food in this valley, and I think it’s a crime to not highlight it,” Grinzinger said. “The heart and soul of this thing really started around community development. And not only that, we want to provide an event that includes the whole community.”

Live music will continue Saturday evening with Spore Favore from 4:30 to 7 p.m. and Brothers Keeper from 7:15 to 9:30 p.m. The event is being sponsored by Holy Cross Energy, Alpine Bank and the Town of Basalt.

There is hope to continue to expand Crown Summerfest, with the event also serving as a way to bring attention to Crown Mountain Park and its potential for other big events.

“It’s a great place to do it. Crown is right in the middle of the valley,” Grinzinger said. “We really think Crown is the future spot for not just events, but sports, as well. There is a lot of travel that parents have to deal with on a seasonal basis, and Crown is a great middle ground for all of that.”

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