Crownfest to showcase midvalley park |

Crownfest to showcase midvalley park

Scott Condon
The Aspen Times
BMX riders await the start of a race at Crown Mountain Park in El Jebel. The BMX track is one of the popular amenities.
Crown Mountain Park/courtesy photo |


June 4

12:30 to 3 p.m.: Discover BMX

Bike and gear swap

Bike helmet exchange

Free beginning BMX clinic

BMX racing at 1:45 p.m.

3 to 7:30 p.m.: Free Bounce Kingdom in five houses

3 to 9:30 p.m.: Beer tent open, cash bar only

3 to 7:30 p.m.: Taco competition among numerous vendors, $2 tacos

4 to 4:30 p.m.: Soccer Bubble Ball game

4:30 p.m.: Roaring Fork Sky Dive fly into Crown

3 to 6 p.m.: C.A.RE. displays shelter dogs and cats

6 to 8 p.m.: Corn hole tournament

3 to 7:45 p.m.: Two concerts

8:15 to 10 p.m.: Outdoor family movie screening of “Sandlot”

Crown Mountain Park in the midvalley will hold a sports extravaganza and party June 4 to showcase everything it has to offer and to bring together its Latino and Anglo constituents.

Crown Summerfest will be held rain or shine from 12:30 to 9:30 p.m. It’s targeting kids and adults with everything from BMX clinics and races to concerts by two bands and a beer garden. Best of all, it’s free.

“Everybody loves free,” said Rebecca Wagner, executive director of the park. “You can show up at this event and not pay a dollar.”

Wagner and the other full-time staffer at the park and recreation district, recreation coordinator Nate Grinzinger, have been plotting the party since last year to raise the park’s visibility. Even though its sports fields and walking paths host an estimated 250,000 visits annually, they feel the park’s potential is largely untapped.

“We still believe it’s a hidden gem in the Roaring Fork Valley, “Grinzinger said.

He said he is still amazed that so many people — especially those outside the immediate midvalley area — are unaware of Crown Mountain Park. Summerfest is designed to make a splash.

Voters approved creation of the park at the former Mount Sopris Tree Nursery in November 2002. It was carved out of 124 acres that Pitkin and Eagle counties acquired from the U.S. Forest Service in a land swap. The park is across Highway 82 from the Wendy’s in El Jebel. It features ball diamonds, basketball courts, tennis courts, picnic shelters, a pavilion, a popular playground, fields for soccer and lacrosse and a walking trail. It’s dog friendly, though Wagner and Grinzinger wish more dog owners would pick up after their pets. There were 70,000 dog-waste bags dispersed at stations around the park in 2015.

There is strong use among Latinos and Anglos, but they don’t mingle all that much, Grinzinger said. They hope that will happen more with the taco competition and beer garden. Everybody will be able to vote for their favorite taco during the competition from 3 to 7:30 p.m. The mini-tacos will be sold for $2 by several vendors from throughout the valley.

A huge area will be fenced off to allow cash-bar beer sales from 3 to 9:30 p.m.

“We’re going to have the biggest beer garden in the history of the valley,” Grinzinger said.

The beer garden will help defray the cost of the event. Holy Cross Energy, town of Basalt, Alpine Bank, KSPN and Big Mountain Events are sponsors helping cover costs.

Even without the special event, it is expected to be a busy Saturday at the park. All through the day, there will be a U6 to U8 soccer tournament. Parents and spectators won’t be bored in between matches.

There will be a Discover BMX event from 12:30 to 3 p.m. featuring bike and gear swaps, a helmet exchange, a clinic and race.

The organizers are bringing in five Bounce Kingdom houses that are geared for everybody from toddlers to adults. There will be a soccer bubble ball game from 4 to 4:30 p.m. for older youth and adults. Participants get inside a bubble to compete.

Roaring Fork Sky Dive members will fly into Crown Park in the afternoon, and tethered balloon rides will be offered. C.A.R.E. will have shelter dogs and cats available for walks.

The afternoon will feature a corn hole tournament with beanbags and boards, concerts starting at 3 p.m. and an evening, outdoor screening of the movie “Sandlot.”

Go to for a full lineup.

“This is all about community building for us,” Wagner said.