Eco Fest: An idea whose time has come in Aspen | AspenTimes.com
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Eco Fest: An idea whose time has come in Aspen

Jeanne McGovernThe Aspen TimesAspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN – Back in August, when the first seeds of Aspen Eco Fest were planted, no one expected them to take root as they have. Organizers of the two-day event – Saturday and Sunday at the Inn at Aspen at the base of Buttermilk – hoped it would live up to its tagline of “blending lifestyle, business and the environment.” They hoped it would be a success. Now, with hundreds of entries for the Environmental Art Show, dozens of vendors in the Eco Marketplace, mounds of goods for sale at the Eco Swap, a green-tie gala, clunker bike race and canine eco-fashion show, as well as a roster of impressive speakers – including Snowmass Village resident and Colorado Sen. Gail Schwartz – it’s safe to say Aspen Eco Fest is on its way to meeting the organizers’ goals.”It’s amazing … absolutely amazing what is happening out here,” said event co-organizer Shae Singer. “You’ve got to see it to believe it.”The environmental art alone is unbelievable; it’s not just trash off the side of the road.”According to Singer, more than 200 pieces of work were submitted for the exhibit. They come from professional artists and schoolchildren; they come from the valley and from the far-reaches of Colorado. (Among Singer’s favorites is a collection of aluminum-can animals from students at Bayfield Middle School; “Exactly where is Bayfield?” she asks, though it doesn’t matter to her as the turtles, frogs, anteaters, penguins and other critters that comprise the collection are “ingenious.”).The Environmental Art Show, though, is just one component of the event, whose stated goal is to “foster public awareness and opportunity for environmental growth specific to the Western Slope of Colorado.”Organizers hope to do this through Eco Fest’s multi-faceted approach and by making the event a true cultural and educational environmental festival.”We wanted to touch all aspects with Eco Fest – art, fashion, food, vending, ecology,” explained Singer. “And what it became is this giant eco party – the largest Earth Day event on the Western Slope – right here in Aspen.”And while the hard work of planning the first annual Aspen Eco Fest might be over, the work is far from done, according to Singer.”I think that, on a personal level, we have accomplished what we set out to do. But the only way Eco Fest will continue, and be a success on a greater level, is if people come out and support it.”Our call to action is this: You are mountain people, you’re used to snow and cold and you believe in what we’re doing, so come on out here this weekend. It’s going to be fun and exciting and a whole lot more.”

Aspen Eco Fest is Saturday and Sunday, beginning at 10 a.m. each day, at the Inn at Aspen at the base of Buttermilk. It is free and open to the public. For a complete schedule of events or more information, visit http://www.aspenecofest.comjmcgovern@aspentimes.com


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