It’s still mellow, it’s still Mountain Fair |

It’s still mellow, it’s still Mountain Fair

Change is not always good.Nobody knows that better than Carbondale Mountain Fair organizers, who were under new direction this season for the first time in 17 years.Former director Thomas Lawley, who recently moved to New Mexico, handed over the reins to Amy Kimberly, who left the fair virtually unchanged in her inaugural season. For Kimberly and the other organizers, preserving the old-school essence of the 33-year-old event was imperative.”There’s a certain spirit of the fair you want to keep; it’s sacred,” said Martha Rideout, a Mountain Fair board member. “I think the transition went very smooth.”Most festival goers didn’t even know there was a new director.”Everything about it is good,” said 16-year-old Nic Weis of Glenwood Springs, who’s been coming to the fair all of his life. “It’s always a great environment and the music is good.”The three-day free festival drew an estimated 20,000 visitors and included a plethora of live music, activities for adults and children, international foods, and displays from over 60 local artists.”I’m having a great time. I’ll do it again next year,” said first-time visitor Chuck Ward from Colorado Springs. “The people-watching and the music make it a great time.”While the event remains largely unchanged from recent years, some old-timers can remember when it was quite different.”It’s been years since it was the old Mountain Fair,” said Jared Kerst of Glenwood Springs. “You used to be able to walk around and take beer everywhere.”Michael Carter of Glenwood Springs, who has attended every Mountain Fair since 1972, could remember a much wilder environment.”It used to be just a bunch of hippies doing a lot of drugs and [having sex] in the woods,” Carter laughed. “The scene’s different now.”Carter, who was selling merchandise from his business, Lost In Space Trading Co., said despite the taming down, it’s still a unique fair. Crowds on Sunday night swelled for Latin horn band Cabaret Diosa.”From the first Mountain Fair on it’s been something special,” he said. “It’s great to see it’s gone on as long as it has.”Steve Benson’s e-mail address is”It used to be just a bunch of hippies doing a lot of drugs and [having sex] in the woods. The scene’s different now.” Michael Carter, Mountain Fair fan

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