Family Hoedown fundraiser supports charter schools in Aspen, Carbondale

Staff report
Kids roll and tumble in Zorbs at the 2016 Family Hoedown.
Stephanie Munk/Special to The Aspen Times

If you go ...

What: 7th Annual Family Hoedown

When: 3-7 p.m. Saturday

Details: The Family Hoedown is an annual fundraiser for the Aspen and Carbondale community schools, two K-8 charter schools operated by Compass, a nonprofit based in Woody Creek.

Looking for an affordable place to take the whole family this weekend?

Look no further than the 7th Annual Family Hoedown at Cozy Point Ranch, where you’ll find live music, dinner, drinks and saloon games for adults, alongside a bounce house, Zorb Bowling, a mechanical bull, a Eurobungy and other activities for the kids.

The Hoedown, which runs from 3 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, is the annual fundraiser for the Aspen and Carbondale community schools, two K-8 charter schools operated by Compass, a nonprofit based in Woody Creek.

This well-established event is unusual among local fundraising events for its family-friendly atmosphere and affordability. Mom and Dad can try their hand at roulette or Plinko while the kids test themselves on the mechanical bull, play cowboy dodgeball or take a laid-back pony ride. And it’s all for a worthy cause.

“One of our main goals this year is to show our teachers how much we value their role in our schools,” said Compass Board President Jeffie Butler. “This fundraiser is a direct mean to a desired end of additional teacher compensation.”

Tickets for the Hoedown are $30 in advance and $35 at the door for everyone age 4 and up. Kids 3 and under must have a free ticket. Both kinds of tickets are available online at

While you’re on the website, explore the online auction for hundreds of offers from local businesses: gift certificates, outdoor adventures, gourmet dinners, vacation trips and more. The auction runs through Feb. 16 and is a perfect way to support the schools if you can’t attend the Hoedown.

For those actually attending, Home Team BBQ will cook up a Western-style dinner and local libations will be available for the adults. Alongside live music from the Hell Roaring String Band, the games and activities include arts and crafts by Inky Hands Studio and Anderson Arts Ranch, a bounce house, a farmyard experience, Eurobungy, sumo wrestling (in inflatable sumo suits), a caricaturist, roping and the ever-popular Chicken-S#*t Bingo.

“There is good food, there are fun games,” said CCS student Elleree Richmond. “You see so many people and you can make new friends. It’s four hours of fun.”

Kids also are invited to meet Jenn Gibbons and Jeff Griggs of Rocky Mountain Martial Arts, who come every year to the Hoedown to teach archery.

The Cozy Point Ranch is located at the corner of Highway 82 and Brush Creek Road, but parking is limited on site. Please park at the nearby Brush Creek Park and Ride and board the free Hoedown Stagecoach to the indoor riding arena.

Still have a question? Find the “Contact Us” or “Directions” links at