River Days makes 10th annual splash | AspenTimes.com

River Days makes 10th annual splash

Aspen Times Staff
Aspen, CO Colorado

BASALT ” Basalt’s River Days festival is growing up and settling into a relatively new home on its 10th anniversary this year.

The festival will kick off Friday with opening events, then hit full stride with a parade, several bands and various activities throughout Saturday.

The event began with a focus on kids’ activities and has grown to be a well-rounded community event. It was held at Arbaney Park for the first eight years but switched last year to the more visible and accessible Lions Park near downtown. It remains at Lions Park this year.

The headlining performer is Kelley Hunt, a “singer and blues piano player with a hip and burly sound,” according to promotional material from organizers at the Basalt Chamber of Commerce. Hunt will play at 6 p.m. Saturday in the park.

A local band, Slightly White, kicks off the festival at 4 p.m. Friday. The group was a winner in the Battle of the Bands competition earlier this summer. The Basalt Longhorns girls basketball team will serve a benefit barbecue dinner from 4:30-7:30 p.m. Friday.

Other highlights include the Basalt Half-Marathon along the Fryingpan River and the Lions Club annual pancake breakfast fundraiser in the park on Saturday morning.

The kids, clowns, horses and floats will roll through town when the parade begins at 11:30 a.m. Saturday. Anyone who wants to enter the parade should contact the chamber today at 927-4031.

A Kids’ Island in the park will feature clowns, face-painting booths and the Roaring Fork Conservancy’s river ecology booth. Bakers, chefs and artisans will also set up. For a complete schedule, go to the event website at http://www.basaltriverdays.com

(Main stage and other venues)

4 p.m. Slightly White ” winners of the 2007 Roaring Fork Battle of the Bands competition.

6 p.m. Roaring Fork Oldtime/Celtic Megaband ” 40 local string musicians, plus a contra dance caller.

7:30 p.m. BroadBand ” Valley dance band featuring former members of Network.

8:30 a.m. ” Heart of the Rockies ” local trio of musicians featuring John Sommers, Twirp Anderson and Cash Cashman.

10:15 a.m. ” Celebrate the Beat ” local kids dance, led by Tracy Straus.

12:30 p.m. ” Earthbeat Choir ” young voices from the Roaring Fork Valley.

1:15, 3 and 4:30 p.m. ” Handsome Little Devils ” Vaudeville act offers its antics (juggling, aerial acrobatics, chainsaws, human cannon) three times during the afternoon.

Noon ” Tobatana Marimba Ensemble ” music of Zimbabwe.

Noon and 2 p.m. ” Magic with Doc Eason.

2 p.m. ” Irie Still ” Colorado band offers reggae with hints of hip-hop, funk, soul, Latin and jazz in four-part harmony.

6 p.m. ” Singer/blues piano player and recording artist Kelley Hunt closes the festival with a main stage performance.