Snowmass goes Bavarian; las Américas in Carbondale
September 8, 2005
A mariachi band or German polka music? Mexican folk dances or traditional “schuhplatter” – shoe-patting dances?Two festivals with wildly divergent themes will be vying for the valley’s attention today. The second annual Oktoberfest promises a taste of Bavaria on the Snowmass Village Mall. The third annual Festival las Américas takes place at Sopris Park in Carbondale.With a bit of effort, one could take in a bit of both.Festival las Américas celebrates the richness of culture and traditions of the American continent. Organized by Club Rotario Roaring Fork, the event raises funds for educational projects throughout the area. From noon to 7 p.m., festival-goers will find cultural, artistic and recreational activities at Sopris Park, plus tempting cuisine representing flavors from the Chilean coast to the Rockies. Live entertainment will feature Native American dancers, Mexican Folklorico, salsa music and a full mariachi band.Snowmass, meanwhile, promises a lederhosen-laden day with plenty of stein clinking and strudel-scarfing.”This is the only Oktoberfest celebration in the Roaring Fork Valley that we know of, and it’s poised to quickly become a long-standing autumn tradition in Snowmass, much like Mardi Gras is to February or St. Paddy’s Day is to March,” said Susan Hamley, the town’s marketing director.The festivities run from noon to 7 p.m. on the mall, with free live music and dance performances; beer provided by Tommyknocker Brewery, Samuel Adams, Tabernash, and Warsteiner; and kids’ activities all day long. A clown, juggler and stilt walker, along with the House of Bounce, will entertain the younger set while their elders can check out the frothy brews available at $3 apiece in tents set up along the mall.The Stew Pot is offering two food booths, selling such traditional fare as German sausages, homemade German potato salad, sauerkraut and strudel, while the S’no Beach will grill up brats and burgers.The music kicks off at noon with Alpine Echo playing traditional German polka tunes in front of The Stew Pot. They play again from 2 to 3 p.m. At 1 and 4 p.m., the D’Miesbacher OIM Taler German Dance Group will perform the “schuhplatter,” or shoe-patting dances. The Boulder Acoustic Society will offer an eclectic mix of jazz, bluegrass and rock music at 1:30 and 3 p.m. at the ski company’s ticket pavilion.At 5 p.m., Colorado band Kan’Nal closes out the celebration with a free, two-hour concert of what has been dubbed its “primal groove” music. As much a stage show as a concert, Kan’Nal’s ancient rhythms and instruments provide the accompaniment for exotic (no, not that kind of exotic) dancers. Last weekend, they wowed Jazz Aspen Snowmass audiences, creating a minor sensation at one of the Labor Day Festival’s side stages.