Letter: Wild time in Woody Creek

Here in the Roaring Fork Valley, we’re all about getting outdoors. Whatever you do, you do something, and chances are you do it on or around our abundant public lands. On Saturday, join Wilderness Workshop in celebrating our public lands at Wildfest.

This public party will feature live music, freshly prepared food and beverages, communal art creation, fire dancing and kids activities on the grounds of Owl Farm, the former home of journalist Hunter S. Thompson. This is the first public event hosted at the writer’s legendary spread, referenced so familiarly in his famous works as his sanctuary from outside chaos. With stunning views of the Elk Range and a cozy feel in Woody Creek, it’s easy to see why.

Jimmy Ibbotson of Nitty Gritty Dirt Band is the opening act, beginning shortly after doors open. Ibbotson is a singer, songwriter and guitarist and a longtime Woody Creature. Next up is a Roaring Fork Valley favorite, the Smuggler Mountain Boys. They are a traditional and contemporary bluegrass band and play everything from Bill Monroe to the Grateful Dead. The event’s headlining act at 8 p.m. is the Shook Twins. Sisters Laurie and Katelyn Shook call on a wide range of instrumentation, including banjo, guitar, electric and upright bass, mandolin, electric guitar and electronic drums. They are a fabulous act.

The Slow Groovin’ BBQ truck will be parked inside the festival grounds selling slow-cooked meat dishes, donated by local business Crystal River Meats. There also will be scrumptious vegetarian options. The main bar and Gonzo Tent bar will be serving local beer, wine and spirits by Sopris Liquor and Wine. Yerba Mate tea will be available, as well.

Wildfest runs from 5 to 10 p.m. Advance tickets are $25 and can be purchased at The more expensive Gonzo ticket, at $150, offers a number of added amenities. Kids 12 and younger are free. Don’t miss the grooviest party of the summer! I hope to see you there.

Sloan Shoemaker

Executive director, Wilderness Workshop