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Falling into festivals

Staff report
A file photo from the 40th annual Snowmass Balloon Festival.
Jeremy Wallace/The Aspen Times
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Snowmass Village is set to kick off the month of September with three festivals in the town’s three main venues over the weekend.

For the past 44 years, hot air balloons have decorated the sky above the Snowmass Town Park in early September. But in recent years, the town began hosting two more events at the start of the month: Cidermass on the Village Mall and Septemberfest in Base Village, both on Saturday 7 this year.

The two newer events were started by Snowmass locals in an attempt to keep balloon festival attendees in the village for longer, according to Snowmass Tourism special events manager Julie Hardman.

Both events are supported and promoted by Snowmass Tourism, and align with the town department’s push to offer more for visitors after the Labor Day holiday weekend, Hardman said.

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“We bring in a lot of festivals and events that are produced by people from other areas, but these events are 100% local,” Hardman said.

This will be the second Cidermass event, which runs Saturday afternoon and features hard ciders and other beverages from a variety of vendors; and the third Septemberfest event, which is a fall celebration right after Cidermass with family friendly events, artisans and live music, Hardman explained.

“Saturday is a fun, full day,” Hardman said.

But the event that’s anchored the weekend for over four decades is the Snowmass Balloon Festival. One of Snowmass’ oldest annual events, Hardman said the balloon fest is set to feature morning rises of 32 hot air balloons all weekend, along with a Friday “night glow.”

This year’s glow will move back to Snowmass Town Park and allow people to see all 32 balloons fired up. The glow event was at Base Village last year, but only highlighted a few of the festival balloons.

“We heard some people were disappointed with the glow last year, so we’re bringing it back to Town Park,” Hardman said.

Overall, Hardman said she feels the weekend is a great way to kick off Snowmass’ event-filled September and is a good reminder to both locals and visitors that the village still has a lot to offer after Labor Day.

“In the past, things have started to shut down after Labor Day, but we’ve really expanded our events through September,” Hardman said. “This is one of the prettiest times of year in Snowmass for locals and visitors to enjoy.”


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