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Carbondale’s ‘Dandelion Day’ celebrates community, springtime and the natural world

Dandelion Day attendees dance during a concert in Sopris Park. The annual celebration of community and the environment returns on Saturday, May 11, 2024.
Nico Heins
Courtesy photo
Dandelion Day attendees dance during a concert in Sopris Park. The annual celebration of community and the environment returns on Saturday, May 11, 2024.

“Dandelion Day” returns to Carbondale’s Sopris Park this Saturday with a celebration of community, springtime and the natural world.

The annual festival includes a parade, live music and presentations about gardening and the environment.

It’s named after Carbondale’s town flower, the dandelion, and it’s been running for more than two and a half decades.

Festival coordinator Quinn Port said Dandelion Day started with a group of local parents, who wanted the town to avoid spraying pesticides and herbicides in the parks where their children played.

“That's why you see dandelions all over the place,” Port said.

“It allows us to have confidence in our parks, but it also allows us to celebrate the organic world around us, and (Dandelion Day allows us) to celebrate each other,” she added.

The festival has historically focused on environmental sustainability. According to Port, organizers want to expand the scope to consider individual wellness and “community sustainability,” as well.

The event will include an education tent, where attendees can learn about pollinators, compost practices, and planting native seeds. There will also be mainstage concerts, dance performances, a game of musical chairs and a bike race in which the slowest rider wins.

It all kicks off with a “parade of species” through town at 10 a.m. People can dress up as any species they want, real or imagined, so spectators may see some unicorns among the bees and butterflies.

A full schedule is listed below. Information is also available on through Carbondale Arts, which supports the event. No tickets are required; attendees who want a commemorative T-shirt are highly encouraged to bring their own shirt for printing at the festival to reduce textile waste.

Dandelion Day Schedule

10 a.m. Parade of Species (from Main Street to the main stage in Sopris Park)

10:30-11 a.m. Bonedale Ballet performance (main stage)

11-11:30 a.m. Seed Swap and “How to Sow Native Seeds” presentation with Bee Friendly Carbondale (education tent)

11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Twisted Traditions concert (main stage)

12-12:30 p.m. “Kid Friendly and Bee Friendly” presentation with The Difference Gals (education tent)

12:35-1:15 p.m. Sopris Soarers aerial arts performance (main stage)

1-1:30 p.m. “Backyard Pollinators” presentation with Suzanne Luck (education tent)

1:15 p.m. “Slowest Bike Race” (registration at the education tent)

1:45-3 p.m. Mountain People (concert?) (main stage)

2-2:30 p.m. “All Things Compost” presentation with Alyssa Reindel (education tent)

2:45 p.m. Musical Chairs (near main stage)

3:30-5 p.m. Sweet Jessup and the Dirty Buckets (main stage)

Kaya Williams is the Edlis Neeson Arts and Culture Reporter at Aspen Public Radio, covering the vibrant creative and cultural scene in Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley. She studied journalism and history at Boston University, where she also worked for WBUR, WGBH, The Boston Globe and her beloved college newspaper, The Daily Free Press. Williams joins the team after a stint at The Aspen Times, where she reported on Snowmass Village, education, mental health, food, the ski industry, arts and culture and other general assignment stories.