Carbondale’s Mountain Fair typically draws hundreds of spectators, vendors, artisans, artists and musicians to Sopris Park each summer. Due to ongoing concerns surrounding COVID-19, organizers say they're bringing this festivities into individual neighborhoods for this year's event, planned for July 24-26.
Carbondale Arts executive director Amy Kimberly said the adapted plan allows them to work with whatever current public health orders might be.
“We live in such uncertain times, we wanted to be able to pivot at any moment without too much financial trauma," she said. "But we also wanted to capture the spirit of everyone, wherever they may be, that love Carbondale Mountain Fair.”
That means reimagining the festival with social distancing in mind. Details are still being worked out, but the new format will include live musical performances that roll through town on trucks and neighborhood art competitions.
Old favorites will be part of the event too—with some adjustments—like pie and cake baking and the Mt. Sopris Runoff trail run (which will include a cap on the number of participants). A smaller number of local and regional artisans will also be on hand to sell their wares in downtown.
Organizers are also working out the specifics of a Mountain Fair dog show—new to this year's event—since the mobile nature of the festivites means dogs won't be banned, as they are in Sopris Park.
"The biggest challenge is reinventing something that's been going for 48 years and has been going so well," said Kimberly. "But, as clarity comes, I think we're all getting excited that we have this opportunity to create something new and fresh and see how it goes."
She added that although the planning for this year's Mountain Fair is underway, the event will still need volunteers, and more information about the festival and volunteering will be added to Carbondale Arts' website.