Vinotok is an opportunity to revel in something many have begun to loose—community, and a connection to the natural rhythms that surround us. It is a chance to come together, to feast and dance and costume and celebrate each other, to tell stories and to sing songs.
Vinotok has morphed over the years. Today we present the mumming and street theatre with an official Vinotok Theatre Troupe. There are myriad ways you can participate in Vinotok—there is a place for everyone and all are welcome. Some things you might need a little warning on to get prepared. Here’s how to get involved in making this festival truly a community event.
Attend the full week of events
There’s way more to Vinotok than just the bonfire on Saturday, September 21. Begin the week with the Celebration of the Harvest Mother followed by a free polka party on Sunday, September 15; a Community Harvest with Mountain Roots on Monday, September 16; A “Myth, Meaning and Ritual” workshop on Tuesday, September 17; and Lisa Blunk spinning yarns around the pot-bellied stove of the museum on Wednesday, September 18 before we hit the wild and raucous Liar’s Night on Thursday, September 19.
Bring your music, poetry and stories
Liar’s Night on Thursday, September 19 is the time for tall tales and whoppers. But if you write poetry, short stories, essays, rants or songs or compose spoken word, we invite you to share your creativity at the Community Feast on Friday night, September 20, around the fire. At this time we also invite musicians of all kinds to bring their instruments for community jam sessions.
Come eat together
The Community Feast on Friday, September 20 is generously prepared by Mountain Oven. That means locally grown, organic food for the feast—fresh garden salad, artisanal sourdough breads, roasted root vegetables, assorted fermented vegetables, cider-braised beef and cabbage, pinto bean and heirloom tomato chili, fresh fruit cobbler. Montanya’s will provide seasonal drinks in a cash bar.
Food does sell out. Advance tickets are being sold for $20 at Rumors, Crested Butte Mountain Heritage Museum and the Crested Butte Farmer’s Market. Tickets at the door are $25, children under 12 $10.
You must bring your own plate, bowl, cup and eating utensils. In order to accomplish our zero-waste goal no eating tools will be provided.
Come also to make head wreaths and hear the written and musical talents of our neighbors around the fire.
Handfasting / Re-Commitment Ceremony
If you would like to celebrate your union in co-partnering, re-commitment to relationship, to family, to co-parenting or commitment for the future, please join Marcie Telander, MA, REAT, D Divinity, for a shared Handfasting in the ancient European, Celtic and Scandinavian tradition. Marcie is an ordained Officiant of Celebration from several spiritual traditions. Handfasting occurs just before the Community Feast. For further information and to discuss your needs / ideas please call Marcie at 349-6509.
Children are welcome at Vinotok activities. Celebration of the Harvest Mother at the Farmer’s Market on Sunday, Storytelling with Lisa Blunk on Wednesday at the Mountain Heritage Museum, the Community Feast at the Depot on Friday, and Vinotok Day are all good kid opportunities.
Children are invited to be Faeries and Straw Boys on the stage with the Harvest Mother during the street theatre production in front of the Eldo on Saturday. Dress your child up in a costume of the times and perch them on stage around the Harvest Mother for the show. We will provide adult parent supervisors who will be on the stage with the children. You must be near the stage during the production and able to escort your child to the bonfire. Once at the bonfire, there will be a safe float between the fire barricades and the chamber of commerce building for all Faeries and Straw Boys to sit with the Harvest Mother.
In Slovenian traditions, effigies were burned on the boss man’s lawn as a rib. These effigies have morphed into the Grump, a symbol of what we want to release from the previous year—what has blocked us. It is giving to the flames our grievances, to make room for what we want in the new year.
Grump boxes will be found by September 8 at Camp 4–Crested Butte, Mountain Earth, Eldo, Buckaroo Beanery, the Last Steep, the Crested Butte post office, Acme Liquors, Mountain Spirits, Brick Oven, Crested Butte South General Store, Camp 4-Crested Butte South, the Talk, Kochevar’s, Crested Butte Mountain Heritage Museum, Rumors, Crested Butte Farmer’s Market, the Bacchanale, Hard Rock Library, Clarks, True Value and the Gas Café. Grump boxes will be collected Friday, September 20.
Nominate a Green Man
The word on the Green Man is still out—nominate who you think is the best in the land to represent the male energy of nature and the promise of spring returning. Think of some virile, lusty hottie of town who treats his women well.
Go to dinner
If you are not part of the mumming crew one of the best ways to experience it is to be in a restaurant from 5 to 7:30 p.m. on Saturday. The Vinotok Theatre Troupe will come into restaurants on Elk Avenue from the East Side Bistro to Kochevar’s (also including The Gourmet Noodle, the Dogwood and Slogar’s). See the production. If you’re really feeling the spirit, offer the Troupe wine and bread from your table, as is the ancient tradition.
Wear a costume, make a head wreath, be in the streets
Community members are encouraged to dress in Medieval / Renaissance attire for any Vinotok event. Forest creatures and pan descendants also welcome. This is especially true for Liar’s Night, the Community Feast and Vinotok Day. Make a head wreath from natural materials you find on a nice long walk in the fall woods. You may also make your own head wreath at the Vinotok Renaissance Booth at the Farmer’s Market on Sunday (where there will also be a body art booth available), and at the Community Feast on Friday. Grab a poet’s shirt, lace up your corset, make a jester’s hat.
On Vinotok Day as the mummers make their way through the restaurants, they will also be dancing in the streets. Dress up and meet them in the streets to dance to the live drums. While only the Vinotok Theatre Troupe will be mumming the restaurants, the streets should be full of community members dancing in costume.
Vinotok is for everyone. We’ll see you in the streets.
For more information contact Molly Murfee at 349-0947 or firstname.lastname@example.org.