Let the festivities begin—Vinotok

Commences this Sunday


The air has changed. The chill that signals fall has already begun to creep into the early mornings and nights. The aspen leaves are turning golden.
Vinotok is upon us.

Vinotok is a week-long fall festival that celebrates the turning of the seasons at the autumn equinox. The whole week is ripe with a Community Feast, mythology workshop, storytelling events and (of course) the Trial of the Grump. It all begins this week.

Sunday, September 15
Celebration of the Harvest Mother & Crested Butte Farmers Market: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with performance at High Noon on Elk Avenue between 1st and 2nd Streets. Free
Vinotok begins (appropriately) with the Farmers Market and Celebration of the Harvest Mother on Sunday, September 15. Welcome the autumn harvest at the Crested Butte Farmer’s Market from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Elk Avenue between 1st and 2nd Streets with bountiful local gatherings of fresh and organic produce, meats, bread, canned goods, juices and much more.
Gather at the Vinotok Renaissance Booth to make or buy a head wreath, buy your tickets for the Community Feast, buy delicious homemade baked goods—all to support the festival. There will be Grump Boxes for your Grumps, costume ideas and assistance. Grab a Vinotok Pocket Schedule to keep up with events. Adorn your body with henna art at the Red Tent for the week’s festivities and begin the new season relaxed with a massage.
Then at high noon come to the Celebration of the Harvest Mother. The Harvest Mother is Gaia. She is the mother of all, of the earth and all the deities. She is the symbol of fertility, and in the harvest season, of the earth’s bounty. The Crested Butte Dance Collective presents this year’s Harvest Mother, Phoebe Pedersen, with a Spirited Spectacle of mummers, belly dancers, African traditional dancers, stilters, jesters, forest creatures and music. All past Harvest Mothers, Harvest Babies and current pregnant women please come to be honored at this celebration.

Polka with Pete Dunda: 2 p.m. at Kochevar’s. Free
Join accordion player and Gunnison County’s polka mainstay, Pete Dunda, at Kochevar’s after the Farmers Market for the traditional dance of the valley. Nothing makes the heart lighter than a little polka. Roll out the barrel and skip on down to Kochevar’s for a hoot of a good time. If you’ve never polka’d—now’s your chance.

Monday, September 16
Community Harvest with Mountain Roots: 9:30 a.m. to noon at the Elk Avenue Community Garden. Free
Come get your hands dirty and your soul nourished. Join Mountain Roots in harvesting vegetables from their Community Garden on Elk Avenue to be used in preparation for the feast on Friday.

Tuesday, September 17
Vinotok—The Myth, Meaning & Ritual: 7 to 9 p.m. Mallardi Cabaret Theatre. $7
Everything you ever wanted to know about Vinotok! Join Vinotok founder and master storyteller Marcie Telander to learn the secrets, ancient lore, origins and mystery of Crested Butte’s favorite festival and the all-community Harvest Celebration that is unlike any other in America. For adults and mature young adults. Cash bar will be available.

Wednesday, September 18
Frank Orazem Memorial Storytelling Evening: 7 to 9 p.m. at the Crested Butte Mountain Heritage Museum. $7
Gather around the pot-bellied stove of the Mountain Heritage Museum, like in the old days, to hear back-when tales from Lisa Straubhaar Blunk. Lisa grew up in Crested Butte and attended Gunnison High School. Her father was the first ski school director of Crested Butte Mountain Resort. You will also have the opportunity to experience traditional potica bread, a delicious rolled bread of fruit and nuts, made from Pete Spritzer’s own recipe, and hot chocolate. With this zero waste festival, please bring your own mug and plate to enjoy the treats. None will be provided. A great event for families and kids.

Get involved with Vinotok

Vinotok is for everyone, and if you want to play a role in the festival, guaranteed we’ll find you one. There are some particularly special roles we need the community to rise to the occasion for, however…
Storytellers, musicians and poets: If you love to spin yarns, tell tall tales and bedazzle the crowd, start getting your story ready for Liar’s Night on Thursday, September 19. But if you write poetry, short stories, essays, rants, 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.
Mood Makers: Mood Makers dress in Medieval and Renaissance attire, don a head wreath, and meet the Vinotok Theatre Troupe at 4 p.m. at the Center for the Arts Outdoor Stage. You will mum in the streets with the Troupe, but NOT in the restaurants. Your vital role is to help us set a vibrant mood on the street of celebration and dancing and to pull in your observing neighbors and community members.
Drummers: Vinotok couldn’t exist without live drumming—the true heartbeat of the festival. Drummers will be on the street throughout the mumming to help bring the spirit alive as well as at the bonfire. You must contact Molly for drumming.
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 intentions 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.
There are still plenty of ways to get involved with Vinotok.
We have solidified most of our cast but do still need committed Mood Makers. Mood Makers are in costume and mum in the streets with the Vinotok Theatre Troupe, but not in the restaurants. Your vital role is to help us set a vibrant mood on the street of celebration and dancing and to pull in your observing neighbors and community members. Drummers, stilt walkers, forest creatures and belly dancers will be on the street throughout the mumming to help bring the spirit alive.
Come be a part! Contact Molly Murfee at 349-0947 or mmurfee.aei@usa.net to volunteer for any of these positions or for more information.

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