Let the festivities begin!

The grand beginning of the 35th annual Vinotok commences this Sunday

Vinotok is a week-long, locally homegrown fall festival that celebrates nature, community and the turning of the seasons at the Autumn Equinox. The whole week is ripe with a Community Harvest Feast, mythology workshop, storytelling events and (of course) the Trial of the Grump.

It all begins this week with the Celebration of the Harvest Mother at the Crested Butte Farmers Market on Sunday, September 15 and culminates on Saturday, September 21 with mumming and the bonfire. Many events are free and all are priced to be inclusive. Let’s come together as a community, ditch our Grumps and move forward into the new season with honor and release.

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

Kick off Vinotok Week at the Crested Butte Farmers Market with bountiful local harvests of fresh and organic produce, meats, bread, juices, canned goods and more. Special Vinotok booth features wreath making, Grump boxes for your Grumps, costume help, schedules and information and feast tickets. Red Tent body art and body work for all pregnant women, past Harvest Mothers & Babies and community members. Celebration of the Harvest Mother presented by the Dance Collective at High Noon: featuring mummers, stilters, jesters and forest creatures presenting this year’s very pregnant Harvest Mother—Laurel Runcie—with live music. All past Harvest Mothers, Harvest Babies and current pregnant women of the community, please come to be honored.

Monday, September 16

Vinotok – Myth, Meaning & Ritual: 7:30 to 9 p.m. Mallardi Cabaret Theatre. $10

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. Cash bar. For adults and mature young adults.

Tuesday, September 17

Harvest Mandala & Harvest Blessing: Living Mandala Creation (10 a.m. to 12 p.m.) and Blessing (High Noon). Vinotok Fire Circle at the Four-Way Stop. Free

Honor the harvest! What did you plant—physically or metaphorically—this spring that has come into fruition? Is it a vegetable you’ve grown? A life passage you’ve gone through? A goal you’ve accomplished? We are creating a Harvest Mandala at the Vinotok Fire Circle at the Four-way Stop from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. The mandala is a living work of art, created by community participation. You’re invited to bring a small, nature-based token or memento of the harvest season to add to the design, and stay to watch as it evolves and grows. At High Noon we honor all those who work with food and the earth—growers of vegetables, ranchers, garden volunteers, preparers and servers of our food—who provide not only for the Vinotok Community Feast, but also for sustenance in our everyday lives.

The Goddess’ Red Tent: 7:30 p.m. Mallardi Cabaret Theatre. $10

Calling all women! Come celebrate the goddess within in this luxuriating workshop of poetry, blessings, storytelling and more. Bring your own “finger food delectables” to share for a potluck of delicious, seductive treats and wine, as well as your own bowl, utensils, goblet, beverage and pillow to recline upon.

Wednesday, September 18

Frank Orazem Memorial Storytelling Evening: 7:30 to 9 p.m. at the Crested Butte Mountain Heritage Museum. $10

Gather around the pot-bellied stove of the Mountain Heritage Museum, like in the old days, to hear back-when tales of Crested Butte and the surrounding area.

This year Vinotok is ecstatic to present Pete Dunda. Crested Butte is a community that was established by Eastern European immigrants in the 1880s and 1890s. Many were musicians who brought their love of the polka and waltz to this new community. Today, the polka is still danced, led by local musician Pete Dunda. Pete started playing at Talk of the Town and at the Eldo in the early 1990s, carrying on the polka tradition of Crested Butte. At the Frank Orazem Storytelling Night, Pete shares his experiences as an accordion player, discussing the role polka has played in the Crested Butte community, and playing a few songs for us all to dance to. Croatian potica bread and hot chocolate served!

Thursday, September 19

The Botsie Spritzer Memorial Liar’s Contest: Doors at 7 p.m., party begins at 8:30 p.m. Lies begin at 9 p.m. at Kochevar’s. $10

Kochevar’s is transformed and community members gather to tell and hear tall tales, whoppers and adventure stories from the community with prizes for the best liar. The Green Man is announced. A naughty, raucous evening.

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