Summer events are back in full swing in CB

Stacked lineup of favorites

By Kendra Walker

The CBMR bike park opens this weekend, live music is back and festivals are popping up like wildflowers — it’s starting to shape up to look like a normal summer again here in paradise. This town embraces any opportunity to hold a good event, and the summer lineup is stacking up as local organizers have the green light of the Coronameter to move forward with events, festivals and gatherings. 

One of the most highly anticipated events is the return of the free Alpenglow outdoor concert series. And the Center for the Arts staff is perhaps the most thrilled. “We’re all incredibly excited for Alpenglow,” said associate director of development Jillian Liebl. “It’s that magical place where long-time locals and part-time residents and visitors and young and old can all come together.” 

This summer’s Alpenglow lineup will focus on local bands, including Easy Jim and Lizzy Plotkin. “Our local musicians and local artists have also had a tough year and we wanted to support them first and foremost,” said Liebl. 

Alpenglow will also feature the Brothers of Brass, the band who helped lead the Black Lives Matter Thrive Rally down Elk Avenue last year. “This time around we’re bringing all 10 members for a full set on the Alpenglow stage,” says Carrie Wallace, the Center’s new performing arts coordinator. The first concert hits the Alpenglow stage on June 28.

The Center is also working with the Melanin Mountain Project to host a free Juneteenth celebration, the town’s first ever Juneteenth event. The event will feature black poetry, art and performances, including an African drumming performance by Etienne Tolno.  

Though nothing is set in stone, the Crested Butte-Mt. Crested Butte Chamber of Commerce is exploring all of the options to hold a Fourth of July Parade on Elk Avenue on Sunday, July 4. According to executive director Scott Clarkson, critical details are currently being worked out and if a parade is to happen, volunteers will be needed. If interested, volunteers should contact the Chamber at Updates will be posted on the Chamber’s website. 

The Town of Mt. Crested Butte will be presenting a fireworks display on the mountain for the Fourth, and is also working hard to bring back its Music on the Mountains free concert series at the base area. Town manager Isa Reeb says they hope to have the first band on July 28, and have six total shows. 

The Crested Butte Arts Festival is back to in-person action this year with a new location at the Crested Butte Community School parking lot featuring more than 130 exhibiting artists in 12 fine art mediums. It will also be a ticketed event this year to support the non-profit, $5 for a day pass or $12 for a weekend pass.

The Chamber of Commerce plans to hold the Chainless Race this summer, but it will not take place in June and a different date is still in the works. Because of the expected traffic coming over Kebler Pass due to the Little Blue construction along Highway 50, Gunnison County Public Works and local law enforcement have advised planning for a later date. “We’re looking for a time that works for folks between peak summer and foliage,” said Clarkson.  

Some events will continue to embrace the virtual aspect, while still holding in-person gatherings. The Crested Butte Film Festival plans to let pass holders enjoy all 75 films and discussions from the comfort of their own homes September 24 – October 3. Then individual tickets can be purchased for select in-person film screenings, discussions and events September 24 – 26.

There’s plenty more events filling in, and now’s your chance to reconnect with the community, mask free. So get out there and support Crested Butte’s local events!

Snapshot of the Summer 2021 events lineup:

• CBMR summer operations and bike park open – June 12 – September 6

• Center for the Arts Watercolor Symposium – June 17-20

• Crested Butte Mountain Theatre Summer Wedding Solo Play Festival – June 18-19

• Field Trips with the Crested Butte Land Trust – June 24, July 29, August 26, September 30

• KBUT’s Friday Night Fish Fry – June 25

• Black & White Ball – June 27

• Alpenglow Summer Concert Series: Gun Rack – June 28

• Crested Butte Public Policy Forum – Tuesdays, June 29 – August 17

• Fourth of July Fireworks at Mt. CB – July 4

• Alpenglow Summer Concert Series: Brothers of Brass – July 5 

• Crested Butte Wildflower Festival – July 9-18

• Crested Butte Land Trust Starry Evening Gala – July 10

• Alpenglow Summer Concert Series: Lizzy Plotkin + Natalie Spears – July 12 

• Crested Butte Land Trust Annual Caddis Cup Fly-Fishing Tournament – July 16-17

• 121st Annual Cattlemen’s Days Rodeo – July 15-17 

• Crested Butte Wine + Food Festival – July 19 – 25

• Alpenglow Summer Concert Series: Easy Jim – July 19

• Crested Butte Music Festival – July 23 – October 1

• Crested Butte Nordic Grin & Bear it Trail Run – July 24

• Living Journeys Summit Hike – July 24

• Alpenglow Summer Concert Series: MILLK – July 26 

• Mt. Crested Butte Music on the Mountain – July 28, more dates TBD

• Crested Butte Arts Festival – July 30-August 1

• Adaptive Sports Center Crested Butte Open – August 1-2

• Chili and Beer Festival – September 11

• Crested Butte Nordic Summer Grand Traverse – September 4-5

• Trek for Life Hike – September 10

• Pedal Your Butte Off – September 11

• Crested Butte Film Festival – September 24-26

Happy summer everyone!

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