Vinotok starts this weekend in Crested Butte

Festival begins Sunday: Altars, Grumps, Feast tickets and more!

Vinotok is upon us!

Our community’s annual Autumn Equinox Festival celebrating Nature, Community and the Harvest begins this Sunday, September 17, with activities through Saturday, September 23. Come be a part. We do this for you, for us.  Here’s to getting rid of our grumps, honoring our place spirit, joining hands as a community and celebrating the abundance we all enjoy. Let us return to balance in all ways. Happy Autumn Equinox everyone!

Immerse yourself in Walking the Way: A Vinotok Pilgrimage while visiting the Vinotok Altars in town and in nearby wild lands. Each Altar has an activity for you from journaling and meditating to making staffs and head wreaths. Submit your grumps to the Grump Boxes, banishing things that no longer serve you! Purchase your Feast & Fair tickets at Rumor’s/Townie Books and at the Vinotok Booth at the Farmers Market on Sunday, September 17. Vinotok has a week’s worth of events, including tons of stuff for kids. So read on for the schedule and mark your calendars.


Sunday, September 17—Sunday of the Sacred Feminine

Celebration of the Harvest Mother and the Vinotok Booth. 10 a.m.–2 p.m. with performance at High Noon. Crested Butte Farmers Market. Free. 

Celebrate the Sacred Feminine with this year’s Harvest Mother, Jess Evans-Wall, at high noon featuring mummers, drummers, stilters, jesters and forest creatures. All past Harvest Mothers, Harvest Babies and pregnant women of the community, please come to be honored. Visit the Vinotok booth to make a head wreath, fill out some grumps, purchase Feast tickets and get more information. Red Tent body art and bodywork for all pregnant women, past Harvest Mothers and Babies and community members. Great kids event!

Flight of Dragons Children’s Event. Harvest Mother Stage. Immediately following the Harvest Mother Celebration. Crested Butte Farmers Market. $10. 

Calling all Dragons-in-Training! Don your best Dragon regalia and meet at the Harvest Mother’s Stage directly after her Celebration. Bring noisemakers, drums and rattles to let your Dragon self be known. Each Dragon-in-Training will get a special Dragon ID Badge and Dragon Stripe to identify their Tribe of Dragons. Hear stories of the Baby Dragons born from the Harvest Mother and the importance of the Dragons in protecting our mountains and send up a collective roar to the community. Receive a special Dragon Journal to record all your Beckonings for the upcoming year. Please bring water and wear walking shoes. The event will end at the Adornment of the Fire Temple (a great kids event!) at the Four-Way. Children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult. Purchase your token to participate at the Vinotok Booth at the Farmers Market and present it to the Mother of Dragons to participate!

Adornment of the Fire Temple. 2:30– 4:30 p.m. Crossroads Fire Circle at the Four-Way. Free.

Vinotok’s Crossroads Fire Circle at the Four-Way is the center point of our celebrations. It is the place where the Grump, bearing all the grievances of the day, is arraigned in the Indictment. It is the place we walk the labyrinth and leave our grumps to be transformed in the fire. It is the focal point around which our Community Feast & Medieval Fair oscillates. It must be festooned! Join your community and lend a hand in adorning the Fire Temple with flowers and greenery in preparation for the week of festivities. You may bring flower and greenery cuttings from your own yard.

The Goddess’ Red Tent: Healing the Healer: 6– 8 p.m. Wise Acre (160 Lower Allen Road). $10.

Calling all women! Come celebrate the goddess within, from the maiden to the crone. This year we will work with the theme of “healing the healers.” This is an evening of embodied movement, storytelling, mythology, creativity, sharing, bonding and uniting. The world needs us! Bring your own goblet, plate, snacks and drink, chair (if you like or need) and/or pillow and blanket, as well as a journal and pen. Wear comfortable, relaxed clothes for sitting on the ground, dancing and stretching, and layers to stay warm as night falls (this is an outside event). Meet at 5:30 p.m. at the Four-Way to carpool. In case of active rain, the event will be at the Mallardi Cabaret Theatre.

Monday, September 18 

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

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. This event tells you everything you ever wanted to know about Vinotok! Cash bar. Bring your own mug. For adults and mature young adults.

Tuesday, September 19 

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

It all begins with stories from the people. The evening kicks off with a social time of traditional Slovenian Potica bread from Kochevar and Yaklich family recipes and hot chocolate. Learn of this year’s Green Spirit Award winners, the John Fielder Family and Shelley Read, in a special presentation ceremony honoring community members dedicated to stewardship in our home place. Then gather together, like in the old days, to hear back-when tales of Crested Butte and the surrounding area from Sandy Fails. Sandy moved to Crested Butte in her mid-twenties in 1981, when the streets were still dirt and swimsuits were still optional at Sunshine’s Bathhouse. She fished with Botsie Spritzer; wrote for both of the town’s newspapers; and learned to telemark, polka, chop kindling, thaw pipes with a hairdryer, write a novel and raise a mountain kid. She has penned two local books, edited the Crested Butte Magazine for 36 years, and co-owned the Old Town Inn for 20. She now considers herself an elder-in-training. Bring your own mug.

Thursday, September 21 

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 Saloon. $10.

Kochevar’s is transformed, and community members gather to tell and hear tall tales, whoppers and adventure stories from the community. Prizes for the best liar. The Green Man is announced! A naughty, raucous evening. This is a 21+ event.

Friday, September 22 

Community Feast & Medieval Fair. 3–10:30 p.m. Crossroads Fire Circle at the Four-Way. To feast: $30 in advance; $35 at the door; $15 children 12 & under. General Admission (no food): $10. Tickets at Rumor’s/Townie Books and the Vinotok Booth at the Farmers Market on September 17.

Step into a world between worlds at the Medieval Fair. The whole Vinotok cast will be there in full regalia including stilt walkers, the Dragon and the Knight, the Green Man, Forest Creatures and more! Doors open at 3 p.m. so you can make a head wreath, get body art, draw a rune for the year, banish your grumps and beckon your desires. The liquor tent opens with our cash bar at 3 p.m. with our special Vinotok Village wine by Buckel Family Wines sold by the glass or bottle; plus mead, hard apple cider and beer by the glass. At 5:30 p.m. the ceremonies begin with a Blessing of the Feast, after which our Community Feast of seasonal, organic, regional and sustainably grown vegetables and meats is served. After our Community Feast, stay for the evening’s celebrations beginning at 7 p.m., including an All-Community Handfasting Ceremony with Marcie Telander, D.Div, where couples, families, friends, partners and the entire community re-commit for a healthy, transforming future dedicated to each other and the earth. Following the Handfasting Ceremony, watch the Induction of the Squires and Dedication of the Grump Indictment Ceremony where the Grump is charged with the grievances of the world, and offered gratitude for his sacrifice. Please bring an offering such as a flower or herb bundle to help adorn the Grump, as well as your paper grumps you would like to leave at the Fire Temple. We’ll have fire-spinning and cauldron fires after the plays. 

Logistics: Rain or shine. This is an outside event. Wear your warm Vinotok best! Bring your own plate, utensils and mug as none are provided, but please no outside alcohol or dogs (service animals excepted). Bring your patience and an openness to a fluid time schedule—we are a community tribe, not a professional production company. Please note food service from 5:30–7 p.m. If you have small children and need to bring pre-feast snacks please do so. We will not be serving food after 7 p.m. as the cast must get ready for the performances!

Tickets: Our delicious feast sells out. Advance tickets are recommended. Tickets are available in person at Rumor’s Coffee & Tea House or at the Vinotok Booth at the Farmers Market on September 17. A limited number of $10 General Admission tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis at the gate for those who’d like to enjoy the festivities but will not be eating with us. But basically, we encourage you to buy a Feast ticket, cuz, you know, eating together is a bonding thing.

Community Feast & Medieval Fair Schedule (please be flexible)

3 p.m. Doors open for wreath making, body art, runes, prayer flags, minstrels, stilt walkers. Liquor tent opens.

5:30 p.m. Blessing of the Feast. Food service begins.

7 p.m. Food service ends. Handfasting, Induction of the Squires, Indictment of the Grump and Fire Performances.

9 p.m. Drumming, dancing, fire spinning, and cauldron fires.

10:30 p.m. Feast & Fair ends.

Saturday, September 23 – The Autumn Equinox 

Street Theatre by cast and crew.
5 p.m.-8 p.m. Free.

Cast and Crew of Vinotok take to Elk Avenue for street theatre before the Trial of the Grump.

Trial of the Grump: 8 p.m. The Crossroads. Free.

The community puts the Grump on trial with harvest maiden dances and a play of the Harvest Mother, Dragon, Knight and Green Man. The performance is amplified and lit so the community can hear and see the tale on the temporary stage. Drumming, dancing, fire performances and cauldrons follow.


Walking The Way: A Vinotok Pilgrimage 

Vinotok Altars representing the archetypes of the characters are found on Elk Avenue, the fringes of town and out into the wild. Find one altar and you’re on your way as each altar hosts a map, information on “How to Pilgrimage,” mythology on the archetype of the altar and a special corresponding activity. In visiting all the altar stops along the way, you’ll collect all the materials you need to conduct an inspiring and contemplative Vinotok. Meet characters such as the Green Man, Harvest Mother, Earth Dragon and Knight. Activities range from making a head wreath or staff, a “Marrying the Land” ceremony, meditation and journal prompts and special Grumps & Gratitudes forms. Original artwork is created by Peggy Morgan Stenmark. In the spirit of reciprocity with the land, you are invited to bring a small offering to each altar. You may also find suggestions for appropriate offerings, maps, supplemental mythological and activity information at A great kids activity with tons of fun art projects! (Good for adults too). Altars begin appearing Sunday, September 10, with all Altars ready for the Pilgrimage Sunday, September 17 through Saturday, September 23. They will be dismantled Sunday, September 24. Free.

The Crossroads Fire Circle

Banishing & Beckoning 

The Crossroads Fire Circle at the Four-Way is the center point of our community’s celebrations and the site of the magnanimous public art installation created by Vinotok Grump Master and Visionary Artkitect JoeBob Merritt. It will be installed by Sunday, September 17, with the community coming together to decorate it with flowers and greenery at the free event, Adornment of the Fire Circle. Come interact with the Crossroads Fire Circle throughout the week of Vinotok, Sunday, September 17 through Saturday, September 23. Walk the Labyrinth. Place your grumps into the secure Grump Shrine or into the Grump when he arrives. Hang your Beckoning Prayer Flag. Altar activities on the Vinotok Pilgrimage culminate at the Crossroads Fire Circle.

Grump Boxes are out!

Got some grievances and gripes weighing you down? Get rid of them in the Grump Boxes! Grump Boxes are found throughout town at CB Ace Hardware, Mountain Earth Organic Grocer, CB Mountain Heritage Museum, The Secret Stash, Kochevar’s Saloon, The Talk of the Town, The Daily Dose, Rumors Coffee & Tea House, the Crossroads Fire Altar and the Vinotok Booth at the Crested Butte Farmers Market on September 17. Grump Boxes will be collected on Friday, September 22. You may also submit your grumps at the Grump Shrine at the Crossroads Fire Circle anytime during Vinotok Week, including the Community Feast. Grumps will be ceremoniously disposed of after the Trial on September 23. Great for kids.

Make a Prayer Flag!

After banishing those grumps, come beckon what you do want with a Beckoning & Blessing Prayer Flag. Cut an 8”x11” rectangle out of any kind of green cloth. Leave two inches at the top and decorate your rectangle with blessings and beckonings. These could be wishes, pleas and visions for the community and for the planet as we move forward into a brighter future. Decorate with markers, paint, sewn objects, beads, bits of fabric—whatever sparks your creativity. Then, visit the Crossroads Fire Circle at the 4-Way and hang your Beckoning & Blessing Prayer Flag on the line provided. Vinotok will fasten all of our Beckoning & Blessing Prayer Flags together to hang at the Phoenix at the top of Elk Avenue after the celebrations, rising from the flames of transformation, to call in balance, reciprocity and goodness for our community and the world. Great for kids.

Would you like to help? Community Volunteers may contact Betty Sue Gurk at (970) 680-3660 or for any questions and to find your perfect spot.

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