A Community Celebration of our Public Lands
Every summer, Wilderness Workshop hosts Wildfest, a communal bash to bring together our great supporters (and prospective members). It’s our way of saying “thank you” for another great year, and to celebrate our work protecting and conserving the public lands we all cherish. We bring in live musical acts, fresh locally-sourced food and drink, kids entertainment, and a whole lot more family-friendly fun in a beautiful setting. We hope to see you this summer!
Two days before Independence Day, the Wilderness Workshop celebrated public lands in style at the conservation non-profit’s annual friendraiser, Wildfest. In 2016, the public event featured live music, freshly prepared food and beverages, communal art creation, fire dancing, and kids’ activities on the grounds of Owl Farm, the home of journalist Hunter S. Thompson. This was the first public event hosted at the writer’s legendary spread referenced so familiarly in his famous works as his sanctuary from outside chaos. With stunning views of the Elk Range and a secluded feel in charming Woody Creek, it’s easy to see why.
Guests enjoyed delicious food and drink as they enjoy the musical ambience. The Slow Groovin’ BBQ Truck was parked inside the festival grounds selling slow-cooked meat dishes, donated by local business Crystal River Meats. There were also scrumptious vegetarian options. Yerba Mate tea was available as well. The main bar and Gonzo tent bar served spirits by Sopris Liquor and Wine.
Parents rested easy while their kids were entertained while they enjoy the festivities. The Kids’ Zone featured Dizzy Lizzy the Clown, who lead activities for the youngsters, including face painting, magic, hula hooping, and bubble making. Kids under 12 got in free to Wildfest.
Local muralist Eliza Rogan of Mural Farm lead interested participants in a communal mural creation throughout the evening. Attendees added their own unique touch to the canvas. The completed mural is adorning the hallway at Carbondale’s Third Street Center.
As the sun set and darkness settled, a post-music wind-down featured the local fire-dancing troupe Dance of the Sacred Fire. These talented, brave performers dazzled the audience with their riveting flow.
Wildfest builds on a tradition that began in 2012, when more than 300 guests came to eat, drink, dance barefoot in the rain, and celebrate public lands at the Flying Dog Ranch in Woody Creek.
In 2014, Wilderness Workshop collaborated with several local organizations to host a similar event at the base of Aspen Highlands, the “Maroon Bells Birthday Bash.” They celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act and the 50th birthday of the Maroon Bells Wilderness. It was a tremendous success, attracting nearly 2,000 people. In 2015, Wildfest was hosted at the Other Side Ranch in Old Snowmass. Several hundred guests danced to the music of Head for the Hills, enjoyed food from Crystal River Meats, listened to interesting panel discussions and participated in a wide range of fun activities. This year, Wilderness Workshop is building off the energy and feedback from last year’s bash.
Big thanks to our 2016 sponsors: