The annual Boulder Fall Fest kicked off seasonal festivities this weekend for Boulder residents. Spanning across the entirety of the Pearl Street Mall and 14th Street, the downtown area was filled with children, college students and seniors alike, turning out for food vendors, artisan tents, live music and kid-friendly activities.
Fall Fest has been going on for 32 years and is held by the Downtown Boulder Partnership (DBP) and Firefly Handmade, a community of makers and artists dedicated to sharing crafts and supporting local small businesses. The event serves as a way to bring the community together and welcome the autumn season.
“We came for the food, but we like the art too (and) the jewelry,” said Hannah Robertson, a University of Colorado Boulder sophomore.
The event’s variety of attractions and free admission brought in all kinds of Boulder residents. For the children, there was a bouncy house, slide and obstacle course, while adults found some fun dancing to live music in front of the Boulder County Courthouse. Those looking for a reprieve enjoyed drinks at a margarita garden and explored local offerings from present microbreweries such as the Avery Brewing Company. Shopping was abundant for residents who navigated through the pop-up stands of painters, jewelry makers, stone workers and more.
Those who came for live music enjoyed a full lineup with performances from a variety of Colorado funk artists including Chris Daniels and the Kings, Freddi Gowdy and Funkiphino. The fair also featured the local music teaching group Suzuki Strings as well as rock n’ roll/bluegrass band Jackie and the Racket.
The festival has become a sought after place for growing artists to gain exposure. For some, the opportunity to showcase their work means everything.
“You apply, you wait, you cross your fingers and then you get accepted or rejected,” said Kristy Nguyen, who showcased her business Mountain Gypsea, selling handmade wooden jewelry. She has been a Boulder resident and artist for two years and this was her second Fall Fest. Nguyen said the application “sets the bar for the caliber of artists they allow in.”
Artists are selected by an independent jury of artists and professionals. Around 200 artists apply each year for just over 100 spots. Applications for the 2020 Fall Fest will be available in Spring/Summer 2020 on their website.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Regan Donofrio at email@example.com.