By John Colson
Sopris Sun Staff Writer
It is time once again to celebrate the dandelion, Carbondale’s humble municipal flower, with the annual extravaganza in Sopris Park known as Dandelion Day, which this year falls on May 7, according to a Web site dedicated to the event (www.dandelionday.org).
Dandelion Day is now in its 18th year and is sponsored by the Environmental Board, or E-Board as it is known, which is an advisory board appointed by the elected Carbondale Board of Trustees.
This year’s event has been consolidated to a single day of programs, according to Dandelion Day Committee member Candace Goodwin, who also is a past member of the E-Board.
Others on the committee are Alyssa Reindel, Sue Gray and Robin Van Norman, all of whom are listed on the Web site with contact information.
The day’s events kick off at 10 a.m. with the annual Parade of Species down Main Street from east to west, ending at Sopris Park. In past years the parade has attracted a fairly wild set of entrants in costumes that celebrate and promote the theme of environmentally friendly and sustainable living.
Along with the parade participants (costumed and otherwise) will be a troop of African dancers and drummers, Goodwin said, who will provide the beat and visual accompaniment to supplement the antics of the costumed revelers.
At the park, events will proceed on a somewhat loosely-written schedule until about 2 p.m.
“It’s fun because it gets mixed up every year,” Goodwin said of the schedule.
She said the day’s entertainment is set to begin with tiny ballet dancers from the Bonedale Ballet company performing on the stage, followed by the Dandelion Day songwriters’ showcase, featuring local musicians performing songs they’ve written around the themes of Dandelion Day.
“It brings out a lot of creativity and fun,” said Goodwin, adding that the songwriting showcase may be followed by impromptu dance performances by kids or adults on the stage.
In addition to the fun on the stage, she said, there will be four educational workshops in The Learning Tent set up on the park grounds.
The workshops, she said, last about 45 minutes each and will be dealing with the themes of Dandelion Day — alternative energy, energy conservation, sustainable living and fun as a core value of life.
Local musicians will bring the day’s events to a close at about 2 p.m., Goodwin reported.
Organizers deliberately tried to keep the 2016 Dandelion Day “more manageable” than it had become in recent years, when past organizers added events and added days to the annual celebration, Goodwin said.
One reason for trimming the Dandelion Day schedule, she said, was that this year it will conflict with other planned events, which might cut down on public participation either with Dandelion Day or the other events, a result the committee wanted to avoid.
The most important thing, Goodwin said, was “just to focus on the message of sustainability and environmental consciousness” rather than try to expand on the activities of the day.
Goodwin also confirmed that the Dandelion Day Web site is still under construction due to organizational issues, but that it should be fully functional and ready for public perusal by the week of the event, and she urged those interested to check the Web site for any changes in scheduling or other information.
She also noted that volunteers are still being sought for Dandelion Day.
“We’d love to have more volunteers on the day of,” she explained, and suggested anyone interested should contact volunteer coordinator Robin Van Norman by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published in The Sopris Sun on April 21, 2016.