Boulder Creek Hometown Festival runs Labor Day weekend


Summer’s last gasp

By Tyra Sutak For the Camera

Posted:   08/27/2012 09:41:49 AM MDT

Updated:   08/28/2012 04:49:46 PM MDT




Fire Marshal Dave Lowery takes a bite of on of the Chili Inferno Cook Off entries at last year’s Boulder Creek Hometown Fair in Boulder. ( MARK LEFFINGWELL )

CORRECTION: This story originally misidentified the band Cracker.


Just as the Boulder Creek Festival marks the beginning of summer in the Boulder area, the Boulder Creek Hometown Festival is a sign of summer’s end.

In its 14th year the Hometown Festival which runs Saturday through Monday, has gained a reputation for being the relaxed baby brother of the popular Boulder Creek Fest which celebrated its 25th birthday in May.

“The Boulder Hometown Festival is the bookend of summer,” says Boulder Creek Events Director of Communications, Meg Denbow.

Unlike the exceptionally busy Boulder Creek Fest that draws in visitors from all over with a wide variety of vendors and activities, Denbow says the Hometown Festival “was created as a hometowny event that is much more intimate and easier to navigate with a lot of activities for the entire family.”

The three-day festival is composed of multiple events split into east and west event areas located on each side of Broadway Street on the banks of the Boulder Creek.

If you venture to the west side of Broadway to the municipal building lawn, you’ll find the Sports Kids Expo featuring demos and interactive events put on by vendors such as ABC Kids Climbing, Vail Resorts, Avid4 Adventure, and Athlete’s Honey Milk. You’ll also find a climbing wall, an obstacle course, a bungee trampoline and a zip line. Other Hometown west events include the 3rd Annual Family, Fun & Fitness 5K on Monday, a pie-eating contest, the Big Wheel 500 race and festival favorite, the Great Zucchini Race — an event where kids creatively decorate and strap wheels on a zucchini before racing it down a five-lane wooden ramp.

On the east side of Broadway, you’ll find live music in the bandshell (located off of Canyon and Broadway) by popular local performers such as Girls on Top, Fierce Rabbit, Mojomama, Halden Wofford & the Hi*Beams, Rebecca Folsom, the Informants, and first-time Boulder Creek Hometown Festival performers Cracker — a nationally touring alt-rock group performing in the bandshell from 7-9 p.m. on Saturday night. The east side of Broadway is also where you’ll find the Classic Car show on Sunday as well as the Chili Inferno Cook-Off which is held from noon-4 p.m. on Monday and will feature chili recipes cooked up by local professional chefs, cooks and citizens. Celebrity judges for this year’s Cook-Off include Boulder Mayor Matt Applebaum, and KBCO radio personality Ginger.

Hometown Festival east also plays host to nearly 100 art booths set up along the creek. Unlike the Boulder Creek Festival, Denbow says the art booths at the Hometown Fest showcase Boulder-area artists and every booth is easy to get to.

Among the many artists displaying work, you’ll find work by Boulder painter, Phil Lewis, who is known for putting a colorful twist on nature paintings. Cowboy’s Sweetheart will also be displaying rustic, hand-crafted jewelry along with other artwork such as handmade leather goods by Dying Breeds, artwear by Nina Paul Batik, and fair trade accessories by Threads Worldwide.

“You can find everything from $5 trinkets to expensive paintings at this festival,” Denbow says.

Festival activities run from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday.

“This festival is a good way to rediscover your community,” Denbow says. “You may have heard of some of the events, but you don’t really get it until you see it for yourself.”