Labor Day Arts Festival marks end of summer

The calendar doesn’t lie.

If it is Labor Day Weekend in Mammoth, that means it is Gaye Mueller’s turn to take over Sam’s Woodsite with another Labor Day Arts Festival.

It is the 43rd festival, making it new wine in an old bottle, but just a short walk away, the first-ever Mammoth Bluegrass Festival takes over the Village.

No one knows how that will work, given this is the first-ever dual event for the weekend, but Mueller said she’s fired up and ready to go.

Not only will she welcome 110 artists and craftspeople to the show, she said the Bluegrass musicians in the Village will make an appearance on the Sam’s Woodsite stage after they’re done performing there.

“It’s in the sprit of working together,” Mueller said. “We’re changing our focus a little bit this year to music, and we’ve got a wonderful cocktail court, too.”

In the spirit of making the arts festival more than just arts and crafts and the usual entertainment, Mueller said the festival this year also will feature some terrific food tasting, from the dual efforts of local chefs Matt Toomey and Matt Eoff, to C.J.’s Grill, Mimi’s Cookies, and Colorado-based Pastamoré’s selection of vinegars, grilling sauces, and gluten-free spinach basil garlic linguini.

Also, she said she will introduce lavender food products and sea glass jewelry from the Northern California coast.

As for the artists themselves, she said she tries each year to have 30 to 40 percent turnover, and that should hold true this year.

This event is from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday.

The bluegrass festival, meanwhile, presents Jeff Scroggins & Colorado, Chris Stuart & Backcountry, High Country, Bill Evans’ Banjo in America, and Gone Tomorrow. 

It goes off from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday at The Village.

And when it’s all over—the bluegrass music, the arts and crafts, the food and the entertainment—everyone can get look forward to Hop ’n’ Sage, the High Sierra Fall Century ride, and Oktoberfest.