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Dandelion Day plans underway, volunteers needed

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By Lynn Burton
Sopris Sun Staff Writer

Plans for Dandelion Day 2017 are still evolving, but this much we know: Carbondale’s celebration of one of nature’s most useful plants will take place on May 13 and the Parade of the Species will probably march, slither, hop, stride and clip-clop down Main Street as it has in previous years.
As for the ever popular beer garden? 
“We’re not sure,” said Natalie Rae Fuller, one of the three new Dandelion Day organizers, which also include Keelin Schaffrath and Debra Burleigh.
The three women stepped up last week, and previous organizers stepped down, in sort of a torch-passing meeting at the Carbondale Branch Library.
“They gave us their notebooks and other information,” Fuller told The Sopris Sun. “They handed it (Dandelion Day) off to us to go forward.”
It all started as a one-day affair in 1998, after environmental activists convinced the town to stop treating Sopris Park with herbicides and the trustees gave the plant its official flower designation, eventually expanded to three days. The 2015 Dandelion Days featured numerous booths, parade, live music from the Sopris Park gazebo, a film at the Crystal Theater on Friday night, a speaker offering tips about edible plants and more.
“During our term we quadrupled the size of the event, made it greener and more educational, put up a website and coined the phrase ‘Carbondale’s creative community celebration of sustainability and spring,’” said former co-organizer Suzanne Gray.
With the expanded schedule of events came more work for organizers and volunteers, and more hours to ensure another well run and fun event.
“We (the old guard) are so happy to see it continue on as a … sustainability themed event,” Gray told The Sopris Sun.
When asked if Dandelion Day 2017 will resemble previous D-Days, Fuller told The Sun “We’re still figuring it out.”
One of the first orders of business is to reactivate the Dandelion Day website. Organizers also plan to update the Dandelion Day Facebook page. In the meantime, potential volunteers and others can contact the organizers at dandelionday81623@gmail.com.
And if you’re wondering about the 81623 Carbondale Zip Code in the D-Day email address, a quick Google check reveals there are other Dandelion Days across the U.S., including ones at the University of Rochester in New York, Goshun College in Indiana, and the town of Jackson in California. Carbondale appears to be, however, the only town with the dandelion as its official town flower.

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