14erFest vendor village

Buena Vista’s shoulder-season celebration 14erFest will not be held this year due to “too many uncertainties to juggle,” according to a Facebook post on the event’s page.

“We worked extremely hard with the town of Buena Vista and with Chaffee County to develop an acceptable event plan,” the post said. “Rest assured, 14erFest is not going away, and we look forward to seeing you all again next year.”

This year would have been the fast-growing multi-sport event’s fourth year, bringing outdoor gear vendors and experts to East Main Street with the goal of uniting diverse user groups in both motorized and non-motorized modes of recreation.

The event was scheduled for Sept. 27-29

In Elevation Outdoors magazine’s 2019 Best of the Rockies poll, 14erFest won in the “best multi-sport festival” category.

Last year’s event expanded on the theme of Jeep and 4x4 drivers teaming up with hikers, fishermen and mountain bikers to help them get to some of the Sawatch Range’s high alpine destinations.

In the centerpiece event of the festival, a crew of 4x4 drivers took a team of 10 cyclists near the peak of Mount Antero.

From there, the riders embarked on a singular downhill experience, connecting the Little Browns Creek Trail to the Colorado Trail for about 5,000 feet in elevation drop over 6 miles.

“Year one we had 12 vendors, last year we had 31 and this year we ended with 52 vendors in the street closure vendor village event,” said Marcus Trusty, one of the event’s organizers, as an illustration of how the shoulder season festival has quickly grown.

In addition to the fun and games, Trusty said that 100-plus volunteer hours were logged on two stewardship projects over the weekend.

On Sept. 28 last year, about 20 volunteers worked for 3 hours on the Green Timber Gulch trailhead above Cottonwood Creek, and on Sunday, 15 volunteers worked for 2 hours to help rehabilitate the river walk along the Arkansas River, which suffered damage from the high water that summer.

For riders of offroad vehicles, there is rare news of an event uncanceled this year: The OHV Color Tour is still scheduled to go ahead Sept. 26 - 26.

The Color Tour is in its 19th year, a 4-day series of self-guided tours on off-road vehicles through the (ideally) golden aspens of fall in the Rockies.

Registration is still open, said Buena Vista Chamber of Commerce executive director Melissa Traynham.

Visit buenavistacolorado.org/ohv-color-tour to register.

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