Keystone’s beachin’ |

Keystone’s beachin’

summit daily news

Just in case you’re mourning the end of beachin’ at the Basin, Keystone bounces to the rescue.

Snow tubing is still going strong, but the big activity Saturday takes place at the base of River Run, with Keystone’s first Beach’n in the Mountains Festival complete with free music, leis, beach balls and drink umbrellas.

“We wanted to promote an early summer festival to expand our festival season, and we thought the whole beach theme was fun,” said Josh Blanchard, Keystone Neighbourhood Company events manager.

Start the day off by walking for a good cause: The 5K FIRC Walk Against Hunger loops people along the bike path, down to Lakeside Village and back toward River Run Village. And, don’t forget to dress for the cause: The most enthusiastic/best dressed team (of five or six), as well as the best individual and stroller, earn prizes, including local restaurant, theater, golf, festival and comedy tickets. One entry fee ($23 early sign up or $29 the day of the event; special prices for groups of five or six) allows FIRC to buy more than 500 pounds of food for the food bank; three teams raise enough money to prevent a family from facing homelessness for the month.

At 1 p.m., Margarita Brothers Band plays favorite beach music tunes, followed by MarchFourth Marching Band at 2:45 p.m.

A marching band, you ask? Is this Fourth of July?

Nope, it’s not that kind of marching band. Sure, it consists of saxophones, trombones, trumpets and drums, but it’s the type that just played at Aspen’s Belly Up and Boulder’s Fox Theatre. It’s more of a circus of senses, visually and sonically, with fantastical costumes. Think Duke Ellington meets Sgt. Pepper under one big top, then imagine a 1920’s roaring speakeasy “where Mr. Bungle meets the Shogun Warriors in a PG Clockwork Orange,” according to the band’s description. “The sound is huge, melodic and dynamic, taking audiences on a musical journey around the globe.”

Band members write original tunes, drawing from the diversity of samba, funk, Afro-beat, big band, jazz, rock, television jingles, film soundtracks, the circus, and, of course, Vaudeville.

As if that’s not enough, the procession includes stilt walkers who fire dance, dancers, flaggers, acrobatics and clowning around. And don’t be surprised if they encourage crowd participation – they believe that “art is life.” They also live what they preach: Band members make all of their props, from drum harnesses (fashioned from recycled bicycle parts), stilts, costumes and merchandise. Inspiration to start the band came when a handful of artists and musicians from Portland, Ore., gathered to create a marching ensemble for a Fat Tuesday Mardi Gras party on March 4, 2003.

Since Keystone snagged the band about a month ago, the musicians’ booking fee has tripled, thanks to their stint on national television, Blanchard said.

As soon as M4 revs up the crowd, the Kahuna Beach Party begins.

As the story goes: “Once upon a time, on an island FAR, FAR away, a bunch of rag tag musicians found each other. While attempting to survive, knowing that they would most likely never be found, Cap’n Bill brought out his stack of 8-track beach band tapes for entertainment. The music was good, and it was something to do; so they divided up the parts and started practicing. After a time, they knew they had something special and if they were ever to be ‘found,’ this was what they had to do! Before they could be ‘discovered,’ they had to name the band. Something that would describe: Where they were stranded – Kahuna!” (OK, so really they’re from Denver, but one can dream), “where they lived – on the beach” (see previous note) “and what they liked to do – party.” They round out the festival with Beach Boy covers and plenty of fun.

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