The tradition of the small-town social is vanishing even faster than Colorado's small towns. All the more reason to head out to the eastern plains this weekend for The Big Feed, a unique blend of art show, county fair, hoedown and foot-stomping celebration of rural culture unfolding at the rodeo grounds in Byers, a mere fifty-minute drive from the metroplex.
The annual event is the brainchild of M12, a nonprofit arts collective based in Denver and Byers that promotes creative innovation in collaboration with underserved, often neglected rural communities. It's an opportunity to take in some local culture, check out the experimental efforts of artists forging new connections with the landscape and people, and enjoy some music, spit-roasted bison and more.
Highlights of this weekend's schedule, which stretches over Saturday and Sunday, include a livestock display by the Deer Trail chapter of the Future Farmers of America, country tunes spun by DJ Rockcrusher, a presentation on high-plains birding by the Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory, talks on speedway racing and linking art to wetlands conservation, a film screening, a book reading, a pancake breakfast -- and, of course, some twang rock courtesy of 4H Royalty (Westword readers' pick for Best New Band of 2010) and a beer tasting courtesy of Lefthand Brewing.
And some tasty bison.
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Admission to all events amounts to a five-dollar donation and bringing a potluck dish to share, in the tradition of all great socials. Check out the complete schedule of events and save a little extra drive time for a quick trip to Last Chance, future home of M12's experimental art site and a birders' paradise.