EDGE OF THE BOAT

The meaning of community

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— Ahhhh, free concerts. In what may be the last bastion of funkiness in Steamboat Springs, yet another opportunity to indulge in free music from top acts occurs tonight at Howelsen Hill.

This could be the best one of the year, too, with Little Feat taking the stage.

Tonight, while you're getting down to the tunes, relaxing in the back in a lawn chair or chatting it up with friends, try to take a look around at what actually takes place at free concerts.

It struck me during the Radiators a couple of weeks ago. Among the crowd of people are babies with moms and dads, grandmas and grandpas and folks from all walks of life.

The diversity of age and occupation is a little amazing.

In fact, concerts through the Summer Free Concert Series, depending on the music, may just be the only event that can bring together such an accurate sample of the people who live in Steamboat Springs. I'm sorry, but not even meetings on community plans can bring people out like a little free music and fun.

It's a little bit of an irony, however. With the word "community" being thrown around so much to describe why people like to live here, it's funny that the community really only gets together during these rare moments.

Sure, the little subcommunities tend to mingle closely, such as the art community; the glass-pressing community; the business community; the young community; the motorized community; the non-motorized community; and the politically active community.

However, to get us all in one place at one time tends to be a rare moment. When it happens, it makes you happy to live in such a place.

The first week I was in Steamboat there was a free concert on Headwall and I rode my bike over to check it out. It ended up to be a perfect introduction to the town.

So if you haven't been to a free show in a while, make some plans to stop by and say hi. Get some food, have a beer and keep one of Steamboat's best community events truly a community event.

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