WinterWonderGrass donates $20K to nonprofits |

WinterWonderGrass donates $20K to nonprofits

Steep Canyon Rangers performs Friday, Feb. 24, at WinterWonderGrass.

— Organizers with February's sold-out WinterWonderGrass Festival said the successful event helped generate more than $20,000 for nonprofits from Steamboat Springs and outside the area.

The three-day bluegrass music and craft beer event drew more than 5,000 people, and $1 from each ticket purchase benefitted Yampatika, Routt County United Way or the Educational Foundation of Eagle County.

"Giving back has been part of our motto since day one," said Jennifer Brazill of Bonfire Entertainment, the festival's production company. "We try to make as big of a difference as we can."

Donations from ticket sales included $2,068 for Yampatika, $1,506 for Routt County United Way and $670 for the Educational Foundation of Eagle County. An additional $750 was given to All Hands Volunteers, a disaster relief nonprofit.

Another big beneficiary of the festival was Partners in Routt County, which raised $8,000 during its Steamboat Unplugged event, which was held the Wednesday prior to the WinterWonderGrass Festival.

Steamboat Unplugged featured singer and multi-instrumentalist Bonnie Paine of festival headliner Elephant Revival and festival founder Scotty Stoughton playing inside the living room of a luxury mountain home at Alpine Mountain Ranch.

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The event drew 50 attendees, and money was raised through ticket sales and donations, Partners in Routt County community impact manager Becky Slamal said.

"It was awesome. It was really cool just to hear Bonnie Payne and Scotty 'unplugged' so to speak," Slamal said. "It was a real intimate setting in a living room right there. Our guests loved it."

Some vendors during the WinterWonderGrass Festival also did independent fundraising for nonprofits, and Vail nonprofit Big Hands Big Heart partnered to provide the liquor license for the festival and was another beneficiary.

A food drive also benefitting LiftUp of Routt County collected 385 pounds of food.

Brazill said that in addition to giving back to nonprofits, the festival is proud of its focus on sustainability, in part by providing all attendees with reusable metal mugs to offset the use of plastic cups.

Festival organizers estimated over 13,000 pounds of waste was diverted away from landfills through composting and recycling.

WinterWonderGrass will return to Steamboat Springs for a second year, with the event scheduled for Feb. 22 to 25, 2018. Regular tickets will go on sale and a band lineup announced Oct. 12.

To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow

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