WinterWonderGrass returning home to Eagle County this summer with RiverWonderGrass float trips |

WinterWonderGrass returning home to Eagle County this summer with RiverWonderGrass float trips

The WinterWonderGrass Festival was held in Eagle County for four years, first in Edwards and then in Avon (pictured). The festival moved to Steamboat Springs in 2017 in an effort to realize founder Scotty Stoughton's original vision for the event.
Dylan Langille, Daily file photo

WinterWonderGrass started in 2013 in a parking lot in Edwards before moving to Avon for three years, building a solid local community following along the way that enjoyed celebrating the outdoors, bluegrass and craft beer — and coming together in the middle of winter. After moving to Steamboat Springs in 2017 and expanding to California and Vermont as well, WinterWonderGrass organizers announced Friday morning that it will be returning to Eagle County this summer with float trips down the Colorado River.

Single-day RiverWonderGrass experiences are slated to kick off June 19, running weekly on Saturdays through Sept. 3. The single-day trips will be limited to 25 people and will feature music by the likes of Tyler Grant, Adam Greuel (Horseshoes and Hand Grenades), a Yarmony Float, Buffalo Commons, the Sweet Lillies and more. Each float will run from Rancho del Rio down to State Bridge, kicking off at 8 a.m.

“The inspiration and influence the upper Colorado River basin has bestowed upon my life is immeasurable,” festival founder Scotty Stoughton said in the announcement. “The days of living in a teepee above State Bridge, and managing the musical program starting in the late 90s, led to the creation of WinterWonderGrass, Bonfire Entertainment, and now RiverWonderGrass.”

Cost for RiverWonderGrass float trips is $175 and includes your floating vessel (raft, ducky, double-ducky or stand-up paddleboard); lunch on the river; and the musical performances throughout the day, ending with a concert at the Stand Up Paddle Colorado tent at State Bridge.

“Those days saw travelers from all over converging Sunday afternoon at what was once a Lodge,” Stoughton remembers of his time living near State Bridge. “River runners, bikers, hunters, ski bums, ranchers, hippies, yuppies, fisherman and all characters in between would come together and get down dancing under the stars. We’re excited to bring back that energy!”

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With the musicians on the river, performing impromptu sessions along the way, the RiverWonderGrass floats will provide an intimate experience unlike at a large concert, allowing for more personable interactions with the bands.

“This has always been something that our organization has wanted to do,” said Ariel Rosemberg, of Bonfire Entertainment. “As things sort of came to a standstill, the idea started brewing. And here we are a little over a year later really happy to announce not only the addition of single-day RiverWonderGrass trips to our multi-day trips which we launched last year, but also of course returning to Eagle County where WinterWonderGrass was founded.”

Float trip schedule

RiverWonderGrass floats will take place on Saturdays this summer on the Colorado River from Rancho del Rio to State Bridge. Floats will be limited to 25 participants, making for an intimate experience with the musicians.
  • June 12 – Tyler Grant and Friends
  • June 26 – Meadow Mountain
  • July 3 – Buffalo Commons
  • July 10 – Pickin on the Dead
  • July 17 – The Sweet Lillies
  • July 25 – Shakedown Bar Family Band
  • July 31 – Adam Greuel and Kyle Tuttle
  • Aug. 7 – Tyler Grant and Friends
  • Aug. 14 – Pickin on the Dead
  • Aug. 21 – Yarmony Grass Presents: Andrew McConathy and Friends
  • Aug. 28 – Wood Belly

WinterWonderGrass Steamboat will be taking place Feb. 25-27. Organizers are announcing one headliner per month, and have so far announced Trampled by Turtles as well as Sierra Hull. WinterWonderGrass also offers multi-day float trips through Dinosaur National Monument.

Despite moving WinterWonderGrass to Steamboat Springs in 2017, a loyal local following continues the tradition by traveling to Steamboat each for for the multi-day festival. After starting in an Edwards parking lot, the festival has expanded across the country.

For more information about WinterWonderGrass, visit Tickets went live Friday morning. With each group on their own on the river, social distancing and other COVID-19 safety protocols will be in place.

Assistant Editor Ross Leonhart can be reached at 970-748-2984 and Follow him on Instagram at colorado_livin_on_the_hill.

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