(Last Updated On: September 9, 2014)
Whatever happened, it happened. It was the days when the town turned blue. When our identity was stolen and our name changed from Crested Butte to Whatever, USA. It was when corporate America decided they could rule small town America, bringing in chartered planes and busloads of 1000 contest winners to a blue beach paradise in a remote mountain town. Bud Light was the money dumper, here to capture live footage for a giant commercial, and the event caused a severe division of our town. Those who opposed said our town was going to be spotlighted as a party town and was selling out to corporate America. Those who loved it wanted to enjoy the events, the random nature of it all, and of course- FREE beer. Love it or hate it, locals found themselves #upforwhatever in #whateverusa.
In order to be allowed into this giant 3-block block-party of seemingly arbitrary Smurf-colored decorations, you needed a wristband- which meant that you were 21 yrs or older. But, wrist bands were limited. Contest-winners who traveled here and important people automatically got one. And they saved a few thousand for locals too. But, they ran out. Frank and I were among some of the very last to obtain a locals band.
Whatever, USA had blue streets, blue light posts, blue bike racks. A beach was created where Whateverians played beach volleyball and bathed in nearby hot tubs. Whateverians were transported from downtown Whatever to their temporary homes on Mt. Whatever via the Whatever buses.
Whatever, USA stuck to its theme. No public were aware of the schedule. Whatever happened, happened, like sporadic acts and dancing in the streets- including a surprise appearance of Vanilla Ice, who showed up first serving ice cream and then performed on stage (we missed this one). Random games appeared, like Twister, and over-sized chess, and even humans-as-bowling-balls.
There were arbitrary decorations in the street, like a giant chair, an over-sized cowboy boot, and a later appearance of a roller-state street-legal car – all blue, of course. But, my favorite was the angry blue gorilla.
On Saturday night, dinner for the contestants sporadically appeared – tables lined up down the blocks for 1000 people on the blue street. Several local restaurants catered the event in the street.
At night, the town glowed blue under the nearly-full moon.
Even Mt. Crested Butte partook in the festivities complete with whatever townie bikes, royal-sized banners, blue lights, a random brontosaurus (or apatosaurus if you’re technical about it), and even a Big Foot truck. Not requiring a wristband, events here were open to all. And Bud Light was free at the Avy.
Whatever came and went like a whirlwind. I’ve had enough Bud Light for at least 10 years. And, as a local, I admit, I kind of miss the blue, even though it came with its own set of annoyances and inconveniences. Whether we actually like the commercials that are released from all of these shenanigans or not, it can definitely be said that the weekend of blue and Bud Light gave us enough stories to talk about for a lifetime and a true taste of what “I’m up for whatever” really means 🙂
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