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Sonic Bloom almost doubles Huerfano County’s population

HUERFANO — For a brief time, Sonic Bloom was the largest city in the county, complete with law enforcement, fire and medical services, and a kick-ass sound system. Over 4,500 festival-goers set up camp, and several hundred festival workers and vendors were on hand as well. After months of yes, no, maybe, and possibly, the four-day event was a resounding success. As per the agreement with the county commissioners, there will be an after-action report between festival organizers and county officials to see where things might be improved, if the festival is to be held here next year. The date for this meeting has not been set, but it will be open to the public. At the Tuesday commissioners meeting, there were two citizens there to give their take on the event. Marcy Freeburg, who lives off of Lascar Road and has been a vocal opponent of the festival from the get-go, reported the music was really loud on Thursday evening, but conceded it was better on Friday and Saturday nights. She was unhappy with the amount of traffic on the road, and felt the festival security cars were very aggressive. She noted the festival had placed a flyer in her mailbox, which is against postal regulations. Ken Gennetta from the Rye area also

complained about sound levels, but more to the point, strongly suspected people there were doing drugs, and not just marijuana. He felt the festival was bringing in ‘unscrupulous money” from drugs, and attracts “undesirable people.” Jess Gries, one of the festival organizers, sat and listened to these statements without comment, but did thank the county sheriff’s office and ambulance service for all their hard work. In his eyes, the festival “ran pretty smoothly.” In the minds of the commissioners at least, the festival went off very smoothly. “The kids there were very respectful and clean,” noted Commissioner Ray Garcia. As for drugs, “I see a lot more ‘smoke’ at Hippie Days than I did at Sonic Bloom,” he said. The other large item on the commissioners agenda was discussion of commissioner Max Vezzani’s proposal for an 18-month moratorium on new marijuana grows. They asked David Bobian from the county planning office if there were currently any new applications for conditional use permits pending. The answer was no. Garcia played devil’s advocate, and noted people have always grown marijuana illegally in the county, and they’re still doing it. “If we find them, we shut them down, he said. “If these grows are unregulated, the county is not making any money off of them.” Dale Lyons, a planning and zoning board member, speaking as a private citizen, asked that the new strict regulations be given a chance to work, and that no moratorium be set. “If we have this in place, we might miss a great applicant,” she said.