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Labor Day Weekend: Copper Country Festival has Something for Everyone

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PHOTO: The Long Players are musicians featured at this weekend's Copper Country Festival. Courtesy Copper Mountain.
PHOTO: The Long Players are musicians featured at this weekend's Copper Country Festival. Courtesy Copper Mountain.
COPPER MOUNTAIN, Colo. – Live music, art and lots of activities for kids are on tap Saturday through Monday for Labor Day Weekend at the Copper Country Festival at Copper Mountain Resort, and it’s all free.

Michael McDonald and Kenny Rogers are some of the big-name music stars who’ll be performing, along with up-and-coming bands such as SHEL, a Colorado group getting some airplay on stations across the country.

Lead singer Sarah Holbrook says the band is looking forward to Copper Country and playing its new single, "Moonshine Hill."

"We're always excited to get, just get into the mountains anyway, period, for anything,” she says. “And all my friends have just raved about Copper Mountain, so we're really excited to go and experience that – and outdoor concerts are always fun."

SHEL plays on the West Lake Stage on Friday from 5 to 7 p.m.

Michael Swearngin's paintings will be featured, along with many other artists, for a visual representation of what the West is all about.

He explains his nickname, Contemporary Cowboy.

"It's through my art form that I intuitively paint to express the warm, rugged spirit of the American West, in my contemporary style,” he says. “Every painting is an exploration of these experiences."

Several singers and bands hoping to make the big-time will compete at the Texaco Country Showdown, with a winner announced on Sunday night.

One of the contestants, Rob L Tracy, posted on Copper Country's Facebook page, "I am soooo excited to perform here! Win or lose, I'm a lucky man."

Another live music treat will be The Long Players, based in Nashville. The group plays every song from a popular artist's album of years gone by.

Sunday, the group will cover the album "Wanted! The Outlaws" that includes tunes from Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings.

Saturday night's artist album is a secret, but founding member Bill Lloyd says hearing the album live in a group setting is a memorable experience.

"When we play, very often, people get that good feeling of remembering how the record goes,” he says. “It's a little bit of a nostalgia, but it's also bringing some life into music that doesn't get played that often."

Copper Country is a family event, with kids' activities and the Copper Country Arts Festival all weekend long. Food is available for purchase.

Parking, lodging and transportation information, plus complete entertainment schedules, are online at