Preview: Xaniscape Festival highlights local food, bands, vendors at Geller Center

Erik Petrovich

For the fourth year in a row, the Xaniscape Festival, which focuses almost entirely on Larimer County food, bands, and vendors, will be held from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m Saturday at the Geller Center, located at 629 S. Howes St. in Fort Collins. For the first time since the festival began in 2011, admission will be free and no alcohol will be served.

The festival will place particular emphasis on student bands this year, according to Geller Center Co-Director Laura Nelson. Festival performers include Fale Drum and Dance Collective, an African drum and dance group; the Wiseacres Jazz Band, a 14-piece jazz collective; and Earth Guardians, an environmentally conscious hip-hop group from Boulder.

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During the festival a new sculpture – “Peace” by Laurie Acott – will be installed on Geller Center grounds. The sculpture has won two different international awards for it’s depiction of a woman thrusting cranes of peace into the air. Local peacemakers, including CSU emeritus professor Thomas Sutherland, have been invited to place handprints around the base of the statue during the event.

Thomas Sutherland was kidnapped in 1985 and was held for more than six years by Islamist Jihad groups in Lebanon, and has worked in peace efforts since his release.

“When we started this music festival began four years ago, a bunch of the music festivals that are now common to Fort Collins were not around,” Nelson said. “We had this vision of an all local festival. Local food, local bands, and whatever local vendors we can bring in.”

Also available at the event are tours of the Geller Center and an outdoor labyrinth on the Geller Center lawn. A time capsule will be buried with paper cranes once the “Peace” sculpture is unveiled to the public. Attendants to the festival are asked not to bring alcohol or pets to the event.

More information about Xaniscape can be found on the Geller Center website.

Collegian Reporter Erik Petrovich can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com and on Twitter @EAPetrovich.