Summerfest 2009 rocks the mountain

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By Carol A. Clark

Hikers and bikers and fun-loving families flocked to Summerfest at Pajarito Mountain Saturday. Many sipped beer and danced to the ’50s and ’60s style rock tunes of The Nomads, which is part of the Los Alamos Summer Concert Series.

Dan’s Café and Haägen Daz dished up a variety of ice creams and sherbets and the Coffee House Café helped nourish the hungry crowd.

Pajarito Mountain Manager Tom Long spoke about how the annual event came to be during an interview Saturday morning.

“When I came here in September 2004 we didn’t have summer activities and I thought this was just such a beautiful venue,” Long said. “I noticed that people in Los Alamos seemed to like brewery type things and band type things and our biking and hiking has really gone well so I thought having Summerfest would be a good way to kick off our summers. It’s just gotten bigger and better every year.”

Summerfest organizer Thad Hahn described the annual event in an earlier interview as “a big deal. It’s just plain gorgeous up there in the summer … it’s a great venue; friendly … it’s just world-class biking up there. They improve the trails and signs up there every year.”

Local residents Sarah and Joe Matthews and their 1-year-old daughter Gwendolyn also enjoyed the day. “We came to Summerfest last year and really enjoyed taking the lifts and the beer garden was really nice so we came back,” Sarah said.

The Aspen chairlifts ran throughout the day, taking a continuous line of cyclists and their bikes up the mountain so they could enjoy the thrill of a 12-15 minute ride back down the slope.

“Pajarito is cool,” Peter Schulze of Los Alamos said. “The bike trails are loose and steep, wet and challenging and entertaining for a full day. We come here pretty much every day and today I’m going to enjoy the hamburgers and the festivities.”

Los Alamos Fire Engineer Mark Whitcomb manned the Atomic Repair bike booth. The company is his side job in which he provides service and repair to the bicyclists riding along the mountain trails. He also is a Ellsworth Bike dealer.

“I’m here to support the event and provide service to the local bikers,” Whitcomb said.

Atomic City Transit provided free rides from Sullivan Field to the mountain throughout the event.

Contact Carol A. Clark at lanews@lamonitor.com or (505) 662-4185 ext. 25. Read her newsblog at