Chickfest made it possible for Velarde to donate more money to these Summit County-area nonprofits.
The 2013 event featured more than 30 "woo-woo" providers of alternative health services, energy workers and spiritual guides for an afternoon of health, healing and spirituality.
Chickfest 2013 was so much fun and such a success that Velarde is doing it again.
Chickfest 2014 will be held Sunday, May 4, at the Prospector, 2175 Sidewinder Dr. from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.
"We have made the first Sunday of May Chickfest Day in Park City," Velarde said during an interview with The Park Record. "Like last year, we will have more than 30 providers including speakers, writers, Reiki masters and healers."
(See story titled "Giving a Bleep Chickfest 2014 providers" for a list).
This year, Velarde, who is excited to host the event at the newly renovated Prospector, which provided more room than last year.
"Not only is the facility new, but the breadth and width of providers has grown exponentially," she said. "We're letting it all in and people can come in and choose what they want."
Velarde also added a new element — science-based providers.
"Last year, people came and enjoyed energy workers that were from the more woo-woo side of things and included palm readers, intuits and crystal workers," she said. "This year, we have expanded it to include the Dr. Ron Dummar and the staff of Community Health & Wellness Center from Heber."
Dummar is a science-based chiropractor and acupuncturist and he and his staff will offer community acupuncture all day long," Velarde said.
"Some people may still believe acupuncture is still woo-woo, but it is science-based and has been adopted by many Western-medicine physicians," she said. "We'll have other science-based providers as well."
On the other side of the spectrum, Chickfest will adhere to its original vision and feature everything from palmists to intuitive coaches.
"Caroline Myss, who is a woo-woo writer and sociologist, said what is missing from our society is ritual, because we have grown further and further away from church," Velarde said. "There is something in the human animal in every society wants some sort of ritual. So what is it that makes it satisfying?"
To find the answer, Velarde called Valerie Holt, who will help attendees realize their own personal rituals.
"Valerie is the owner of the Lama Farm, and she helps people create personal rituals so that they can take time to separate what is sacred to them," Velarde explained. "We will also have people who do healing work through crystals and several mediums who will be there."
One of these mediums is Candace Kunze, from Mysticmix.com, who is an akashic record reader.
"Askashic records are bits remaining in a person's DNA from previous lifetimes," Velarde said. "She can read them and take the person back to the beginning of their lives and look forward, because if you know your history, you have a better understanding of your future."
In addition, Chickfest will feature sessions utilizing new light technology with Rebecca Hilly of the Living Energy Oasis.
"She uses light to center all of your light waves," Velarde said. "They utilize everything from hand-held units to something akin to a tanning bed that will on site. The process realigns all your energetic fields."
There are also two more new changes this year, according to Velarde.
"The first is that we're allowing men to participate," she said. "Last year we didn't reach out to men because I thought they wouldn't be interested."
After she got some pushback, she said men could attend if they wore a dress.
"It was weird how many guys showed up in dresses," Velarde said with a laugh. "So this year, everyone is welcome. We're just not changing the name of the event. It will still be called Chickfest."
The other change is offering two ticket categories.
"Last year, we made a mistake by saying for $25 people could sign up for as many energy workers as they wanted for one-on-one sessions throughout the afternoon," Velarde explained. "From the first 15 minutes from the time the doors opened, every energy worker was completely booked all afternoon. So many of the people didn't get their appointments they paid for."
So this year, Chickfest will two ticket categories — the Woo-Woo Wonderful for $25 and Chicky Cheaps for $10.
"With Woo-Woo Wonderful, you get a card and you will be among the only ones allowed into the venue from 11 a.m. until noon to make four appointments with energy workers for the afternoon," Velarde said. "We will only sell 50 Woo-Woo Wonderful tickets."
The Chicky Cheaps tickets are for the curious general public.
"They will be allowed in at noon and will be able to snap up any one-on-one slots that are left available for the afternoon," Velarde said. "They will still be able to participate in all the group sessions and lectures, so the only thing Chicky Cheaps don't get is first pick of the appointments."
Velarde, who has always been attracted to the woo-woo, said last year's event was a dream come true.
"The most affirming thing for me about energy work is having people brought to silence because they were either enlightened by a piece of information, or reminded of a truth they already knew," she said. "The women who left the event last year were quiet and in tears, because of something that happened.
"While Chickfest is healing and spiritual, it's also a lot of fun," Velarde said. "We've had many people buying tickets that came last year because it made a difference to them."
Giving a Bleep Chickfest will be held at the Prospector on Sunday, May 4, from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. Tickets can be purchased by visiting www.givingableep.com.