VAIL, Colorado - Spring Back to Vail, the annual festival that celebrates the close of the winter season, begins today and will continue throughout the week with a full schedule of events that includes free concerts, apres and after-dark parties, brand expos, the World Pond Skimming Championships and more.Spring Back to Vail has a full schedule of free headliner concerts. Returning to Vail by popular demand to kick off the Spring Back to Vail concerts on Thursday at Ford Park will be blues-rockers Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. Thievery Corporation, with opener DJ Logic, will perform in Ford Park on Friday. JJ Grey & Mofro will rock the house at Solaris in Vail Village on Saturday, with opener The Sessh. Closing up on Sunday, immediately following the World Pond Skimming Championships, will be reggae band IRATION with opener Schwing Daddy at Solaris.Private-reserve passes are available for the Thievery Corporation show in Ford Park. While admission to all Spring Back to Vail concerts and events is free, private-reserve passes give holders access to preferred viewing of the stage in Ford Park, as well as complimentary food and beverages. Passes are $125 and can be purchased through the Vail Box Office by calling 970-845-8497.Also part of the Spring Back to Vail festivities is the World Pond Skimming Championships, happening at the Golden Peak base area on Sunday. The event features floatable (and many times sinkable) athletes who aren't afraid of a little water launching off an on-snow jump onto an icy-cold pond with the goal of making it to the other end on both feet. Two champions will be named this year, the top male and the top female competitor, both of whom will receive Epic Passes for next season. Registration for the event is now open at www.vail.com/springback and costs $75 per competitor. The field is limited to 75 participants ages 14 and older on a first-come, first-served basis.A full schedule of apres and after-dark parties is also on the agenda for the week, where guests can expect to find great specials on Bud Light and tons of giveaways.