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Chic décor and unique dining at Leonora

Be prepared for a unique dining experience from the moment you enter Leonora. The ceiling-high column of 1,000 wine bottles in the center of the restaurant, the circular cushy booths and the chic décor is simply a milieu for the exceptional fare you will savor — which, from beginning to end, will surprise and delight.

Executive Chef Tyson Peterson has created delicious, innovative and mouthwatering tapas to be shared amongst a group of friends or eaten solo. And the food menu is bolstered by Peterson’s ability to fuse a plethora of elements from his experience with French, Spanish and Japanese techniques, to name a few — all fresh, and in Chef’s word, “simple.”

“We want to show color and liveliness,” Peterson says. “The old saying is true, ‘You don’t just eat with you mouth, you eat with your eyes as well.’ We want our customers to be excited when they see their food delivered to the table — making it more fun for everyone at the table to talk about it. The place is very lively, people always have fun and we want to have fun with the menu as well.”

This is one restaurant where you can’t order just one plate or two — or even three: each one enticing, drawing you in. Call it unforgettable mixing and matching.

For starters, try the yuzu kosho “peel n’ eat” Key West pink shrimp, doused with a fermented paste made from chili peppers, yuzu peel and salt. It will awaken your taste buds with its curious tang, and makes an excellent foil for its counterpart, the Old Bay “peel n’ eat” Key West pink shrimp: all robust and bursting with flavor.

Then, watermelon, heirloom tomato and feta cheese, splashed with balsamic dressing, can serve as an intermezzo, before you move on to the next course — perhaps edamame hummus with strawberry and sunflower seeds.  This incredibly creative dish, served with pita bread, is a wonderful surprise and melt-in-your-mouth light and delightful.

Other must-try dishes include mussels a la chalaca, a traditional marine dish of the Peruvian coast. Simply steamed mussels are covered with a vegetable medley and pico de gallo. Served in mussel shells, this dish will surprise.  And there’s no more colorful option than the outrageously delicious coconut lobster ceviche with mango and watermelon radishes.

If you want to venture out of the ocean, look no further than Chef Tyson’s Fried Chicken — clearly one of Vail’s best-kept secrets. Seasoned with barrel-aged fresno hot sauce and served with the chef’s layered poblano bacon biscuit and whiskey barrel-aged honey butter, this dish is to-die-for. (And it’s the restaurant’s “go-to” Sunday night $9 special.)

Chef Peterson keeps things fresh by starting with the best products he can find. He has seafood shipped in almost daily: lobsters, mussels and scallops from Maine, shrimp from Key West, and fresh fish overnighted from Hawaii. His produce is grown in Colorado with micro-greens from Knapp Ranch and Palisade farmers who, each Monday, send him a list of available produce for the week.Leonora is one of those places where you can sit for hours and not even notice the time pass you by. It is also one of those places to which you will want to return — again and again and again. 

Walking Mountains “Taste of Nature” gala honors donors and raises money

Last week, Walking Mountains hosted their annual “Taste of Nature” gala fundraiser at their campus in Avon.  Each year, the organization hands out two honors for those who have made an impact on the educational center and on the community. 

The Founder’s Stewardship Award was presented to Pam and Ben Peternell.  The award acknowledged their extensive support of the staff of Walking Mountain’s staff and organization.  The couple created the Peternell Endowment for Professional Development, and because of their endowment, the staff has been able to interact with and learn from other leaders in environmental education and sustainability, attend important conferences and continue to raise the bar on program quality and impact throughout the community.

Amanda Precourt, who is well known around town for her support of young women and girls, received the “Reach for the Peak Award”.

“We all know that nature heals the mind, body and soul. Its why we all live here,” began Precourt, as she accepted her award. “There is scientific proof that nature actually does change the brain for the better. This is why, when I started Girl PowHER in 2011, I made sure we partnered with Walking Mountains’ “Girls in Science” program to provide access to STEM for many young women who would otherwise never be exposed to these subjects in school. When I was on the board of Habitat for Humanity, we made sure the children who were recipients of our new homes had access to Walking Mountains’ programming.”

Elaine Kelton also commended Precourt.  “I have known Amanda a long time and have great respect for not only what she has done, but what she has overcome.  The fact that she’s willing to share her story with others, particularly young women and girls – is a testament to her character.”

Walking Mountains programs have grown significantly in the past several years, said Markian Feduschak, the President of Walking Mountains. The organization now reaches over 100,000 people annually. As a result, they’ve been able to nearly double their full-time staff, and have also added 40 seasonal positions.

“During the school year, we’ve had wait lists of up to 1000 students for our Field Science Programs,” he said.

The addition of the newly opened Borgen/Precourt Center for Sustainability has helped dramatically by doubling the classroom, meeting and office spaces, but growth is still in the plans for Walking Mountains, which also owns property in Sweetwater.

The “Zero Waste” event was catered by Footer’s from Denver. After dinner, guests bid on auction items, and the “cash call” brought in hundreds of thousands of dollars for the organization.

Amanda Precourt summed it up:  “What is so incredible about Walking Mountains is that it provides not only adventurous activities in nature but also full immersion in natural sciences and STEM for us all – regardless of age, gender or socio-economic status. And that makes this community richer for everyone.”

For more information on Walking Mountains, visit their website at www.walkingmountains.org.

Vail jazz Column: If you like “Casablanca” and “Wizard of Oz,” you’ll probably like Vail Jazz’ upcoming programming

The 1927 film, “The Jazz Singer,” was the first feature-length (not a short) “talkie” (a film with synchronized speech, singing, instrumental score and sound effects). While the title suggests that it was about a jazz crooner, the story is actually about a young man who wants to sing pop music instead of following in his father’s footsteps as a cantor. The film was a great commercial success, and in the process, revolutionized entertainment. By the end of the decade, 50 percent of the U.S. populace went to the movies weekly.

Unfortunately, Hollywood’s track record depicting the world of jazz has not been very good, as most films have relied on clichés and commercial themes that have strayed from reality. Periodically though, filmmakers have captured the essence of the music and the musicians. Forest Whitaker‘s portrayal of Charlie Parker in “Bird” and jazz saxophonist Dexter Gordon’s Oscar-nominated role in “’Round Midnight” were thoughtful explorations of the jazz life.

In the past few years, two jazz-themed movies – “Green Book” (2018) and “La La Land” (2016) have taken home Oscars, and in 2014, JK Simmons won an Oscar for his performance as a demonic jazz educator in “Whiplash.”

While winning critical acclaim and box office success, many in the jazz community were less than pleased with these offerings. The most recent jazz film, “Bolden,” was panned by the critics and failed at the box office as well. On the other hand, there have been some wonderful documentary films about jazz in the last several years. “Keep On Keepin’ On,” “I Called Him Morgan,” “Chasing Trane” and “What Happened, Miss Simone?” are a few noteworthy offerings.

So, while in recent years some filmmakers have done a better job depicting the world of jazz, it hasn’t been films about jazz, or even jazz soundtracks, that have been that important to the art form. Instead, it has been the music in movies that has had an outsized impact on jazz. And for this reason, a little history lesson is in order.

The explosion in popularity of the cinema in the 1920s through the 1950s – when television viewing began to skyrocket and attendance at movie theaters began to decline – coincided with the period when composers and lyricists began writing songs that became known as “The Great American Songbook.” Many of these songs were written for the movies and even when they were first performed on Broadway, found their way into the movies, where the audiences were much larger. It was a time when the likes of Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Johnny Mercer, Jerome Kern, Richard Rodgers, Cole Porter and Harold Arlen, to name just a few, were writing the songs that jazz performers embraced and have been performing ever since, to the point that these songs are now “jazz standards.”

In 2004, the American Film Institute published its poll of the “100 Greatest Songs In American Movies,” Topping the list was “Over the Rainbow” from “The Wizard of Oz” (1939), with “As Time Goes By” from “Casablanca” (1942) next.

On July 27 at the Sonnenalp Hotel and again on July 28 at the Jazz Tent in Lionshead, Vail Jazz will present the great Ann Hampton Callaway, performing those two jazz classics and many more as she takes the audience on a walk down memory lane in her show entitled “Jazz Goes To The Movies.” I hope to see you all at these shows. As the character Sam (Humphrey Bogart) said in “Casablanca,” “here’s looking at you, kid.”

Howard Stone is the Founder and Artistic Director of Vail Jazz, the presenter of the annual Vail Jazz Festival. For more information and a schedule of summer events, visit vailjazz.org.

Baffled by Brexit? Vail Symposium has a program to help clear up (some of) the confusion

Ever since British voters opted to leave the European Union in June 2016, “Brexit” has been a topic of conversation, contemplation and contention in global politics. Now, after three years and two missed deadlines to secede, there is still no Brexit deal nor certainty about the way ahead. On Monday, July 22 at Vail Interfaith Chapel, Vail Symposium will bring Dr. Amanda Sloat – Robert Bosch senior fellow in the Center on the United States and Europe at the Brookings Institution and former U.S. government employee – for an in-depth discussion of Brexit.

“Brexit is a major topic of discussion when discussing global politics,” said Kris Sabel, executive director for the Vail Symposium. “However, there is still so much that’s up in the air, especially with the new Halloween 2019 deadline. We’re thrilled to welcome Dr. Sloat to discuss this constantly changing situation and help shed some light on the impending impacts to the U.S. and the world.”

During the program, Sloat will review the history of these Brexit debates, explain where things currently stand and discuss what these events mean for Britain’s future relations with the EU and U.S.

As a lead-up to the program, here’s what you need to know about Brexit, compiled from a guide from the BBC.

What is Brexit?

Brexit is short for “British exit” – and is the word people use to talk about the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union (EU).

What is the EU?

The EU is a political and economic union of 28 countries that trade with each other and allow citizens to move easily between countries to live and work. The UK joined the EU, then known as the EEC (European Economic Community), in 1973.

Why is the UK leaving?

A public vote was held on June 23, 2016 when voters were asked just one question – whether the UK should leave or remain in the European Union. The Leave side won 52% to 48% – 17.4m votes to 16.1m – but the exit didn’t happen straight away. It was due to take place on March 29, 2019, but the departure date has been delayed.

What has happened so far?

The 2016 vote was just the start. Since then, negotiations have been taking place between the UK and the other EU countries. The discussions have been mainly over the “divorce” deal, which sets out exactly how the UK leaves – not what will happen afterwards.

The UK and the EU reached agreement on a deal in November 2018, but the deal also has to be approved by British Ministers of Parliament (MP) before taking effect. Parliament has voted against it three times. As MPs did not approve Prime Minister Theresa May’s withdrawal deal, the she was forced to ask other EU leaders to delay Brexit.

The new deadline is October 31, 2019. However, the UK can leave before then if the prime minister can somehow get her deal approved by Parliament.

If the Bill passes, Brexit could happen before the October 31 deadline.

If the Bill fails, then the way forward is totally unclear, though senior politicians have warned it would lead to either leaving the EU without a deal, or Brexit being cancelled entirely.

About the speakers

Amanda Sloat, Ph.D. is a Robert Bosch senior fellow in the Center on the United States and Europe at the Brookings Institution. She is also a fellow with the Project on Europe and the Transatlantic Relationship at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center. She previously served in the U.S. government for nearly a decade. She was most recently deputy assistant secretary for Southern Europe and Eastern Mediterranean Affairs at the State Department. She also served as senior advisor to the White House coordinator for the Middle East, North Africa and Gulf region, as well as senior professional staff on the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee. Prior to her government service, Sloat was a senior program officer with the National Democratic Institute and post-doctoral research fellow at Queen’s University Belfast. She holds a PhD in politics from the University of Edinburgh and a BA in political theory from James Madison College at Michigan State University.

Moderator Professor Joseph Jupille is currently an Associate Professor, Department of Political Science at the University of Colorado Boulder. He was the Founding Director of the Colorado European Union Center of Excellence at the University of Colorado. He is a specialist in the European Union.

Vail Daily unveils Newsroom Jams

A project months in the making, Newsroom Jams is now live on VailDaily.com.

Our valley is full of talented musicians. Newsroom Jams offers an opportunity for locals artists to play their original songs in our newsroom, during business hours, for our online audience to enjoy. Likewise, it also gives listeners the opportunity to hear what’s jamming across the valley.

Imagine sipping your morning java paired with the tunes of artists who play across Vail and greater Eagle County; that’s where we’re going with this. The idea is to create a go-to source for music that is created and played right here in our valley; to give listeners an experience that no other playlist offers: a true showcase of the Vail Valley’s talent pool.

Where will this project go? We will start by posting videos on our website and using them to promote local shows, but the sky’s the limit. Playlists on streaming services, placements on social media and more are all on the table, and we are excited to take this project as far as we can.

To launch Newsroom Jams, it takes a valley. The project would not exist without submissions from local artists. From solo acts to bands to orchestras; if you have originals, we want you to come jam in our newsroom.

If you’d like to be featured on Newsroom Jams, please contact Executive Producer Ross Leonhart at rleonhart@vaildaily.com or Producer Sean Naylor at snaylor@vaildaily.com.

Michael McDonald’s voice shows signs of age, but still delivers powerful performance

Michael McDonald brought the Vilar crowd to its feet on Wednesday, July 17, movin’ and groovin’ to hits like “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and “Takin’ it to the Streets.”

Even though the show began a little slow, the crowd still stood up to dance near the end.

His usual powerhouse voice sounded a bit tired and strained at times, particularly with opening songs like “I Keep Forgettin’” and “Yah Mo B There,” but vocal accompanist Drea Rheneé robustly compensated, while McDonald exuded profound feelings of the music through instrumentation and physical expressions.

By the fourth song, “Sweet Freedom,” he and the band seemed to hit their stride.

McDonald, who has spent more than 40 years in the music industry, proved he still has what it takes to belt out many of his deep, soulful songs. He plays the piano with true emotion and finesse with tunes like “Just Strong Enough” and his piano solo, “I Can Let Go Now.” By mid-show, with the exception of a couple high notes, McDonald’s voice came through with its visceral tones. Meanwhile, Rheneé continued to hit the mark and pump up the energy with her soaring vocals and vigor, which definitely stood up to Patti LaBelle’s during “On My Own,” a duet with McDonald.

McDonald’s band was equally powerful, with guitarist Bernie Chiaravalle, who’s been touring with the five-time Grammy winner since 1988; drummer Dan Needham, who McDonald introduced as one of the best drummers he’s ever worked with; keyboardist Pat Coil, one of the great composers in the jazz world and beyond; and sax and keyboard player Mark Douthit, who has recorded with everyone from Elton John and Whitney Houston to Keith Urban and Hank Williams Jr. The newest band member, bassist Jacob Lowrey, added to the soulful sound with his strong vocal accompaniments.

In addition to performing Doobie Brothers hits like “Here to Love You,” “Minute by Minute” and “Takin’ it to the Streets,” McDonald interjected two of his songs from his last album, “Wide Open” (2017), including “Find It in Your Heart,” with its chorus lines like “Love’s the truth that sets us free.” He nailed the fine balance between changing up the arrangements of some tunes while delivering familiar hits just as listeners remember them.

McDonald’s deep soul especially hit home on duets with Rheneé like “Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing” and his encore featuring Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On,” the latter of which he introduced as a “beautiful prayer for peace,” encouraging the audience to “sing it loud if you will and maybe the world down there, down the mountain, will hear us singing these words tonight.”

Throughout his 75-minute show, McDonald and his band ultimately reminded people to feel the beat in their body and let their heart open to the profound power of love and music.

Rare burn morel mushrooms popping up in Colorado

From the pine cones, leaves, weeds, sprouts, twigs, brush, pine, dirt and ash — 50 shades of brown, really — burst morel mushrooms. Specifically, burn morels (or fire morels), which flourish the year after large wildfires.

The spongy, hollow, honeycombed little weirdos are the Cadillacs (or the Teslas, depending on your generation) of mushrooms. They’re coveted for their meaty, umami-rific taste, and they’re hard to find. Unless it’s the year following a forest fire, in which case it can be a burn morel bonanza.

Last summer, the Spring Creek Fire burned 108,045 acres in southern Colorado, making it the third-largest wildfire in state history. It crept very close to little La Veta, population 779, but spared the town. What I was scouring the earth for up at Old La Veta Pass are the silver lining of that devastation.

“I’d always heard of fire morels but never had the opportunity to find them,” said Bob Kennemer, professional naturalist and director of La Veta’s Francisco Fort Museum and my guide for the foraging. “The year after the fire, they’re the most prolific, and then they fade out the years after that. We’ve got a lot this year.”

No one really knows why fire triggers the mushrooming of the mushrooms.

Read more via The Denver Post.

‘The Little Prince’ is coming to the Vail Dance Festival and the Bookworm of Edwards

Seventy-five years ago, the world searched for meaning as bombs rained down on beaches and nations fought around the globe for democratic freedom. And while the divisions of World War II are prevalent in contemporary storytelling, the conflict was even more vivid in books written during the 1940s.

One such story is The Little Prince, originally published in French in 1943 by Antoine De Saint-Exupery. Now translated into more than 300 languages and adapted into books for all ages and reading levels, the classic tale of shifting perspective will be celebrated locally this week in two collaborative events.

On Monday, July 22, The Bookworm in Edwards will host a free event for children to discuss the story in English and Spanish. Next week, Ballet X performs a stage adaptation during the Vail Dance Festival.

“The Little Prince is perhaps once of the most favorite books of all time,” said Nicole Magistro, owner of The Bookworm. “To bring this powerful parable back to life for today’s kids, and to be able to see it on stage in the same week, is truly remarkable. I can’t wait.”

Bookworm Children’s Specialist Ali Teague and Vail Dance Academy graduate Alicia Chavez will host the book club, geared toward kids between the ages of 8 and 14.  

“I’m so glad we get to talk about this book and share it with all kinds of kids from all over the Valley, even if English is not their first language,” said Teague. “This is a timeless story with so many lessons to teach.”

The tale’s protagonist is a little prince from a tiny planet who changes a pilot’s life by making him think about the world and his life from different perspectives. Its main themes of love, loss, and friendship are as relevant today as they were to children reading it during the war.

From the opening line – “Once when I was six I saw a magnificent picture in a book about the jungle” – to the breathtaking conclusion, The Little Prince has endured with its themes of unification and selflessness.

Local and visiting families have a unique opportunity to come together this week to discuss and experience what the book means to them. “The whole creative package addresses the importance of other points of view,” Teague said, “so I’m excited to get kids engaged in a discussion where they know it is safe to think about things in a different way and to stretch their imaginations far enough to reach little planets far away.”

If you go …

What: Little Prince Book Club for ages 8-14

When: Monday, July 22, 5 p.m.

Where: Bookworm of Edwards, 295 Main St., Riverwalk at Edwards

Cost: Free

More information: Call 970-926-READ or visit www.bookwormofedwards,.com

Hooked brings ocean flavor to the mountains

Hooked is a delicious reminder that fresh ocean flavor really can be found in the Colorado mountains. This seafood and fish house in Beaver Creek receives the best-of-the-best sushi-grade fish from Japan, Hawaii, California, New Zealand, Spain and beyond.

Guests can order appetizers like Oysters, Ceviche De Hoy or Dynamite Tacos, and for the turf lovers, Korean BBQ 7x Short Ribs. Entrée offerings of Shrimp Scampi and Fish N’ Chips are available too, but don’t miss the signature dining experience at Hooked: whole fish preparation. Pick a fish for your table, like a New Zealand Tai, and the chefs will prepare it in a variety of raw and cooked renditions.

Start with the chef’s variation of your raw fish, like a sashimi preparation, ceviche or sushi roll. Choose between a variety of cooked techniques for your table fish as well, like pan seared or steamed, flame broiled or flash fried. Purists will like it served simply with extra virgin olive oil, charred lemon and sea salt. Most fish are served on the bone, so you can pull off the tender pieces yourself. Alongside a glass of sake or Chablis, let each unique preparation please your palate in a new way.

Order “Omakase” to simply say in Japanese: ”I’ll leave it up to the chef.”

Thank local owner and chef, Riley Romanin, for the special experience he has created at Hooked. He’s teamed up with General Manager and resident Fish Monger Joel Campbell, along with Chef Brandon Woodhall, to make every meal at Hooked delicious, fun and fresh.

“We’re really just hitting it on all points here,” Woodhall shares, “with every preparation, from the whole fish to hot appetizer preparations and large plates. It’s really exciting for all of us as a team to come together and collaborate with the Omakase ideas because there’s so much happening already here, it’s just natural for it to keep evolving.”

Seafood lovers can of course enjoy ocean specialties of oysters, king crab legs or a steamed lobster. Check the chalkboards to see what in-season specials are in house for the evening.

And for dessert, make it mochi … red velvet or triple chocolate; lychee or pistachio. Or if you’re still feeling thirsty, the Shisho Whiskey Sour made with Sensei Japanese Whiskey has an apple simple syrup and light dash of lemon that makes for a truly sweet ending. 

Scotty McCreery, free family fun, a half marathon and more: Tricia’s weekend picks for 7/19/19

Gypsum Daze

This weekend, the spotlight is on the town of Gypsum as they host Gypsum Daze, a community event that celebrates 37 years this summer. This tradition brings friends and families together to celebrate Colorado and rural, mountain town fun.

Gypsum Daze has activities happening morning, noon and night, but the big draw is the Saturday night concert. Gypsum Daze is known for bringing in bigger name acts from the country music genre, and past headliners have included Rascal Flatts, The Charlie Daniels Band, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, LeAnn Rimes, Easton Corbin and Big & Rich. This year’s headliner is Scotty McCreery with opening act The Lone Bellow.

What were you doing when you were 18? At that tender age, Scotty McCreery was named the winner of season 10 of “American Idol” in 2011. Soon after that, hits like “Five More Minutes” and “This Is It” started taking over the airwaves of country music radio and McCreery was eventually awarded New Artist of the Year at the Academy of Country Music Awards and the American Country Music Awards. McCreery co-writes much of his music and it comes from his heart, with many of his videos featuring family photos and life experiences.

Leading up to the concert there are many family-friendly events over the next two days. View the website for full detail and parking information at www.gypsumdaze.com.


Pickleball Tournament 9 a.m. – Registration 8 a.m.

  • Bring a partner or they will match you up with a player.
  • Pickleball courts at the Gypsum Creek Golf Club.

Youth Talent Show – 6 p.m.

  • Two categories: 12 and under at 6 p.m., 13-18 at 7:15 p.m.
  • Lundgren Theater.

Gypsum Daze Stampede – 8 p.m.

  • Learn dances like the two-step, western swing, and cha-cha.
  • Professional instructors on site.
  • Gypsum Rec Center Parking Lot Tent.


Fireman’s Pancake Breakfast – 7-10:30 a.m.        

  • $5 gets you pancakes, sausage, juice and coffee.
  • Proceeds go to the Gypsum Fire Protection District’s Equipment Fund.
  • Gypsum Rec Center Parking Lot.

Gypsum Creek Cruisers Car Show – 11 a.m.

  • Open to all classic cars, pickups, off-road vehicles, antiques, street rods, muscle cars, racers and toys.
  • Awards for Best in Show, Mayor’s Choice and State Patrol’s choice and more.
  • Lundgren Blvd. and Town Hall Park.

26th Annual 5k Run/Walk – 8 a.m.

  • Awards given to top male/female 1st, 2nd and 3rd place per age groups.
  • A loop course that takes place on Valley Road and Lundgren Blvd.

Gypsum Daze Parade – 10 a.m.      

  • Theme: Building Community for All Seasons.
  • Prizes awarded to 1st ($300) 2nd ($200) and 3rd ($100) place.
  • Parade takes place on Valley Road.

Concert – Lundgren Amphitheater

  • Opening Act – The Lone Bellow at 7 p.m.
  • Headliner – Scotty McCreery at 8:30 p.m.

Bravo! Vail

The New York Philharmonic returned to Vail earlier this week and with them, they brought a new musical director, Jaap van Zweden. Zweden is no stranger to the Bravo! Vail Music Festival. He was the music director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra for years and is very familiar with the stage at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater.

This weekend’s performances include violinist Augustin Hadelich and pianist Conrad Tao. Friday’s show will showcase Grammy Award-winning Hadelich performing Brittan’s “Violin Concerto”. Saturday night’s performance will bring Tao to the piano to perform Beethoven’s “Piano Concerto No. 2”.

Take some time to learn about the featured artists from the Bravo! Vail program notes. By reading a little before or during the performance, you can gain different insights into the music, the composers and the artists. For example, did you know that Tao was the only classical artist on the “Forbes” magazine’s “30 Under 30” list in the music industry in 2011 at just 17 years of age?

Another noteworthy story is about Hadelich. When he was 15, his upper body and bow arm was badly burned in an accident on his family’s farm in Italy. Many doctors didn’t think he’d ever be able to play again. After much rehabilitation, he was able to return to his career two years later. Hadelich says it means more to play now, knowing that he almost had to quit doing what he loved due to that accident.

The passion of these artists shines through on stage, so take advantage of Bravo! Vail’s last few concerts at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater. For more information and tickets, go to www.bravovail.com.

Vail Family Fun Fest

If you see painted faces, water balloons and zany paper airplanes, you’re probably just a few steps away from the Vail Family Fun Fest. Held on select Saturdays during the summertime in Lionshead from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m., this free event brings the community out for some good old-fashioned family fun.

The Lionshead Mall is filled with tents housing various activities like arts, crafts, fun games and competitions, all for free.

“We think it’s great to be able to offer a free family event in Vail because it speaks to Vail’s sense of hospitality,” said Brian Hall, organizer of the event along with the Vail Chamber and Business Association, the Town of Vail, The Arrabelle at Vail. “It provides a sense of welcome to the families who visit Vail.”

This week, the Science Tent will feature “The Whacky Wonders of Flight”. Kids can experiment with creating aeronautic delights, also known as paper airplanes. From simple to exotic, kids will be able to build their own paper airplanes and experiment with the dynamics of flight. Who will go the fastest? Who will go the highest? Some will be cruisers, some will do loop-da-loops, but all will amaze and bring a smile to the faces of the young visitors.

“We are probably famous for our many crazy, zany, outlandish contests and games for the entire family like Ultimate Simon Says, The Vail Hula Hoop-Palooza, the Blue Moose Pizza Toss and the Water Balloon Toss of Death,” Hall said. “These are all fun actives and games that get kids and their parents acting silly, laughing their heads off and creating wonderful memories.”

Learn more about the Vail Family Fun Fest at www.vailfamilyfunfest.com or check out their Facebook page.  

Jammin’ Jazz Kids

Kids can also have fun this weekend at Jammin’ Jazz Kids, a free and engaging interactive musical experience they will love.

Jammin’ Jazz Kids is an offering from Vail Jazz. Throughout the years, Vail Jazz has brought Jazz goes to School to over 18,000 students in Eagle County. This program reaches visiting children as well as locals during the month of July in conjunction with the Jazz @ the Market series at the Vail Farmers Market on Sundays at the Vail Jazz Tent, Solaris Plaza.

Jammin’ Jazz Kids is part of Vail Jazz’s mission to expose the next generation of jazz players and listeners to this style of music. Let the kids work off some of their energy while banging on drums, xylophones, bongos, tambourines and more. This opportunity allows kids aged 4-12 to learn the fundamentals of jazz and even join professional jazz musicians in playing the music and learning about improvisation.

To participate, register your kids by 10:45 a.m. and the activities start at 11 a.m. Parents are encouraged to stick around and watch and listen, the session will last about 45 minutes. Learn more at www.vailjazz.org.

Camp Hale Half Marathon and 5k

The Camp Hale Half Marathon marks your chance to run on the same hallowed ground as the famed 10th Mountain Division, the winter warfare unit of the U.S. Army that was instrumental in fighting the battles during World War II. Thousands of troops trained at Camp Hale and the only remnants of their existence are a few concrete foundations, but the roads are still intact.

The race will follow those well-maintained roads as well as parts of the Continental Divide Trail and the Colorado Trail. The good news is there is minimal elevation gain during this 13.1-mile race. The bad news is you’re starting at 9,200 feet above sea level. But rest assured, the beautiful vistas will take your breath away before your lungs tire at that altitude. This is an iconic spot for a race.

That’s what the Dynafit Vail Trail Running Series is all about, bringing trail runners to some of the most beautiful trails in Colorado. This series has already taken runners to the trails near Eagle and on Vail and Beaver Creek Mountains. The experienced staff marks the courses and uses the GPS technology of Garmin to help runners find their way. Maps will be available online prior to race day.

After the race, the post-party and awards will be held at Camp Hale near the finish line where Northside Kitchen will provide donuts and burritos. Prizes are given out to the top three finishers in each category, but even if you’re not the fastest, you still have a chance to win a raffle prize. Bib numbers serve as your raffle tickets and prizes include items from Dynafit, Vail Mountain Coffee and Tea Co., West Vail Liquor Mart and more. 

Race time for the Camp Hale Half Marathon begins at 9 a.m. followed by the 5k at 9:30 a.m. Racers can pick up their bib numbers or register ahead of time on Friday from 3 to 6 p.m. at Peak Performance in Edwards. For more information, visit www.vailrec.com.