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Drive-in movies, Vail Dance Festival and more: Tricia’s weekend picks 8/7/20

Beaver Creek Weekend Happs

Head on up to Beaver Creek for some live music, a silent disco and an a la carte menu at Zusamenn this weekend. The Beav’ has music every day of the week from 2 to 8 p.m. but on Fridays check out F.A.C. (Friday Afternoon Club) from 3 to 5 p.m. on the plaza. Families can not only enjoy live music but also bites from local restaurants, refreshing beverages, shopping, games and more.

Follow F.A.C. is a family-friendly silent disco from 5 to 8 p.m. Complimentary pairs of headphones are handed out so you can dance to the rhythm of your own beat or pair up with someone who is also dancing to that frequency. If you miss the dancing on Friday or didn’t get enough, the silent disco is offered on Saturdays from 5 to 8 p.m., too.

On Saturday, check out Zusamenn, which is a celebration of food and community. Loosely translated from its German roots, zusamenn means something collective or a gathering. The gatherings will be more socially-distanced this summer, but the live music will be performed by crowd favorites Spinphony on the rink stage between 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. Spinphony is an all-female electric string quartet out of Denver. They blend Bach with AC/DC for a unique, high energy sound.

The event is free to attend and you can purchase food and drinks along the way. This festival of flavors was created by Beaver Creek’s renowned chefs and restaurants. Visit village restaurants to select from delectable small plates and signature beverages and cocktails. For more information, please view beavercreek.com.

Drive-in Movies

Drive-in movies are a perfect way to see a flick during a pandemic. The Blue Starlite Drive-In returns to Minturn this summer with classic movies and safety measures in place to watch a movie on the big screen this weekend.

The 1985 adventure comedy “Goonies” will be showing on Friday night. Get tickets in advance online and read all of the COVID-19 safety protocols. You can even order concessions in advance and those items will be provided to you when you arrive as to limit the time people are out of their cars.

“Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” is showing on Saturday night. This 1989 film is the last in the three-part series that starred Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones. Sean Connery plays Indian Jones’ father.

Both movies start at 8:50 p.m. and the gates open at 8 p.m. Purchase tickets in advance online and learn more at bluestarlitedrivein.com.

Vail Dance Festival: Digital Edition

The 32nd annual Vail Dance Festival kicked off last week and although the dancers weren’t able to gather physically on the stage in Vail, their on-screen presence has touched the Vail Valley and beyond. The Vail Dance Festival: Digital Edition showcased world premieres that happened in Vail in recent years and really offered a “best of” look at what makes the Vail Dance Festival so special. The performances have been shown on Vail Dance Festival’s Facebook and YouTube accounts and all shows will be available until August 15.  

Opening night seemed to have the most comments on social media and the numbers show that there are around 63,000 views across Facebook and YouTube. Facebook provides a breakdown of where people are watching the videos and although most viewers are from the US, data showed that viewers were tuning in all over Europe, Southeast Asia, Africa, Central and South America.

Closing night is Friday at 6 p.m. online. Damian Woetzel, the artistic director of the Vail Dance Festival, hosts this digital show remotely. Woetzel will walk you through what performances you will see and highlight some of the artists involved. “Carolina Shout” will be shown first. This 2019 world premiere features dancers Michelle Dorrance and Lil Buck along with music by jazz pianist Jason Moran.

The second part of the show will feature the 2017 premiere of “we seem to be more than one.” This performance was a collaboration between tap-dancing sensation, Michelle Dorrnance and various artists at the festival and brings in dance moves from tap, ballet, contemporary, jookin’, flamenco, and modern traditions.

Celebrate this summer tradition in Vail by watching the Vail Dance Festival and to learn more about how you can support the festival and the artists during these trying times, visit vaildance.org.

Nottingham Park activities

Please note that Nottingham Lake will be closed for the USA Swimming Open Water Championships but the Harry A. Nottingham Park will still be open and offers plenty of things to do without adding water.

Nottingham Lake will be closed from 7:30 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. This will include the beach and grass area on the north side of the lake. There will be no fishing, boating, SUPing or swimming allowed during this time, but there are still lots of amenities in the park to enjoy.

Tennis, anyone? The Harry A. Nottingham Park not only has three tennis courts, but it also has four pickleball courts, two basketball courts and two athletic fields for rent. The playground equipment will be open as well. The bike path around the lake and the park is perfect for the littlest bikers since there isn’t much of an incline to wear them out. It’s also great if you’ve fired up those rollerblades and want to cruise on a path that is smooth and flat.

Nottingham Park also has grills and picnic tables in case you want to have a cookout. Or, order meals from one of the many nearby restaurants and enjoy dining with a view. If you want to also enjoy an adult beverage, the Avon Town Council allows open containers and public consumption of alcohol at Nottingham Park and on the Main Street Pedestrian Mall between 11:30 a.m. and until 30 minutes after dusk. For more information, go to avon.org.

Vail Valley author’s new book is a psychic thrill ride

Award-winning author Jennifer Alsever’s new book, “Extraordinary Lies,” is a psychic thrill ride.

Alsever, who lives in the Vail Valley, had finished her young adult fiction trilogy, “The Trinity Forest Series,” when her husband, Kevin O’Donnell sent her a Flipboard article about a Russian psychic during the Cold War. Alsever’s imagination started spinning as a great novelist’s will, and her legions of fans will be happy to know it planted right back in front of her keyboard. “Extraordinary Lies” was published this spring.

Alsever will talk about the new paranormal mystery at 10:30 a.m. Friday in a new virtual chat series hosted by the Bookworm of Edwards. You can find the link to the Zoom call on the Bookworm’s website.

Psychic arms race

That Flipboard article described how a woman named Nina Kulagina kicked off a “psychic arms race” between the U.S. and the Soviets during the Cold War. When American officials discovered the Soviet research into her psychokinesis powers, they began funding investigations into supernatural phenomena at Stanford Research Institute. That story inspired Alsever’s “Extraordinary Lies.”

Set in San Francisco during the Cold War, the tale follows two supernaturally gifted girls, Julia and Charley, from entirely different worlds. They’re both sent to the Stanford Research Institute to be tested for paranormal abilities. Surrounded by others with powers like theirs, they finally make real friends.  

But as the scientists’ tests grow darker and more dangerous, the two girls must unravel the truth behind the experiments — and the extraordinary lies they’ve been told to keep them in the dark.

After reading that initial Flipboard article about the Russian psychic, Alsever rounded up information about real-life psychic testing by the U.S. government in the 1960s and 1970s at the Stanford Research Institute. She devoured Annie Jacobsoen’s nonfiction book, “Phenomena: The Secret History of the U.S. Government’s Investigation into Extrasensory Perception and Psychokinesis.” Jacobsen’s book provided true-life facts and intriguing details from government documents and interviews outlining real experiments, the physics they tested, and the government’s efforts to build a team of psychic soldiers.

“Then my imagination took over,” Alsever said.

“Extraordinary Lies” carries a decidedly feminist theme as it deals deftly with friendship and family. It’s categorized as a young adult novel, but will appeal to anyone interested in Cold War intrigue, psychokinesis or simply a good escape from reality.

“It’s perfect for fans of the TV series ‘Stranger Things,’” Alsever said.

“Extraordinary Lies” already has film and TV interest from Areu Bros Studios in Atlanta, as does her 2017 award-winning trilogy, the Trinity Forest Series (Ember Burning, Oshun Rising, & Venus Shining.) 

Support your local bookstore

Friday’s virtual author event is another way the Bookworm of Edwards and local authors are connecting with readers as we find our way through the pandemic.

 “I’m excited for this chance to talk to readers since the pandemic is a perfect time to pick up a book,” Alsever said. “Supporting the Bookworm of Edwards right now is vital, due to the crushing blow the pandemic has dealt to so many of our local businesses.”

Bookworm owner Nicole Magistro has been a huge supporter of both readers and local authors, Alsever said.

Reading is even good for you. Researchers have found that reading reduces stress, lowers your heart rate and blood pressure, improves your memory, increases brainpower, and boosts empathy skills. It’s even been linked to longer life spans. There’s never been a better time to escape reality.

“Now is a good time for people who are bored, tired of hearing about coronavirus and locked in their homes to get book recommendations from the Bookworm and order online—whether it’s mine or another one—from their website,” she said.

Vail Valley musicians trading the stage for the web: when and where to watch livestreams

Local musicians who usually play for a live audience are taking their shows on the road, kind of, via Facebook Live due to the COVID-19 shutdown.

Lifelong Vail local Johnny Schleper traded the Red Lion stage for his guest bedroom and has been going live every Friday since the ski resorts closed in March.

“It has been an interesting and humbling experience,” Schleper said about performing without a live crowd. “I definitely can’t do it without the awesome people streaming through Facebook Live every week.”

Fellow Red Lion singer Dave Tucker has been posting his live shows on Facebook Live as well, and both Tucker and Schleper have been a part of KZYR The Zephyr’s Virtual Friday Afternoon Club.

“It’s great exposure to be on KZYR’s Facebook page and the radio, or if people share it off of their Facebook page and create a watch party. I’m getting new fans from all over the world that are seeing me play for the first time,” Tucker said.

German sensation Helmut Fricker has entertained guests at Sarah’s Lounge at the Christiania in Vail on Friday afternoons for 40 years and isn’t letting the COVID-19 closures stop him.

“I get out my accordion and alpenhorn and play in front of my fireplace at 4:30 p.m. at my home in Eagle,” Fricker said.

Look closely, you may even spot his dog, Spencer, in the background wearing a Bavarian costume.  

Kevin Danzig is using this time to share some of his originals as well. His “A Song A Day ‘Til May” series has proven popular with fans and he may continue it next month with a different name: “Another Tune ‘Til June.”

Gathering together a string of soon-to-be-announced local artists, The Ghost Light Sessions hosted by the Vilar Performing Arts Center kicks off with a show by the Runaway Grooms at 7 p.m. on May 7. Additional artists will be announced soon.

“We have been working hard to really curate this set to be a very engaging listening experience that takes the viewers at home through a musical roller coaster,” said frontman Adam Tobin.  “We want listeners to feel like they’re at an actual live show again.”

For some performers, that’s the part of the show they miss most.

“The live show energy is unique every night. That connection is like a new conversation that’s always different and interesting. Can’t wait to have those conversations again,” said local musician Brendan McKinney.

Even Scott Munns is getting comments from his Vail fans while playing on Facebook Live from Florida. Munns splits his time playing gigs at the Bridge Street Bar in Vail and the Elbo Room in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

“It’s fun to see the comments from the Vail locals or people who have seen me play there over the years. There will be some inside joke about a song I usually play, or they’ll ask me about O.J. Simpson and want me to play the ‘Bronco song’ — it’s just one big party,” Munns said.

Each performer says it helps them pass the time during social distancing and breaks up the day. Schleper has been recording and writing new songs, doing a little snowmobiling and getting the dirt bike ready.

“I’m also getting a lot of amazing family time, which is great because we have a daughter who is 16 months old,” Schleper said.  

Munns admits that he’s been less productive.

“I would like to say that I have been writing songs and being more creative but I’ve been watching TV and eating. Although I did learn the song, ‘I Saw a Tiger’ from the ‘Tiger King’ series on Netflix,” Munns joked.  

Although the online audience has been kind and generous, oftentimes tipping performers via virtual means, the performers do miss the live crowds.

“Nothing beats being in the same room with people who love live music and it’s that energy that gets shared multiple nights a week that I miss most,” Tucker said.  

Munns also misses the crowds and not having to social distance.

“Honestly, I miss hugging people, not in a weird or creepy kind of way, but I’m a hugger, I hug perfect strangers. I’m gonna hug people when we get the all-clear signal,” he said.

Catch these performers on Facebook Live:

If you’re a local artist doing a virtual performance and would like to be added to this list, email Entertainment Editor Casey Russell at crussell@vaildaily.com.

Entertainment editor Casey Russell contributed reporting to this story.

Illusions, silent disco, a shamrock shuffle and more: Tricia’s weekend picks 3/13/20

Magic and music at the Vilar

Update at 7:28 p.m.: Vail Valley Foundation’s Director of Public Relations and the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater Director Tom Boyd confirmed to the Vail Daily in an email at 7:28 p.m. that events at the Vilar Performing Arts Center will be canceled through the end of the winter season.

The Vilar Performing Arts Center has been busy with all types of shows this spring. Friday brings in the wonder of illusionist Rick Thomas and on Sunday Colin Hay, former frontman of 80s Australian hit makers Men at Work takes the stage in a solo performance.

Illusionist Rick Thomas has been performing mind-blowing illusions in Las Vegas for the last 15 years and has performed over 600 shows per year. Thomas has earned several awards including “Magician of the Year” by the Academy of Magical Arts and magic’s highest recognition “Illusionist of the World” by the World Magic Awards. He’s traveled to over 50 countries across the globe and will set foot on the Vilar stage on Friday night at 7 p.m.

View Thomas’ outstanding showmanship and stage presence up close as he blends magic, music, comedy and dance into an intriguing and innovative show. Here’s praise for Thomas:

“Fabulous Entertainment for the Entire Family!” – Chicago Tribune

“Best Magician, Period!” – Showbiz Magazine

“Stunning!” – L.A. Times

“EPIC!” – New York Times

“The Most Amazing Show…Brilliant!” – TripAdvisor

Tickets are $48 for adults, $29 for kids or a Family 4-Pack is $150. This show is also included in the Vilar’s ticket package: Pick 3 Shows for $90; Pick 5 Shows for $175; Pick 8 Shows for $240. For more information, visit www.vilarpac.org.

One thing fans of the Vilar Performing Arts Center rave about is the intimacy of the performances they get to see. Colin Hay’s performance should be no different. Here, learn more about the stories behind his days as the frontman of Men At Work, his tour with Ringo Starr and His All Starr Band and his stints on television shows like “Scrubs.”

At Sunday’s show, which will start at 7 p.m., Hay’s set will include songs that span his career, including songs from his upcoming album for Compass Records, Men at Work hit songs including “Who Can It Be Now?,” “Down Under” and other crowd-pleasers. Expect to hear some stories behind the songs and other artistic pursuits Hay has been on during his amazing career. Tickets are $45. Visit www.vilarpac.org for more information.

Bloom and a Silent Disco for kids

Spring break is here and families from across the nation are enjoying spring skiing and all the activities that surround it. Here are a few fun things for kids to do this weekend at Beaver Creek as they celebrate spring with an event called Bloom:

Friday – Beaver Creek Plaza – 3 – 6 p.m.

Sounds of the Season with live music with the La Pompe Jazz Band from 4:50 until 6:00 p.m. and dance lessons from Swingin’ Denver at 3:30 and 5 p.m.

Saturday – Beaver Creek Plaza – 4 – 8:30 p.m.

Family Fun Fest – Kids go from game tent to game tent earning tokens that can go toward Beaver Creek themed prizes- 4-5:30 p.m.

Silent Disco – dance to your own beat while wearing wireless headphones, often with different musical themes depending on the channel each person is tuned in to. Pick up your complimentary headphones near the ice rink –5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Sunday – Beaver Creek Plaza – 3 to 6 p.m.

Color & Flower Festival – Crafts, coloring stations and some fun surprises. For more information, visit www.beavercreek.com.

Shamrock Shuffle

Update at 8:03 p.m. from the Vail Recreation District: This weekend’s Krueger Family Shamrock Shuffle will no longer take place in person at the Vail Nordic Center and has been modified to a virtual event, please visit www.vailrec.com on Friday for more details.

Don your green gear and head out to the Vail Nordic Center for the 9th annual Krueger Family Shamrock Shuffle on Saturday. This shuffle is a fun walk or run and has become a St. Patrick’s Day tradition whether you are Irish or not. Participate in the 5k or 10k race and bring the kids for the 1k fun run. The Vail Nordic Center’s trails still have plenty of snow for those wearing snowshoes or Yaktrax, as well those wearing running shoes, which is a non-prize-eligible category.

Prizes will be given out to the top three women and top three men in both the snowshoe and Yaktrax 10K race categories. A free raffle for all racers will complete the fun with great prizes from local businesses as well as nationally-known brands. he Krueger Family Shamrock Shuffle is the final race in the three-part Vail Grail winter race series. A limited number of snowshoes will be available at the Vail Nordic Center.

The race starts at 4 p.m. followed by an after-race party at the Vail Nordic Center. For more information, go to www.vailrec.com.

“Animation Stars” takes the stage at Battle Mountain

Over 50 local students ages 8 to 18 have been working hard learning the music and the dance moves for the spring production of “Animation Stars.” This performance is a high-energy revue featuring songs and scenes from the best recent animation movies. Hear songs from “Brave,” “Moana,” “Jungle Book,” “Tangled,” “Despicable Me,” “Monsters Inc.,” “Pocahontas” and plenty more.

Annah Scully, the founder and executive director of the Vail Performing Arts Academy and her team of talented professionals molds these kids into stage masters and always puts on an inspiring show.

“Our young cast has been meeting each Sunday afternoon since January, and thanks to the amazing talents of our Artistic Director, Colin Meiring; our Assistant Choreographer, Maria Barry; our Vocal Coach, Melinda Carlson and Costumer, Val Watts these young performers have learned 19 numbers in ten intensive-but-super-fun rehearsals,” Scully said.

Showtime is at 6:30 p.m. both Friday and Saturday at Battle Mountain High School. Tickets are general admission and cost $15 if you pay via cash or check and $17 if you use a credit card and can be purchased at the door. Go to www.vpaa.org for more information.

Women’s Ski Demo Day

With all the sales on equipment, springtime is the time to try out a new pair of skis and get in on the savings. Several brands of skis will be available to test out this weekend at the Second Saturday Free Ski Demo Day at the base of Lionshead from 9 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.  

Outdoor Divas and Vail Sports will have tents set up with demo skis from Atomic, Black Crows, Blizzard, Elan, Head, K2, Kastle, Legend, Line, Nordica, Rossignol, Salomon, Stockli and Volkl. Take a pair out and make a lap on the Eagle Bahn Gondola, or hop into the Back Bowls and see how they perform.

To enhance your experience and help you dial in your selection even more, there will be instructors from Vail Ski And Snowboard School available to take a run or two with you. The female coach will help you decide if the ski you try is a good fit for you.

It doesn’t get any easier to try skis before you buy. With tons of brands to choose from, experts there to dial in the bindings to fit your boots and get you on your way in no time and professional ski instructors to help you make the right decision, take advantage of this demo day and find a new pair of skis you love. For more information, go to www.outdoordivas.com.

Barstool races, ski joring, spring celebrations for kids and more: Tricia’s weekend picks 3/6/20

10th Mountain Legacy Parade

To honor Vail’s heritage, Vail Mountain and the Town of Vail will host the 10th Mountain Legacy Parade along with fireworks. Friday at 6 p.m. guests are invited to watch skiers dressed in traditional 10th Mountain Division ski trooper uniforms as they weave down the hill in a torchlight ski down to the base of Gondola One.

Following the torchlight ski down, a parade of military veterans, also in traditional uniforms, will march from Gondola One down Bridge Street, across the Covered Bridge and will finish at the 10th Mountain statue along Gore Creek.

From there, guests are welcomed to the recently renovated Colorado Snowsports Museum, which will stay open after the parade for guests to visit and learn about Colorado’s ski history through the 10th Mountain Division exhibit.

The 10th Mountain Division is the winter warfare unit created by the United States Army during World War II that trained just south of Vail at Camp Hale. Pete Seibert, a veteran of the 10th Mountain Division, along with Earl Eaton, who worked for the Civilian Conservation Corps in Glenwood Springs, first climbed Vail Mountain during the winter of 1957 and looked down at the future Sun Up and Sun Down Bowls and the rest is history.

This is the last Legacy parade of the season. For more information, please visit www.vail.com.

Bring to kids to Bloom

March is here and that means that many schools are out around the country and families are flocking to Beaver Creek. After the slopes close, let the kids enjoy Bloom, a spring festival that celebrates the change of seasons. This outdoor event runs from now until March 28. Here’s a look at what’s going on near the ice rink at Beaver Creek this weekend and part of next week:

Saturday: Family Fun Fest – 4-5:30 p.m. – Kids go from game tent to game tent earning tokens that can go toward Beaver Creek themed prizes.

Sunday: Color & Flower Festival – 3 to 6 p.m. – Crafts, coloring stations and some fun surprises

Monday: Movie Night with “The Greatest Showman” – Circus performers at 6 p.m., movie starts at 7:20 p.m.

Tuesday: Fresh Picked Spring  – 3 to 6 p.m. – Flowerpot decorating and lemonade that guests can top with fresh herbs and seasonings

Wednesday: Spring on the Mountain – 3 to 6 p.m. – Face painters, balloon twisters and animal education

For a full schedule, visit www.beavercreek.com.

Barstool races in Minturn

There are a lot of competitions held in Eagle County. From the World Cup alpine ski races to the Burton US Open Snowboarding Championships, a lot of athletic talent comes through the valley. The Minturn Barstool Races may not have the type of athletic prowess and prestige that those other competitions have, but it probably is the competition that has the most fun.

Quirky and crafty are two words to describe the Minturn Barstool races. Teams design their own device that is able to withstand a descent down the hill at the Little Beach Park in Minturn. The teams also get to come up with quirky names and themes that go with their rig.

The contest is a double-elimination style contest and teams can compete in the Bustling Barstool or Anything Goes categories. In the Bustling Barstool category, teams need to attach a barstool that is at least 27 inches high to a pair of skis or a snowboard. In the Anything Goes category, teams can get creative with what they weld or nail together in hopes of it getting down the hill with a rider on top of it. There’s not a lot of rules or regulations, but each rider is required to wear a helmet while going down the course.

This goofy event is fun to participate in and it’s also fun to watch. Spectators can line the course at Little Beach Park this Saturday and the races happen between noon and 3 p.m. The Minturn Barstool races raise money for the Minturn Community Fund, which works to enrich the culture and lifestyle of the historic mining town by putting on events like the Barstool Races, as well as the free summer concert series and more.

The Minturn Saloon will host an after-race party with Vail Brewing Company from 3 to 5 p.m. For more information, go to www.minturncommunityfund.org.

Leadville Ski Joring and Crystal Carnival Weekend

For three days, the town of Leadville hosts all sorts of winter sporting events, a mountain film festival and even dancing. It’s all part of the Leadville Ski Joring and Crystal Carnival Weekend that runs through Sunday.

Ski Joring is a fast-paced sport consisting of a horse pulling a skier through obstacles and jumps. You can get involved by riding a horse, skiing behind a horse, bid on a team during the Calcutta or spectate the event which is on Harrison Avenue in Leadville. Kids can also get a taste of ski joring by being pulled by a snowmobile. Ski joring happens between noon and 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Before the ski joring happens, Nordic skiers are invited to hit the snow on Leadville’s main street before the horses and skiers do the next day. Lights will brighten up the sky when the Nordic skiers hit the street at 7 p.m. on Friday.

Besides ski joring, winter mountain biking also takes place during this annual festival. The Leadville Mountain Bike Series will conduct a night ride called Mineral Belt Mayhem. Bring your fat bike out and ride the 11-mile Mineral Belt loop after dark on Saturday.

In addition to those events, don’t miss the opportunity to see films at the Backcountry Film Festival at Periodic Brewing, an open house at the historic Tabor Opera House, dancing at the Elks and a paintball biathlon at Tennessee Pass Nordic Center. For a full schedule, visit www.leadvilletwinlakes.com.

Beaver Creek Running Series: Snowshoe Edition

This Sunday marks the final event of the Beaver Creek Running Series: Snowshoe Edition. Distances include a 10k and a 5k course and draws everyone from the first-time snowshoer to the veteran runner. You don’t have to run in snowshoes, you can easily stroll while enjoying the scenery of Beaver Creek.

Sunday’s event will take place up at McCoy Park, which is at the top of the Strawberry Park Express lift. After the event, head back down to Beaver Creek Village for the post-race party and awards presentation for top male and female in each age bracket for the 5k and 10k as well as the overall male and female competitors. A post-race meal is also offered as well as raffle prizes.

Registration is from 8:30-9:30 a.m. next to Beaver Creek Sports in Beaver Creek Village and the race will begin at 10:00 a.m. Sign up for this race by going to www.beavercreek.com.

Burton US Open, Leap Day, sleigh ride dinners and more: Tricia’s Weekend picks 2/28/20

Burton US Open Snowboarding Championships

The Burton US Open Snowboarding Championships return to Golden Peak in Vail for the eighth year, but the event itself has been held for 38 years. This iconic snowboarding competition brings in the sport’s best veteran riders as well as up-and-coming riders to the Halfpipe and Slopestyle competitions.

The Slopestyle finals are Friday with the women’s competition beginning at 11 a.m. followed by the men’s finals at 2 p.m. On Saturday, the women will kick off the Halfpipe Finals at 11 a.m. followed by the men’s competition at 2 p.m.

This is typically the last competition of the season and attracts top-caliber riders like Red Gerard of Summit County and Zoi Sadowski Synnott of New Zealand returning to defend their Burton US Open Slopestyle titles. Scotty James of Australia and America Maddie Mastro took top honors at last year’s Halfpipe finals.

The competitions attract a crowd, so prepare for parking to fill up fast and if you want to watch the competitions along the halfpipe or slopestyle course, get there early and be prepared to trek up to the venue. You can also watch from the base areas on jumbo television screens.

Download the Burton US Open app to your phone to keep up on any schedule updates, photos and videos, a list of riders and results. Live coverage can be found on www.burtonusopen.com and on www.redbulltv.com. For the complete low down of events, go to www.burtonusopen.com.

Burton US Open – beyond the competitions

The Burton US Open base area has a festival-like atmosphere with an interactive sponsor village with fun swag and a Burton pop-up store and meet, greet and ride opportunities with the athletes.

Last fall, the snowboarding world and beyond lost Burton founder and snowboarding pioneer, Jake Burton Carpenter. To honor him, there will be a Ride with Jake and Fireworks for Jake events throughout the weekend.

For the Ride with Jake on Friday, meet at Gondola 1 at 8 a.m. and the group will go to Chair 4 and then reconvene at the top of Riva Glades for a group ride down one of Jake’s favorite runs. This is an open invitation to anyone who wants to honor him for what he did for the sport of snowboarding and the Burton US Open. On Saturday night, join the family and friends of Burton for a special fireworks display that can be viewed from the concert venue at Solaris.

Burton helps the youngest aspiring snowboarders get on the hill with Riglet Park. Strap the kids aged three to six on a tiny snowboard and watch them learn the basics of snowboarding in a fun environment at Golden Peak. This designated area features small berms, rollers and ground level features so kids can try tricks, too. Check out the free Burton demo equipment at Riglet Park as well.

Friday

Sponsor Village – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. – Golden Peak

Ride for Jake – 8 to 10 a.m. Meet at Gondola 1, Vail Village

Meet the Riders – 1 to 2 p.m. Burton Pop-Up Shop, Golden Peak

Free Burton Concert Series and Awards – 6 p.m. Solaris Concert Stage – Big Freedia and Arrested Development

Party at Bol – 9:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. – Solaris – music by Money 2 Burn

Saturday

Sponsor Village – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. – Golden Peak

Women’s Ride – 10-11:30 a.m. Burton Pop-Up Shop, Golden Peak

Ride with Burton Team – 1 to 2 p.m. Burton Pop-Up Shop, Golden Peak

Free Burton Concert Series and Awards – 6 p.m. Solaris Concert Stage – EVAN GIIA & Big Wild

Fireworks with the Carpenter Family – 7:45 p.m.  – Solaris Concert Stage


Burton US Open Closing Party – 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. – Dobson Ice Arena – DJ Cre8, 99 Neighbors & J Espinosa   

Party at Bol – 9:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. – Solaris – music by Gavlak  

Shut the Funk Up Silent Disco – 9 p.m. to midnight – Mountain Art Collective – 1310 Westhaven Drive, Vail.          

Leap Day

Did you notice that February has an extra day of the month this year? Saturday marks Leap Day, so take this extra day and do something special.

We use leap years to keep the calendar in sync with the seasons. It can get kind of complicated, but according to www.timeanddate.com, leap days keep our modern-day Gregorian calendar in alignment with Earth’s revolutions around the sun. If we didn’t do this, over the centuries we’d be having a Fourth of July barbecue when the snow was flying – although, it can snow during any month in Colorado, I’ve been here when it snowed on July 3 – but you get the idea.

While researching leap year, I found all sorts of folklore and traditions that happen on this day around the world. According to Lonely Planet, women could propose marriage to men on this day. It’s believed that this tradition began in Ireland in the 5th century, with a deal brokered between St. Brigid of Kildare and St. Patrick, but the tradition spread across Europe and beyond.

Also in Europe, superstition in Greece holds that marriages that take place during a leap year will end in divorce. Scottish farmers apparently worry about their livestock. There’s an old saying that states a “leap year was never a good sheep year.”

In the U.S., the city of Anthony, which straddles the borders of Texas and New Mexico, is now known as Leap Year Capital of the World. Since 1988, Anthony has hosted a celebration for leaplings (those born on Feb. 29) who travel there from all over the globe. The chance of being born on a leap day is 1 in 1,461.

Regardless of the science and folklore behind it, you get an extra day! If you say, “I wish I had more time to (fill in the blank),” do that thing with the extra 24 hours you get in 2020.

Friday Afternoon Club

Maya’s popular Winter Friday Afternoon Club returns for its second concert of the season Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. with a special evening of live blues, rock and country music by Robby and the Peoples in The Westin Riverfront lobby.

The lobby at the Westin is hopping almost every night with live music filling the great room, but they let the party go a little longer and a little louder for FAC. Don’t be afraid to get up and do a little dancing if your legs aren’t too tired after a day on the slopes.

Winter FAC guests can enjoy $3 tacos, $5 beers and $7 margaritas as well as the full menu of handcrafted cocktails, Colorado microbrews and bites served at The Lookout lobby bar. Or venture into Maya Modern Mexican Kitchen & Tequilaria and choose from more than 150 agave-based spirits and house-infused tequilas and modern Mexican fare curated by chef Richard Sandoval.

Enjoy après ski music with a stunning view of Beaver Creek. There are no reservations taken for the couches or tables throughout the lobby, so get there early to get a seat. The Westin Riverfront offers complimentary on-site valet parking for Maya diners and bar patrons, based on availability.

Allie’s Cabin Family Dinners

There are many places to have dinner in the Vail Valley, but how about traveling via an open-air sleigh to that dining destination with the whole family? Allie’s Cabin in Beaver Creek is hosting family dinners on select nights throughout the season with special pricing for adults and children.

The snowcat-driven sleigh departs from Beaver Creek Village at 5:15, 5:45, 6:15, 7:00 and 7:30 p.m. On the ride, view the stars and slopes at a time when no one is on the mountain. Once you arrive at Allie’s Cabin, exchange your boots for cozy slippers and enjoy the large fireplace and views before sitting down to either a three-course dinner for adults or a buffet for the kids.

A few tasty items to note on the three-course menu include Colorado rack of lamb, pan-fried ruby trout and elk filet mignon. The kids’ appetite will be satisfied with crowd-pleasers like white cheddar mac and cheese, roasted Boulder natural chicken and a sundae bar.

Reservations are required for the Allie’s Cabin Family Dinners, which are held on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights through April 4. For more information, please visit www.beavercreek.com or call 970.754.5545.

Vertical challenges, history hikes, live music and more: Tricia’s weekend picks 2/21/20

Talons Challenge at Beaver Creek

For 17 years, skiers and snowboarders have taken to the Talons area of Beaver Creek to conquer 14 of the resort’s toughest black and double black diamond runs in order to have bragging rights and a sense of satisfaction after conquering over 26,000 vertical feet in one day. Are you ready for the Talons Challenge?

This Saturday, competitors of all ages will tackle the steep terrain on Grouse Mountain, Birds of Prey and Larkspur Bowl. In between runs you can always stop and rest at the Talons restaurant, nestled at the base of the three lifts that service this area. The Talons restaurant will also play host to the Talons Challenge après-ski party from 12 to 4 p.m. The celebration will continue down in Beaver Creek Village from 4 to 6 p.m. with additional entertainment and giveaways.

The physical challenge is also a fundraiser for SOS Outreach, an organization that uses adventure sports to teach underserved youth core values and leadership development. At the base of each lift, kids from SOS Outreach programs and volunteers will be there to keep you honest by marking your lanyard after each run. The kids have also been known to give you plenty of words of encouragement to keep your energy levels and spirits up.

A $40 registration includes your access to the Talons Challenge, a lanyard and credential for tracking your runs, special 17th Edition Talons Challenge swag and food. Please note that your lift ticket is not included in registration.

From $160, the Ultimate Talon limited edition package gets you additional perks beyond the standard Talons Challenge registration. If you go the Ultimate route you will get a commemorative Talons Challenge Vanir backpack from Helly Hansen (a $130 value) as well as a $40 donation to SOS Outreach and discounted drinks at the village après-ski event. The Ultimate Talon packages tend to sell out. To learn more go to www.beavercreek.com and search for Signature Events. 

Ski with Jonny Moseley

Vail Mountain also has a ski benefit on Saturday. Can Do MS is calling it “powder with a purpose” and wants everyone to come out for its annual Ski for MS event, which brings teams from all over the region to Vail to participate in amateur races, a costume contest and an après-ski party to help fund its programs for those living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS).  

The locally-based Can Do MS organization was formerly known as The Jimmy Heuga Center for Multiple Sclerosis. Jimmy Heuga was an Olympic bronze medalist in alpine skiing. He and teammate Billy Kidd made America proud when Kidd finished second and Heuga finished third on the podium in Innsbruck, Austria at the 1964 Olympic Games.

Heuga was diagnosed with MS early in his career and he revolutionized treatment with a whole-body approach. He wanted to focus on the things that those with MS can do versus the things they can’t do.

Can Do MS hosts seven ski events from California to New Hampshire, inviting people to participate in a day of fun while also raising funds to help those living with MS. This year the teams will be joined by Olympic skier Jonny Moseley.

The Express Lift at the bottom of Gondola One in Vail Village will serve as the home base for registration on Saturday from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. During the day there will be amateur ski races at the Epic Mix racecourse near the Avanti Express lift. A Celebration Ski Down to honor Can Do MS Founder, Jimmy Heuga will be held at the bottom of the Epic Mix race arena at 3 p.m. and the group will return to the Express Lift bar at Mountain Plaza for the après ski awards party and raffle from 3 to 6 p.m. Enjoy live music by Jonny Mogambo, free beer thanks to Bonfire Brewing, appetizers, musical chairs and raffles.

There is no cause or cure for MS but Can Do MS provides hope and a pathway to take charge of the disease. To find out more please visit www.cando-ms.org.

A country music queen and music fit for a king

Country music singer Sara Evans will grace the Vilar Performing Arts Center with her beautiful voice and soulful lyrics on Friday at 7 p.m.

She’s had five No. 1 singles, sold millions of albums worldwide, won the Academy of Country Music’s Top Female Vocalist Award and claimed a Country Music Association trophy for her signature song, “Born To Fly.”

Evans grew up singing and was a part of her family’s band in has been in and out of Nashville recording songs and albums as a solo artist. You may remember hits such as “A Little Bit Stronger,” “I Could Not Ask For More,” “Born to Fly,” “Suds In The Bucket,” “No Place That Far,” “My Heart Can’t Tell You No” and more.

Enjoy a little storytelling at this intimate venue with this award-winning county music star. Tickets are $78 and you can find out more by visiting www.vilarpac.org.

Also performing at the Vilar Performing Arts Center this weekend is the King’s Singers on Sunday at 7 p.m. This British a cappella group has been around for over 50 years and it still features the same vocal formation of two countertenors, one tenor, two baritones and a bass singer.

The King’s Singers will perform “Royal Blood,” a program that investigates the life and legacy of 16th century King Henry VIII. From London’s Royal Albert Hall to the Opera House in Sydney or New York’s Carnegie Hall, take advantage of the King’s Singers sharing their vocal qualities in Beaver Creek.

Tickets start at $48 for adults and are $10 for students. Or, buy three tickets to this show and get the fourth ticket free. This show is also part of the VPAC ticket package: Pick three shows for $90, pick five shows for $175 or pick eight shows for $240. The show is also part of the Pay Your Age (18-30 years old) ticket program. Go to www.vilarpac.org for more details.

Après ski with Vail Jazz

We don’t hear a lot about Vail Jazz in the wintertime. For 26 years the sounds of jazz have dominated outdoor venues from the Vail Farmers Market to the Ford Amphitheater. But this Friday, Vail Jazz will host a special pop-up après ski party at the Minturn Saloon with the sounds of the Burnsville Band.

Head over to this iconic Minturn bar and restaurant and enjoy the free live music as well as free drinks and appetizers from 3 to 5 p.m.

“Every local knows that the Minturn Saloon is one of the valley’s most boisterous, under-the-radar venues for a celebratory drink after a day on the slopes. We want to ramp that up a notch,” said Vail Jazz executive director James Kenly in a press release. “It makes sense to add après ski to our wheelhouse with this pop-up event and also provide a glimpse of the musical energy to come this summer.”

The Burnsville Band is lead by Steve Burns, who has been playing the guitar since he was 11 and will be guiding the audience with some deep, soul searching blues music. The Burnsville Band has developed a regional following as well as a reputation for bringing a joyful buzz to any party.

Head to Minturn, which is a close drive from Vail or Beaver Creek ski areas, or leave work a little early this Friday to take part in this winter celebration with Vail Jazz. For more information, visit www.vailjazz.org.

Historical hike

In addition to the daily snowshoe hikes, evening snowshoe tours, full moon snowshoe tours and backcountry snowshoe hikes, Walking Mountains Science Center also hosts history trips on snowshoes.

Walking Mountains’ mission is “to awaken a sense of wonder and inspire environmental stewardship and sustainability through natural science education.” They take that one step further by adding historical tidbits of Eagle County’s legacy with the addition of the Hiking Through History tours.

Walking Mountains has teamed up with the Eagle County Historical Society for the snowshoe history treks. Saturday’s hike takes place in East Brush Creek outside of Eagle. Local historian Kathy Heicher will share stories about Ranger Brown, who tended the forest from 1920-1935.

Ranger Brown handled tasks including managing grazing allotments for local ranchers, building key trails and roads, building Forest Service cabins and offices throughout Eagle County. He also handled predator control issues involving wolves. Brown also managed the Civilian Conservation Corps camp established in 1940. Learn about this fascinating character who helped shape many of the trails and forest resources in our valley.

“Kathy Heicher and the Eagle County Historical Society always do an amazing job with us for Hiking Through History,” said Paul Abling, marketing and communications director for Walking Mountains. We’ve explored the history of many areas together including Camp Hale, Red Cliff, Fulford, and the Sweetwater Cave. We are excited to learn all about the history of another area, East Brush Creek, on this fun snowshoe history trek.”

The tour is set up to be a half-day excursion with the hike itself about 2.5 miles in distance. Snowshoes and poles are provided. Bring your own lunch for a post-tour picnic at Yeoman Park Campground. The program meets at Walking Mountains Science Center at 9 a.m. Register online in advance: www.walkingmountains.org.

Valentine’s Day, Vail Legacy Days, President’s Day events and more: Tricia’s weekend picks 2/14/20

Valentine’s Day options

Valentine’s Day is here and there are plenty of unique ways to celebrate love in the Vail Valley. Here are just a few options, from pampering and outdoor adventures to family-friendly activities.

Dinner for two

This is one of the busiest nights for two-tops all year, so if you haven’t made a reservation yet, you may have a hard time getting into area restaurants. If that is the case, you can always try to find two seats at the bar and order a meal from there. You could also make it an early night and get a spot at après-ski and enjoy some live music, a few beers, nachos and other appetizers to make it a meal. Or, spend some quality time at home and make dinner together while listening to some of your favorite tunes. Pull out that pasta maker you got for your wedding years ago and make some homemade noodles and sauce. This is a more affordable way and comfortable way (put on a pair of sweats instead of stilettos) to do Valentine’s Day dinner.

If your kitchen skills aren’t up to par, order dinner from a food delivery service such as Orderfood Vail by à la Car, a restaurant delivery service that has been serving the valley since 1993. Go online or use their app and order early, because they could be busy during the Valentine’s Day holiday. They deliver from several restaurants between Vail and Edwards from 5 to 10 p.m.

Pampering possibilities

It’s not only Valentine’s Day weekend, it’s also Presidents Day weekend, so local spas may be busier due to those taking advantage of having a long weekend to come and visit the Vail Valley. If you can’t book an appointment, you can always say how much you care by buying your loved one a gift card for a massage appointment made at a later date.

Spa Anjali at the Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa is offering $25 off gift cards through Valentine’s Day if you order online before midnight. Go to www.spaanjali.com for more details.

A manicure and pedicure can put you in a whole different mindset and with so many nail salons to choose from, you shouldn’t have a problem getting an appointment this weekend. Grab a seat in the massage chair and drift off into a blissful state while treating your nails to some love. Add a paraffin hand wax to take care of those dry hands this time of year. And guys, if you haven’t had a pedicure before, you don’t know what you’re missing. Treat your feet, they deserve it!

Or, be a bit more adventurous and try a service that isn’t as traditional as massage. How about floatation therapy? The Lodge at Vail has the float pod tank complete with music and subtle lighting with colors of the seven chakras in the RockResort Spa (www.lodgeatvail.com). You can also try the Dream & Dreams Float Spa in Avon (www.dreamsfloat.com) where they have two private float rooms. Flotation therapy has been helping people reach a relaxed state in a warm-water, gravity-free atmosphere. Give either place a call and try a new way of pampering yourself.

Outdoorsy options

Want to get outdoors with you sweetie? Get some exercise before enjoying the box of chocolates with these activities you can do with the one you adore.

It’s been said that if you can walk, you can snowshoe, so there isn’t any extra skill required to get out on the snow and enjoy a different side of the mountain. Stop by the Vail Nordic Center at the Vail Golf Club or the Beaver Creek Nordic center and rent a pair of snowshoes, grab the trail map and head out for an adventure. Pack a picnic if you will be out there for a while.

No snowshoes? No problem. If you are staying on trails that are packed out already, you can easily use any of the traction devices that are popular now or just wear your hiking boots. Meadow Mountain in Minturn, Davos Trail in West Vail and the June Creek Trail in Singletree in Edwards are all well-traveled trails that you should be able to trek on easily. 

Head down toward Leadville and make a stop at the Tennessee Pass Nordic Center and Cookhouse. Rent gear or bring your own cross-country ski equipment. Lessons are available or explore the 27 kilometers of set track and ski-in to lunch or dinner at the Tennessee Pass Cookhouse. Get away from the crowds and enjoy the peacefulness you can find at 10,000 feet above sea level. Get more information at www.tennesseepass.com.

Skip the lift lines and try snowcat skiing. Chicago Ridge Snowcat Tours is operated by Ski Cooper, also near Tennessee Pass and has 2,600 acres of open bowls, glades and timber in the San Isabel and White River National Forest. Tours are offered Thursday through Sunday from now until March 8. Go to www.skicooper.com/snowcat-skiing/ for more details.

We all know what Vail Pass looks like from I-70. View it from a different perspective –from a snowcat and the powdery terrain that Vail Powder Guides gives you access to. Vail Powder Guides is the only guided snowcat skiing outfitter permitted by the U.S. Forest Service to operate in the Vail Pass Winter Recreation Area. Most of the drop-offs are above timberline at 12,000 feet, granting lucky skiers and riders amazing 360-degree views on sunny days. It’s just a quick drive from Vail to their meeting spot at exit 190 on Vail Pass. For more information, go to www.vailpowderguides.com.

Family style

Valentine’s Day isn’t just for couples, families can share the love with these family-friendly activities. From arts and crafts to ice cream, nothing says “I love you” like quality time spent with loved ones and sharing experiences.

The Alpine Arts Center is a perfect place to release your love for creativity and the arts, even if you are no Picasso. Stop by and make a heart-shaped box or a Valentine’s Day-themed plate. At Alpine Arts Center, you can truly make a gift that comes from the heart. Drop-in sessions are Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Sundays from 12 p.m. until 5 p.m. For a list of drop-in offerings, go to www.alpineartscenter.org.

It’s never too cold for ice cream. Head out to Sundae Artisan Ice Cream in Vail Village or the Corner at Edwards and share a scoop with someone you love. Sundae Artisan Ice Cream has a long list of curated flavors but they also create a specialty-themed flavor of the month all year long. Chocolate raspberry is February’s featured flavor. Sundae always starts out with the freshest ingredients and then adds unique flavors to create new concoctions each month. The chocolate raspberry features milk chocolate ice cream, homemade raspberry jam swirls and white chocolate chips. Grab or cone or take home a pint for the weekend. Learn more about Sundae at www.sundaeicecream.com.

Stop by the Avon Public Library for a friendship-themed storytime for children. Bring the preschool-aged kids to the Avon Public Library to take part in some crafts and a bilingual storytime talking about friendship at 11 a.m. For more information, visit www.evld.org.  

Vail Heartbreakers

Does all this Valentine’s Day talk have you thinking about how you are single but ready to mingle? The Vail Daily is hosting the Vail Heartbreakers contest and wants to hear what you are looking for in a date. This online contest asks you to submit your best photo and answer the following questions in order to have a chance to win a prize package to make that first date extra special:

  • What’s your name and where do you live?
  • What are your hobbies?
  • What’s your biggest turn-on?
  • What’s your biggest turn-off?
  • What makes a perfect date?

Go to www.vaildaily.com to enter. Must be 18 years old or older to enter. Enter between now and Feb. 21. Even if you don’t submit a photo and your information, anyone can vote on the entries starting on Feb. 22 until the contest ends on Feb. 28.

Spangled at Beaver Creek

Beaver Creek celebrates the Presidents Day holiday with Spangled, a weekend full of events that are inspired by American heritage and historical fun facts and music around the Beaver Creek Plaza.

Friday – Monumental Music – 3 to 6 p.m.

  • La Pompe Jazz Band – 3 to 4:30 and 4:50 to 6 p.m.
  • Dance lessons with Swingin’ Denver – 3:30 and 5 p.m.

Saturday – Ceremony of Lights from 6 to 8 p.m.

  • Circus performers, a live DJ and red, white and blue sparklers for the kids – 6 to 8 p.m.
  • Family Fun Fest  – 4 to 5:30 p.m.

Sunday – National Statesmen – 3 to 6 p.m.

  • Live ice carving – 3 to 5 p.m.
  • Make snow angels in the Snow Angel Park 3 to 6 p.m.
  • S’mores bar – 4 to 5 p.m.
  • Personalized ice bricks (while supplies last) – 5 to 6 p.m.

Monday – American Ski Culture – 4 to 7 p.m.

  • Hot chocolate and coffee cart – 4 to 7 p.m.
  • Displays of innovators of the sport, vintage posters and gear
  • Ice skating exhibition performances – 4 to 5 p.m.
  • Outdoor showing of the “Ice Princess” movie – 5:15 p.m.

Vail Legacy Days

This Monday marks the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Riva Ridge, a pivotal point in World War II and the event for which the Riva Ridge trail on Vail Mountain is named. All weekend long, Vail will be celebrating its heritage with special events that honor the famed Army winter-warfare unit, the 10th Mountain Division, which trained just south of Vail at Camp Hale. Events throughout the weekend include:

Friday

  • Tales from the 10th at the Colorado Snowsports Museum – 4 p.m. – acclaimed historians and authors tell fascinating stories of the 10th Mountain Division. A $5-$10 per person donation is suggested.
  • 10th Mountain Legacy Parade, torchlight ski down and parade down Bridge Street – 6 to 7 p.m.
  • Colorado Snowsports Museum will stay open until 8 p.m. for guests to learn more about Colorado’s ski history through the new 10th Mountain Division exhibit and a special guest speaker.

Saturday

  • Meet the Colorado National Guard – Base of Gondola One – 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Blackhawk helicopter landing – top of Avanti Express Lift  – 12 to 2 p.m.
  • Ski with a Soldier historic mountain tour – 10:30 a.m. at the top of the Eagle Bahn Gondola

Sunday

  • Meet the Colorado National Guard – Base of Gondola One – 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Ski Trooper Race – watch as modern-day ski troopers from the Colorado Army National Guard compete in three-person teams on the black diamond runs at the base of Gondola One from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Ski with a Soldier historic mountain tour – 10:30 a.m. at the top of the Eagle Bahn Gondola

Monday

  • Meet the Colorado National Guard – Base of Gondola One – 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Ski with a Soldier historic mountain tour – 10:30 a.m. at the top of the Eagle Bahn Gondola
  • 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Riva Ridge – 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. – meet at the Mountain Safety Center at the top of Mountain Top Express lift at 11 a.m. to warm up with hot cocoa while learning about the 10th Mountain Division’s Battle of Riva Ridge, followed by a group ski down Riva Ridge to Vail Village. 

A “Blizzard” at the Vilar

After a multi-day winter storm dropped over three feet of snow on the slopes last weekend, the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek is bringing the blizzard indoors for Cirque FLIP Fabrique. This entertaining family-friendly show will hit the stage on Sunday at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m.

Cirque FLIP Fabrique, a contemporary circus from Canada founded in 2011, has performed more than 1,000 shows in more than 15 countries. They have worked with the prestigious Cirque du Soleil and Cirque Éloize and have taken part in many international circus festivals.

What can you expect on Sunday? Amazing acrobatics, huge and complex group stunts, aerial dance, leaps, bounds, tons of somersaults and a bit of comedy. The athleticism will be impressive, but so will the scenery, as the stage will be set to depict a snow day. This will all be set to a score that will be played live on stage. 

Tickets are $60 for adults and $45 for kids. A family four-pack is available for $180. Reach out to the Vilar Performing Arts Center by calling 970-845-8497 or go to www.vilarPAC.org.

Comedy, doo-wop music, full moon snowshoe tours and more: Tricia’s weekend picks

The Doo Wop Project

This weekend, get your musical entertainment fix with the nostalgic music of The Doo Wop Project on Friday at the Vilar Performing Arts Center.

Did you realize that doo-wop music got its start about 80 years ago? Standing the tests of time, the classic sounds are still loved today. If you like the music of Frankie Valli, The Drifters and Dion, take a trip down a musical memory lane with The Doo Wop Project.

“The interesting thing about this production is that it was conceptualized backstage during a Broadway show among the show’s stars,” said Ruthie Hamrick, senior marketing manager for the Vilar Performing Arts Center.

“The show features Broadway stars who have been performing in hits including “Jersey Boys,” “Motown: The Musical,” “A Bronx Tale” and more.  So, while it’s not technically a Broadway production, it has the talent and caliber of a hit Broadway show,” Hamrick said.

“The Doo Wop Project will cover a range of eras during the evening, not solely doo wop-style of tunes. “There will be music in there for a wide range of audiences to enjoy, including songs by Michael Jackson, The Temptations, Smokey Robinson all the way to Jason Mraz,” Hamrick said.

Get ready to sing along to The Doo Wop Project when they croon their way into the Vilar Performing Arts Center at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $45.The show is also part of the ticket package Pick 3 Shows for $90; Pick 5 shows for $175, or Pick 8 Shows for $240. The performance is also part of the Pay Your Age ticket program (for ages 18-30 years old; purchase in person at the box office with a valid ID). Tickets are available at the box office at 970-845-8497or www.vilarpac.org.

Comedy in the Valley

Also performing at the Vilar Performing Arts Center is comedian Brian Regan on Sunday night. Vanity Fair called Regan, “The funniest stand-up alive,” and Entertainment Weekly dubbed him, “Your favorite comedian’s favorite comedian.”

“Brian Regan has been here 3 times before 2012, 2013, 2014 – so we are pumped to have him back! He’s definitely a house favorite when it comes to stand-up. He’s also just been named by Westword as a ‘10 best comedy shows of February’, so we are looking forward to a great turn out on Sunday,” said Ruthie Hamrick of the Vilar Performing Arts Center.

Over his 30-plus year career, Regan has built his reputation on the strength of his material alone. He’s proof you can be funny without being crude or vulgar.  He visits close to 100 cities each year and has performed in some storied venues like Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall Over the years, Regan has released numerous comedy specials on Netflix, including 2017’s “Brian Regan: Nunchucks and Flamethrowers.”

Tickets to the show are $88, check the information above in how to reach the Vilar Performing Arts Center to get your tickets.

Speaking of comedy, the Vail Comedy Show provides an opportunity to laugh monthly by bringing in some of the best comedians in the region. The Vail Brewing Company in Eagle-Vail plays host to this free offering with the next installment happening on Saturday night at 7:30 p.m.

Since last year, the Vail Comedy Show has drawn crowds and the word has gotten out about this local offering. Mark Masters is a Denver-based comedian who hosts and produces the show. He has a podcast and web series, creatively named “Mark Masters”, and a book about the story of his comedy journey “Not Good Yet” is available, too. Here’s a quick look at the performers slated to appear on Saturday:


ShaNae Ross: ShaNae Ross is a comedian based out of Denver and is a 2017 and 2019 finalist at Comedy Works’ New Faces Competition. Her engaging charm, a snazzy fashion sense, and personable storytelling ability have earned her the honor of performing at festivals such as High Plains Comedy Festival (2018, 2019) and 50 First Jokes (2018).

Mo Vida: Mo Vida tours the country bringing her brand of cougar comedy and truth-telling to stages all over. She began her comedy career in NYC before returning home to Colorado. She can be seen on Comics Watching Comics (Amazon Prime) and heard on 103.1 Denver’s Comedy Station.

Salma Zaky: Salma Zaky started stand-up at UCLA where she was lucky enough to perform alongside stellar comedians including Maria Bamford, Ali Wong, Nikki Glaser, and Nicole Byer. Salma has been featured in Wisconsin’s Lady Laughs Comedy Festival in 2016, Boston’s Women in Comedy Festival in 2017, and SF Sketchfest in 2019.

BK Sharad: BK Sharad is a stand-up comedian based in Denver and Boulder Colorado. Born Sharad Ravichandran, he changed his name to BK Sharad after realizing no one could say or spell the name he was born with. Originally from Dallas, BK moved to Colorado and began his journey in comedy. BK Sharad is the president of and runs the CU Comedy Club at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Arrive early to the Vail Brewing Company for good seats to this free show (tips given to the performers are welcomed) For more information, go to wwwvailcomedyshow.com.

Free women’s ski demo day

It doesn’t get any easier to try to new skis than demoing equipment at the Second Saturday Women’s Ski Demo Day at the base of Lionshead. Next to the Eagle Bahn Gondola and the Born Free Express lift you’ll find tents featuring skis from Atomic, Black Crows, Blizzard, Elan, Head, K2, Kastle, Legend, Line, Nordica, Rossignol, Salomon, Stockli and Volkl.

Ladies, if it’s been a while since you’ve stepped into a new pair of skis, take advantage of the latest technology at this free event in Vail this Saturday from 9 a.m until 2:30 p.m.

Take the skis out for a lap on Born Free and then grab another pair. Need a bit longer to see what the ski has to offer? Go up the Eagle Bahn Gondola and hop back into Game Creek Bowl or even into Sun Down Bowl. The best way to see if a ski feels right is to try before you buy.

Outdoor Divas, a women’s specific sports shop in Lionshead, has teamed up with Vail Resorts to offer hand-selected skis designed for women. For more information, please visit www.outdoordivas.com.

Harry Potter Book Day

Please note: The Vail Daily received an update from the Vail Public Library at 11:30 a.m. on Friday that they have postponed tonight’s Harry Potter Book Day party due to the inclement weather. Please contact the Vail Public Library for updates as to when they will reschedule the event by visiting www.vaillibrary.com or by calling 970-479-2184.

The Harry Potter books have been around for over two decades and to celebrate, the Vail Public Library is hosting a party from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday including an evening of wizardry, themed arts and crafts and a little Harry Potter trivia.

“We’re excited to be hosting another party celebrating Harry Potter Book Day 2020,” said Cricket Pylman, head of children’s programming at the Vail Public Library.

Wizards are invited to wander down Diagon Alley to make a wand at Ollivanders before heading to Hogwarts for a potions class and on to Honeydukes to brave the Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Bean guessing game. 

The Vail Public Library will be showing the first Harry Potter movie as the backdrop of the party. Partygoers will enjoy pizza generously provided by Blue Moose of Lionshead and butterbeer made in-house will round out this after-hours library party. 

Participants are encouraged (but not required) to dress up as their favorite characters from the Harry Potter series. For more information on this free event, contact Pylman at 970-479-2179 or email cpylman@vailgov.com. Free parking is available after 3 p.m. The Vail Public Library is a short walk from the Lionshead parking garage and is also on the town of Vail bus route, across from Dobson Arena.

Full Moon Tours

This Saturday, enjoy a full moon backcountry experience with the guides from Walking Mountains Science Center in Avon for a snowshoe hike and some forest bathing.

What is forest bathing? In Japan, they practice something called forest bathing, where they “bathe” in the forest atmosphere, or take in the forest through the senses. This is not exercise, hiking or jogging, but rather slowing down and getting yourself into a quiet, mindful headspace to make it easier to connect with the forest, mountains and sky and in this case, a night sky with a full moon.

According to the Farmer’s Almanac, February’s full moon is called the Snow Moon due to more snowfall typically in February than in January.

When you get to the Walking Mountains Science Center in Avon, which has a beautiful campus just off of Buck Creek Road, you’ll be welcomed with hot cocoa, cider and tea (alcohol will not be provided but you are welcome to bring your own). After a half an hour of meeting your fellow snowshoers and guide, you will head about one mile up the Buck Creek Trail next to the Walking Mountains campus.

Once you get to an open meadow, gather around the fire that will be lit and ready for you to soak in the sights and sounds of the night and you’ll be lead through a 30-minute forest bathing experience.

To connect with our mountain environment in a whole new way in a guided forest bathing experience sign up at http://www.walkingmountains.org. Space is limited, but if you miss this tour, there will be another one on March 8. The event goes from 7:30 to 10 p.m.

Bumper cars in Vail, live music, mountaintop services and more: Ross’ weekend picks 01/31/20

Editor’s note: Tricia Swenson is off this week, enjoying some time in Europe. The Vail Daily’s Ross Leonhart fills in, offering 5 things to do this weekend:

Friday, Jan. 31

Listen to some live music

The valley has some impressive musicians performing throughout the winter, and Fridays are a great day (and evening) to check out some tunes. Here’s a couple of the musicians taking to stages on Friday. (Call or visit your favorite establishment if not listed.)

Slopeside après: Shannon Tanner and the Wingman perform outdoors slopeside at Beaver Creek’s Powder 8 Kitchen & Tap from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. He performs acoustic guitar and has been known to create a lively atmosphere, as well as some memorable performances — such as the time Toby Keith joined him to perform “Red Solo Cup.” Food and drinks are available from the restaurant and bar inside.

Authentic Bavarian music: Local legend Helmut Fricker will perform an evening of authentic Bavarian fun with his alpine horn and accordion at the Christiania at Vail. He performs every Friday.

Winter Friday Afternoon Club: The Westin in Avon celebrates FAC in the winter with live music, drink specials and food deals. On Friday, Jan. 31, The Platonics, Robby and the Peoples, and KT and the Modulators perform.

Tony G. brings the jazz for dinner: Local jazz legend Tony Gulizia performs at Grouse Mountain Grill in Beaver Creek from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. to accompany quality food and a special dining experience. Gulizia, a longtime member of the local Vail Jazz organization, is an award-winning jazz pianist and vocalist.

Kathy Morrow is splendid at Splendido at the Chateau: Longtime local singer-pianist Kathy Morrow performs Great American Songbook standards, R&B, rock, jazz and blues at Splendido at the Chateau at Beaver Creek starting at 7 p.m. Splendido is an elegant mountainside restaurant that pairs well with Morrow’s piano.

Whiskey (and spirits) and tunes: Bahr Bq Mike and Friends perform from 7 to 9 p.m. at 10th Mountain Whiskey & Spirit Co. in Vail. The group performs blues, country, rock and soul.

Be a king in the King’s Club: Kevin Danzig performs across the high country and frequents the King’s Club in Vail, located inside the Sonnenalp Hotel. The singer-songwriter performs a mix of rock, folk and soulful sounds.

Back-to-backs at Agave: Jam band and electronic music intersect with rhythm-driven funk when Sunsquabi performs two nights at Agave in Avon, Friday and Saturday. Tickets are $26-$31. Recess joins Sunsquabi in Avon. Shows start at 9:30 p.m.

Do it yourself: Loaded Joe’s in Avon hosts Karaoke with Sandman every Friday.

Music of Minturn: Jen Mack plays soulful, uplifting acoustic at Kirby Cosmo’s BBQ Bar in Minturn on Friday starting at 6 p.m. Her vocal inspirations are Bonnie Raitt, Billie Holiday and Susan Tedeschi.

Downvalley tunes: Whiskey Stomp performs at Brush Creek Saloon in Eagle on Friday at 9 p.m. The band performs rock, jam, reggae and more.

Visit https://everythingvailvalley.com/ for more live music listings and things to do around the valley.

Have you tried the Ice Bumper Cars at Dobson yet?

Ice bumper cars are the newest attraction in Vail. Great for all ages and abilities, end your day while bumping around the Dobson Ice Arena.
Photo courtesy of Vail Recreation District

New to Dobson Ice Arena in Vail this year, Ice Bumper Cars offer an opportunity for both kids and adults to zoom around, spin and go at it on the skating rink in Vail. Presented by the Vail Recreation District, participants must be at least 5 years old and 42 inches tall to drive. Rides are $10 per person and include a 15-minute bumper car experience.

Pre-registration is highly recommended, as walk-ins will be based on availability. Register online at www.vailrec.com or call 970-479-2271 to make reservations for larger groups.

Saturday, Feb. 1

Minturn Snowskate Open

Vail Daily reporter John LaConte tries out a Hovland Ram snowskate in 2017. A snowskate is a hybrid of a skateboard and a snowboard.
Zach Griffin | Daily file photo

Joining skis and snowboards on local mountains, a snowskate is a hybrid of skateboard and snowboard, allowing for skateboard-style tricks on snow. The second annual Snowskate Open Pro/Am Rail Jam presented by Hovland Snowskates and the town of Minturn takes place at Little Beach Park and includes prizes, food, music, a raffle, demos and an after-party at the Minturn Saloon.

Registration begins at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 1. The contest starts at 4 p.m. and is spectator friendly with free entry. The after-party at the Saloon starts at 7 p.m. and features Scotty Kabel.

With a cash prize, expect unique snowskate tricks, and wipeouts, at Little Beach Park in Minturn at the Snowskate Open.

For more information, visit www.minturn.org.

Do something to help others

Project Funway benefits the Education Foundation of Eagle County and features a runway competition featuring anything but fabric.
Juan Pena | Photo courtesy of Project Funway
  • Project Funway: The annual Project Funway runway show benefits the Education Foundation of Eagle County, on a mission to support education as well as intellectual and emotional needs of students. Project Funway is a fun competition with three age categories competing for title of top designer with creations made from anything but fabric. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 1, with the runway competition at 7 p.m. For more information and to help the Education Foundation of Eagle County, visit www.efec.org.
  • Snowshoe for Peru 5K: The seventh annual Snowshoe for Peru 5K takes place at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 1, at Sylvan Lake State Park in Eagle. The family community event helps provide safety, education and hope to youth in Peru. All running and walking fitness levels and ages are welcome. (https://corazondeesperanza.org/snowshoe5k/)

Sunday

Attend a Mountaintop Worship Service

Mountaintop services take place at both Beaver Creek and Vail on Sunday.
Daily file photo

From 12:30 to 1 p.m. on Sunday, Alpine Resort Ministries of Eagle County offers Christian services at Spruce Saddle on Beaver Creek Mountain as well as Two Elk and Eagle’s Nest on Vail Mountain. Spruce Saddle is located atop the Centennial Express at Beaver Creek, accessed via chair or gondola. Eagle’s Nest is located atop the Eagle Bahn Gondola out of Lionshead Village in Vail, while Two Elk is perched at the top of China Bowl in Vail.

Assistant Editor Ross Leonhart can be reached at 970-748-2984 and rleonhart@vaildaily.com. Follow him on Instagram at colorado_livin_on_the_hill.