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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.

Craft beers, chamber orchestras, diving dogs and more: Tricia’s weekend picks 6/21/19

Vail Craft Beer Festival

Elevate your craft beer experience by pairing it with a little education and adventure. That’s the idea behind the third annual Vail Craft Beer Classic, happening now through Sunday.

Colorado is known for its legacy of microbreweries throughout the state. The Vail Craft Beer Classic will showcase some of those pioneer breweries like New Belgium Brewing and Odell Brewing Company, which have been around for decades, as well as local establishments like Bonfire Brewing and 7 Hermits Brewing Company. There will be over 300 beer, wine and spirits samples to try throughout the festival.

For those looking to learn, there are various opportunities to geek out with the experts in the industry. Hear about current trends and practices as well as cooking techniques with beer. If being active is more your style, hike, bike or go fly fishing with beer experts while enjoying the Colorado scenery and, of course, beer. This event really blends the best of Colorado, letting you enjoy the outdoors while being inspired by some of the craft brewers’ stories and insights and rewarding yourself with a brew afterward.

The biggest events of the weekend will be the Sip at the Summit on Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. and the Toast of Vail on Saturday from 3 to 6 p.m. The Sip at the Summit takes beer enthusiasts on a trip up the gondola, which sits at 10,350 feet above sea level, for gorgeous views and a barbecue dinner. Craft beers from members of the Colorado Brewers Guild will be served. The Toast of Vail brings everyone to the heart of Vail Village to sample over 50 breweries and live bluegrass music.

This is a ticketed event and many of the seminars and other offerings sell out quickly, so take a look at the website and plan your weekend around the Vail Craft Beer Classic. For details visit www.vailcraftbeerclassic.com.

Purina Pro Plan Incredible Dog Challenge

If you missed all the high-flying canine action during the Dock Dogs events at the GoPro Mountain Games, don’t worry, you have another chance to see some talented pooches this weekend. The Purina Pro Plan Incredible Dog Challenge (PPPIDC) returns to Nottingham Park in Avon with competitions held on Friday and Saturday.

The PPPIDC may sound familiar to you because it is a nationally televised series that showcases some of the strongest, fastest and most agile dogs who complete some amazing feats. Nottingham Park and Nottingham Lake provide the perfect backdrop for the obstacle course utilizing the lawn, sand and lake. There will also be diving competitions utilizing Nottingham Lake. The Freestyle Flying Disc competition will showcase the skills of both the dog and the handler with a bit of choreography added to the tossing of the discs.

Although the PPPIDC is open to all breeds of dogs, there is one event that is specific to the Jack Russell terrier breed: Hurdle Racing. Watch as those small terriers chase a lure while jumping over obstacles and going through tunnels in this timed competition.

This event is free and spectator friendly with bleacher seating set up to provide more areas to view the events. For a full list of competitions and practice schedules, visit www.proplan.com/dogs/incredible-dog-challenge.   

Bravo! Vail Music Festival

The Bravo! Vail Music Festival brings a world of music to the Vail Valley this summer. Renown musicians will delight the ears of the seasoned classical music lover to the novice.

Bravo! Vail kicks off its 32nd season this week and will bring in long-standing favorites like the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic and the Philadelphia Orchestra, but before they do, Bravo! Vail has a special treat. Making its North American debut will be Chamber Orchestra Vienna-Berlin. The leading players from the Vienna and Berlin Philharmonics come together to perform Mozart and Haydn on Saturday and Sunday nights.

Joining the Chamber Orchestra Vienna-Berlin throughout the weekend’s performances will be award-winning violinists Paul Huang and Anne-Sophie Mutter. Even though the Chamber Orchestra Vienna-Berlin has been collaborating for over a decade, they both are still known for the distinctive sounds they bring to the stage. The smooth Viennese elegance and the passion of the Berliners will be evident on stage.

Gates open at 5 p.m. and the shows regularly start at 6 p.m. Take advantage of the free pre-concert talks that happen throughout the festival. On Saturday, the pre-concert talk, which starts at 5 p.m., will give you insights about the selections of Mozart’s music that will be played that evening and more details about the performers. That added detail is sure to move you to have more affinity for this type of music.

Tickets to Bravo! Vail start at $29 for lawn seats (kids 12 and under get lawn seats for $12) and go up in price from there depending on where you want to sit. For more information, go to www.bravovail.org.

Vail Arts Festival

The 35th annual Vail Arts Festival returns to Lionshead Village this weekend. This three-day event draws over 60 artists covering diverse mediums such as glass, metal works, wood, mixed media, paintings, drawing, fiber, digital art, graphics, printmaking, sculpture, jewelry and more.

Although some artists will be local, many artists will be coming from 22 other states. There will also be emerging artists present who have earned their opportunity to show their creations at the Vail Arts Festival. Have an emerging artist of your own? The Kids Creative Kingdom returns once again to help foster creativity in the youngsters at the kids’ activity area.

This free event happens rain or shine and opens each day at 9:30 a.m. Friday through Sunday and ends at 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and goes until 4 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, go to www.vailartsfestival.com.

Solstice Trail Run

The longest day of the year is June 21st and to celebrate, the Vail Recreation District is once again hosting its Dynafit Summer Solstice 10k, 5k, and Kids Fun Run at Beaver Creek on Saturday.

John Muir once said, “Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.” Follow this environmental philosopher’s advice and hit the trails on Saturday morning, rain or shine. The course will take runners (you can walk it if you need to) up through aspen groves and across the front side of Beaver Creek Mountain before the descent.

Reward yourself with an after-party complete with food, entertainment and prizes for the top finishers at Creekside Park, which also serves at the start and finish area for the race.

Saturday’s run is part of the Dynafit Vail Trail Running Series put on by the Vail Rec District each summer. The series showcases some of Colorado’s most iconic trail runs. The Kids Fun Run starts at 8:30 a.m. followed by the 10k at 9 a.m. and the 5k at 9:15 a.m. Register online or in person. Entry prices vary, but proceeds from this event go to the Vail Valley Charitable Fund, which supports Eagle Valley residents in medical crisis. For more information, go to www.vailrec.com.

Father’s Day events, farmers markets, fun runs and more: Tricia’s weekend picks 6/14/19

Father’s Day ideas

After celebrating Mother’s Day last month, it’s time to high-five good ol’ dad on Father’s Day this Sunday. According to www.history.com, Father’s Day was inspired by Mother’s Day back in the early 1900s, but it wasn’t deemed a federal holiday until many decades later when President Nixon signed a proclamation in 1972. Rather than getting dad another tie for Father’s Day, check out these different experiences and treat dad this weekend.

Good Eats

  • Maya Mexican Restaurant – On Saturday, bring dad to Maya to taste samplings of brisket, pork shoulder and chicken from their house smoker. Tasty sides will be available as well. Wash it down with free beer from Crazy Mountain Brewery or a 10th Mountain Whiskey Mule for $5. The price is $40 per person with advanced reservations or $50 on the day of the event. Kids age under 12 eat free. Reservations can be made by calling 970-690-5500 or going to www.richardsandoval.com/maya-bc.
  • Game Creek Club – On Sunday morning, bring dad up to 10,000 feet above sea level for brunch. The price is $48 for adults and $28 for kids and that includes the scenic ride up the Eagle Bahn Gondola, complimentary shuttle (or you can hike to and from the location) and a gourmet brunch buffet. Reservations are required. Go to www.gamecreekclub.com for information.
  • Remedy Bar at the Four Seasons Resort Vail – Have an “Old Fashioned” Father’s Day celebration complete with bourbon-molasses glazed pork ribs with sides. Remedy suggests you pair that with a Remedy barrel-select bourbon Old Fashioned cocktail. Available at the Remedy Bar June 14-16.

Daddy’s Girl Tutu 2k

Take dad for a run around Nottingham Lake in Avon on Sunday during the Daddy’s Girl Tutu 2k, a fun run that takes participants around the lake for two laps before coming back to enjoy some snacks. Tutus are mandatory for dads, but dress up the whole family and get some exercise to kick off Father’s Day.

Registration is at the Nottingham Cabin at 9:30 a.m. and the two-kilometer run will begin at 10 a.m. Register in advance through the Avon Recreation Center and pay $5 or day-of registration is available for $10. Tutus will be available for purchase for $20 or make or bring your own. For more information and to register, visit www.avon.org/163/recreation-Center.

Ride the lift

The Eagle Bahn Gondola in Lionshead opened last week and the Centennial Lift at Beaver Creek opens up this Saturday and Sunday and daily operations start on June 21. Some trail closures are still in effect and you may be surprised how much snow is still holding on in the higher elevations. Don’t forget, if you already purchased your Epic Pass for the 2019-2020 ski and snowboard season, you get to ride the lifts this summer for free. For more information, go to www.vail.com and www.beavercreek.com.

Farmers’ Markets

The markets are back in the valley with fresh produce, live music, art and more. The Minturn Market kicks off its 21st season from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturdays through Sept. 7, while Vail hosts its Farmers Market and Art Show from 10 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. on Sundays through Oct. 6.

The Minturn Market is the valley’s original market, and some of the vendors have been showcasing goods there for the past two decades. Minturn is a quaint old railroad town that has its own draw, but really comes alive on Saturdays during the market. The Minturn Market still holds true to its roots and offers plenty of seasonal fresh produce, but has also become more of an artisans’ market. Over 85 vendors offer anything from local wines, clothing to handcrafted toys and wedding gifts.

The kids will love the goat petting zoo and a “build-a-bear” station. Everyone can enjoy live music and vendors serving up breakfast and lunch throughout the event. For more information, visit www.minturnmarket.org.

What started out 18 years ago as a small market with a few tents on East Meadow Drive, the Vail Market and Art Show has grown into the largest farmers market in the Vail Valley. The Vail Farmers Market and Art Show now has over 135 vendor tents showcasing products from Colorado and beyond. Find fabulous fresh produce from around the region, but also check out everything from USDA-certified meats to photography to housewares.

You can buy everything you need to have a fresh dining experience at home, or you can let the professionals take care of the details at the Farm to Table dinners held throughout the summer. These dinners will be held rain or shine and you are seated right on East Meadow Drive. Each dinner will be paired with a wine and beer partner from the Taste of Vail.

The Vail Market and Art Show also almost acts as a second home for the Vail Jazz Festival. The Vail Jazz Festival hosts musicians from noon to 3 p.m. June 30 through Aug. 25. For more information about the Vail Farmers Market and Art Show, go to www.vailfarmersmarket.com.

King of the Mountain Volleyball tournament

You may not think Vail and beach volleyball go together, but for 47 years, the King of the Mountain Volleyball Tournament has been offering divisions of play for junior boys and girls, masters/seniors divisions and co-ed divisions.

The tournament has become a Father’s Day tradition since it has been held over Father’s Day weekend for the last 19 years. Each year they host special father/son and father/daughter divisions on Father’s Day.

In addition to the division play, there is also a free juniors’ beach volleyball clinic on Friday. One of USA Volleyball’s greatest coaches and mentors, John Kessel, will be directing the clinic. Kessel was recently inducted into the USAV Hall of Fame and was the recipient of USAV’s highest award, the Frier Award, earlier this spring.

One of the country’s oldest volleyball events returns to Vail Friday-Sunday. Watch the best players in the region compete or take part in the event. For more information, please visit www.kingofthemountainvolleyball.com.

Tabor Opera House shows

2018 was a very successful year for the Tabor Opera House in Leadville. Once known as the “finest opera house west of the Mississippi,” the structure was about to face extinction. The Tabor Opera House Preservation Foundation has worked hard to secure funds to help preserve this historic landmark, which was built by Horace Tabor, one of the most well known silver mining kings in the West, in 1879.

Oscar Wilde, Harry Houdini, John Philip Sousa, and Buffalo Bill were among the famous entertainers and speakers who performed at the Tabor Opera House back in its heyday. The opera house has been used continuously since it was built in 1879.

This weekend kicks off the calendar of summer events with bluegrass quartet, Chatham County Line and American singer-songwriter and storyteller, John Craigie on Friday night. The Central City Opera performs “En Mis Palabras/In My Own Words” on Saturday night.

Chatham County Line describes themselves as “an Americana band without drums, or a rock and roll band that doesn’t plug anything in.” Be prepared for three- and four-part harmonies along with banjo, mandolin, fiddle, piano, steel pedal and bass.

John Craigie is known for his humorous storytelling and serious folk music. The Portland, Oregon native has recently collaborated with Gregory Alan Isakov on his fifth album, “No Rain, No Roses” and was asked by Jack Johnson to be a part of his summer 2017 tour.

An original one-act opera, “En Mis Palabras/In My Own Words” follows the universal theme of adolescents trying to find their own voice and learning who they are amid parental expectations and peer influences.

Help support a historical landmark by attending these shows. For more information, visit www.taboroperahouse.net.

Bindu Memorial Run

On Saturday morning in Minturn, the inaugural Bindu Memorial Run will be held to honor a beloved teacher, Bindu Sky Pomeroy, who died in a backcountry snowboarding accident this past winter. The Bindu Memorial Run offers a 5k run as well as a 5k walk and is the senior project of recent graduate, Caroline Jones.

Jones had taken a few history classes from Pomeroy throughout the years at the Vail Ski and Snowboard Academy (VSSA). She also took mindfulness classes where Pomeroy would teach meditation, yoga and rock stacking on the river.  

“He taught me to find inner peace with myself as well as something called ‘Live Aloha’,” Jones said. “’Live Aloha’ isn’t just a greeting in Hawaii, it means that by having kind, patient, sympathetic, loving actions we can individually and collectively improve our community.”

Proceeds from the event will go to the Bindu Sky Memorial Fund, which will help fund future mindfulness classes at VSSA, help build a memorial in his honor and help fund the Bindu Spirit Award and scholarship, which will be awarded to an athlete who shares Bindu’s spirit.

“He was full of passion and love for the mountains, snowboarding, mindfulness, and especially his students,” Jones said. “Bindu touched the lives of each person he came across and will be forever missed.”

The cost is $26 for adults and $16 for students. The cost will increase by $10 on the day of the event. Online registration closes at midnight on Friday. Day-of registration begins at 9 a.m. on Saturday with the 5k run at starting 10:30 a.m. and the walk at 10:35 a.m. For more details, go to www.bspmemorial.com/bindumemorialrun.

Catch romance if you can

EAGLE —Not all romances are the kissy-kissy kind.

While some romances detail the quest for true love, others tell tales of people who chase their dreams. This February, as the Porchlight Players stage their annual Valentine’s Day dinner theater performances, downvalley community theater troupe members have embraced that second type of romance. They have opted to present the romantic tale of Frank Abagnale Jr .— the protagonist of “Catch Me If You Can.”

“One of our board members, Shelby Keys, brought the idea to perform this show to our attention. After listening to the 60’s style, Frank Sinatra-esque swinging soundtrack and reading the script, we felt it was a good fit for our company,” said Porchlight Players President Ann Olin.

Judging by ticket sales, her assessment was correct. All shows are currently sold out, but the Porchlight Players are accepting names for a waiting list.

“Catch Me if You Can” is a musical based on the 2002 film that starred Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks. Nominated for four Tony Awards, including best musical, the show tells the story of how Abagnale runs away from home to begin an unforgettable adventure. With nothing more than his boyish charm, a big imagination and millions of dollars in forged checks, Frank successfully poses as a pilot, a doctor and a lawyer. He enjoys living the high life and even romances the girl of his dreams. When Frank’s lies catch the attention of FBI agent Carl Hanratty, Carl pursues Frank across the country to make him pay for his crimes.

Production challenges

It is no small feat for the Porchlight Players to stage “Catch Me If You Can.”

“Since we have limited space at the Brush Creek Pavilion, we have a relatively small cast — 14 people — for this show, so most cast members play more than one character, which requires a new costume each time,” said Olin. “There are many costumes needed and that requires the cast, especially the ensemble, to make numerous costume changes throughout the show.”

That being said, Olin said the cast has embraced the material.

“This is a fun song and dance show, so both the music and the choreography have been exciting,” said Olin. “And as always, the camaraderie among the cast makes rehearing fun.”

Dinner with the show

For the past several years, the dinner part of the Porchlight Players dinner theater production has been provided by Fork Art Catering.

“Fork Art is are based in Eagle, and owned by Roger and Lauren King,” said Olin. “Roger has been a chef at several Vail Valley restaurants as well as a banquet chef, senior sous chef and executive chef with Marriott. Lauren has worked in food and beverage all her life, heading Marriott’s Food and Beverage department and most recently at Vail Cascade Resort & Spa.”

This year’s entree choices are coq au vin with roasted carrots and boiled potatoes; shrimp and grits with corn, zucchini and cherry tomatoes’; and vegan Cuban black beans and rice with collard greens and fried plantains.

“Fork Art’s focus is on fresh, local and seasonal ingredients in their meals,” said Olin.

With this year’s performances sold out more than a week before opening night, the annual dinner theater event has become a Valentine’s tradition for many downvalley residents. Olin noted that the popularity of the annual musical performances highlights local support for live theater.

“We hope that someday, Eagle will have a designated performing arts center with a permanent stage, so that we can have the space to involve more people in productions,” she concluded.

Discarded Christmas + fire + socializing = historically fun time in Eagle

Eagle neighbors will gather to mark the official conclusion of the Christmas season Sunday by the 12th Night bonfire.

While they warm themselves at the discarded Christmas tree fire, sip hot chocolate (provided by the Eagle Lions Club) and maybe even take a turn on the community ice rink, today’s residents are participating in a celebration that’s been part of the downvalley holidays for more than six decades.

Sunday marks the 12th day of Christmas, as heralded by popular carol and Shakespearian comedy. But back on Jan. 8, 1953, the Eagle Valley Enterprise reported: “The ancient custom of burning the Yule trees on the 12th night following Christmas was observed in Eagle Tuesday night when around 100 adults and children gathered at the skating pond in southwest town to witness the burning of a huge pile of Christmas trees and enjoy skating on the town’s pond.”

Not much has changed, except that the bonfire location is no longer in southwest Eagle — not because it has moved but because the town has grown up around it. Eagle Town Park is now in the middle of the community, not on the southern or western edge.

Dr. L.W. Simmons was credited with coming up with the 12th Night plan. No doubt the doctor would be tickled that his modest suggestion has weathered six decades.

“Simmons stated that he hoped the custom would be carried on next year and that plans would be made far enough in advance that more persons could participate,” noted the Enterprise back in 1953.

Through the years, Eagle Lions Club members have been in charge of supplying hot chocolate for the bonfire and the Greater Eagle Fire Department has been called in to do the actual tree burning. Many locals recall how the late Don Price would organize skating contests during 12th Night and award quarters to the winners.

Historic roots

While Eagle has made the holiday its own, 12th Night has a broader history. The holiday is also known as Epiphany — the religious observance that celebrates the arrival of the three wise men to worship the baby Jesus. The trio visited Jesus not at the manger, as popular tradition says, but a few days later.

Although Epiphany has solemn roots, through the ages 12th Night developed some jovial activities. King Alfred, a ninth-century English monarch, was a true believer of the holiday season. He decreed the Christmas season would include Dec. 25 and the 12 days following it, thus beginning the 12 days of Christmas.

In Elizabethan England, 12th Night was similar to April Fools’ Day. Children played tricks on passers-by and bakeries sold special 12th Night’s cakes decorated with stars, castles, kings, dragons, palaces and churches. People would drink cider and call out “wes hal,” meaning good health. This toast evolved in to the word “wassail.”

William Shakespeare wrote a comedy —“12th Night” — about the holiday, reflecting its joyous mood. Legend says the play was first performed on Jan. 6, 1601, at Whitehall Palace when Queen Elizabeth entertained a distinguished Italian guest, the Duke of Bracciano.

Syrian legend says wild animals stay in dens and caves on Epiphany Eve and at midnight trees kneel in adoration of Jesus. This legend also says wishes are fulfilled on 12th Night.

Latin cultures regard Epiphany as both a solemn religious festival and the beginning of the pre-Lent season. Mexico’s greatest pilgrimage is the Epiphany march to the shrine of the miraculous Lord of Chalma in the valley of southwest of Mexico City.

While 12th Night revelry has declined in popularity, the holiday is still celebrated in parts of England. The trip of the magi is re-enacted each year at the Chapel Royal at St. James Palaces in London. The traditional gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh are ceremonially presented at the church alter.

In the present Christian tradition, Epiphany has a threefold meaning. It celebrates the appearance of the wise men, Jesus’ baptism and his first miracle of the changing water into wine at the wedding feast of Cana. The three events reportedly occurred on the same date in different years.

Eagle Valley High School players’ romantic comedy, ‘Almost, Maine,’ is a midwinter night’s dream

GYPSUM — You didn’t know that the romantic comedy “Almost, Maine,” is the most performed play by high school, more than Shakespeare’s “Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

“Almost, Maine” is a midwinter night’s dream. It runs through Sunday, Dec. 9, at Eagle Valley High School.

The play “Almost, Maine” is actually eight short plays, all funny and touching, plus a prologue, an interlogue and an epilogue — which are also funny.

Playwright John Cariani set the play in the mythical almost-town, Almost, Maine. Cariani described Almost this way: “It’s a place that’s so far north, it’s almost not in the United States. It’s almost in Canada. And it’s not quite a town, because its residents never got around to getting organized. So it almost doesn’t exist.”

The bits all occur around the same time; “One cold, clear, winter night, as the Northern Lights hover in the star-filled sky above,” Cariani said. “On this night the residents of Almost, Maine, find themselves falling in and out of love in unexpected and hilarious ways. Knees are bruised. Hearts are broken. But the bruises heal, and the hearts (almost mend) in this delightful midwinter night’s dream.”

In and out of love

“Almost, Maine” has become enormously popular with professional and nonprofessional theater companies around the world. In the 2017-2018 school year, it was the most produced play in North American high schools, supplanting Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

There’s the girl (Zoe Chelde) who carries the 19 pieces of her broken heart in a bag because that’s where her husband left it when he “went.” How and why her husband “went” and how her heart was broken … well, that would be a spoiler, and you wouldn’t want that.

Then there’s the girl (Lydia Loupe) who hauls huge orange bags filled with love that she’s bringing back to her longtime boyfriend (Gage Harper). She wants her love back, because she’s done. He’s not, and you’ll find that love comes in some remarkable sizes.

Then there’s the guy (Bo Calvo) who cannot feel physical pain, until he does when a girl (Andrea Grewe) accidentally but repeatedly whacks him in the head with an ironing board.

“Almost, Maine,” is also custom made for a large cast, says faculty director James Overcash, enabling himself and directors Jesse Bunge, Ashley Wagner and Megan Lodge to put lots of performers on stage, but not at the same time.

Each of the nine pieces feature two or three players.

Eagle Valley’s music department chairman Pat Sheehy conducts a small orchestra, giving the production a Broadway feel.

Cariani’s writing crackles, and Overcash and Bunge cautioned the actors not to try to act funny. The play makes them funny, and they are.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and rwyrick@vaildaily.com.

Gypsum welcomes all Home for the Holidays

Aside from a rooftop on Christmas Eve way past their bedtime, how many opportunities do local kids have to see a live reindeer?

Home for the Holidays in Gypsum provides that unique opportunity, plus a whole lot of other Christmas cheer.

Gypsum’s annual holiday celebration is planned Saturday, Dec. 8, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. with a live reindeer at Gypsum Town Hall Park, cookies and cocoa at the Gypsum Public Library, live music from the Eagle Valley High School Band and, of course, a visit from Santa.

All activities at Home for the Holidays are free and begin with the community’s official tree lighting ceremony at 5 p.m.

Chili Cook-off

One of the tastiest activities planned for Home for the Holidays is the Chili Cook-off. The contest winner receives $200 and a hand-carved commemorative wooden spoon. Second place nets $100 and third place, $50.

Here are the contest rules:

Each contestant must cook a minimum of eight quarts (one large crock pot) of chili.

Contestants are responsible for supplying all of their own cooking utensils. The sponsors of the cook-off will provide a three-foot table space for each contestant with one electrical outlet for each crock pot.

Contestants are permitted to set up their equipment and decorations any time after 3:30 p.m. on the day of the cook-off.

Each contestant will be assigned a contestant’s number for table set-up. There will be a corresponding bucket at the voting table.

The judging is by patron popular vote. When patrons arrive, they will be issued two tickets. When they have chosen their favorite chili, they will drop a ticket in the container with the corresponding number of the desired chili station.

If a chef runs out of chili, he or she must tell the voting table attendants so their voting bucket can be pulled and the time can be noted. The average number of votes per minute will be calculated to determine a voting rate. This way, all chili can be fairly counted.

The chili voting concludes at 6 p.m. and the winner will be announced at 6:30 p.m.

The chili that receives the most number of tickets wins the grand prize.

Preregistration is not required but contestants should set up no later than 4:30 p.m. and be ready to serve by 5 p.m.

For more information, contact Krista DeHerrera at kdeherrera @townofgypsum.com or call 970-524-1727.

Holiday Lighting Contest

For Gypsum’s holiday lighting enthusiasts, this is the week to shine.

The Gypsum Holiday Lighting Contest is now underway. To enter, post a minimum of three photos featuring your holiday displays on the town’s website. Visit www.townofgypsum.com, click on the “Play/Explore” tab and select “2018 Holiday Lighting Contest.” Homes that want to be considered must post their photos on the town’s website by Monday, Dec. 17.

Individual neighborhood winners will be recognized in the following areas of town — Buckhorn Valley; Chatfield; Old Town and Estes Lane and Red Hill; Eagle River Estates, Highway 6, Yorkview and Willowstone; Gypsum Estates, Quail Run and Mountain Glen; Horse Pasture, Sky Legend and Cotton Ranch; and Stratton Flats. Winners of neighborhood awards will receive a $75 bill credit from Holy Cross Energy.

Additionally, a best overall display, best overall runner-up and a Facebook favorite will be recognized. The best overall display will receive a $175 credit from Holy Cross Energy. The runner-up will receive a $75 credit and the Facebook favorite will also receive a $75 credit. Yard signs and gift certificates will be delivered to winning homes on Wednesday, Dec. 19. After the town posts all of the signs on its Facebook page, members of the public can vote on their favorites. The Facebook award will be announced Sunday, Dec. 23.

Launch the holiday season at Eagle’s Christmas on Broadway

The holiday season hits downtown Eagle on Saturday, Dec. 1, with the traditional Christmas on Broadway celebration.

The festivities will actually begin a couple of days earlier when 35 local businesses participate in the Eagle Chamber’s Wassailfest presented by Circle-A Auto Repair. Wassail connoisseurs are invited to drop by any of the participating business to take a sip of various hot mulled cider concoctions beginning Thursday, Nov. 29. Anyone who tastes at least a dozen types of Wassail can fill in a 12 Sips of Wassail card, available at all participating businesses, and then turn it in at Circle-A Auto Repair by 5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 30. The first 100 people to turn in completed cards will receive a special hand-made ornament. To decorate the ornaments, participants are invited to take them to Dewey Dabbles in Eagle.

Completed Wassailfest cards can also be turned in from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, at the Christmas on Broadway parade central location at the corner of Third Street and Broadway. All participating businesses are listed on the Wassailfest cards. The list is also available at the www.eaglechamber.co.

All completed Wassailfest cards will be entered into a during to win a Yeti Hopper Flip 12 Color Bank, presented by Will Comerford State Farm Insurance Agency.

Nighttime parade

As always, the nighttime parade down Broadway is the centerpiece of Eagle’s holiday celebration.

Before, during and after the parade, the Eagle Community United Methodist Women will be selling their famed chicken noodle soup from a stand set up in front of Batson’s Corner Store.

Local kids are welcome to drop by the Peppermint Station at the corner of Third and Broadway from 5 to 5:30 p.m. to pick up a bag of candy, compliments of Berkhshire Hathaway Eagle Ranch. Because of safety concerns, no candy will be distributed during the parade.

The parade will march down Broadway, starting at Second Street and ending at Fifth Street. Line-up begins at 4:45 p.m. and the parade begins at 5:30 p.m.

For additional information or parade registration, contact info@eagle chamber.co

Gather at Town Park

Following the parade, spectators are invited to visit Eagle Town Park where a live nativity scene will be set up. Alpine Bank is sponsoring a visit from Santa, who will be available to hear local kids’ requests.

The band Whiskey Stomp is scheduled to play from 6 to 8 p.m. and there will be a bonfire burning at the park. Depending on weather conditions, Eagle’s outdoor skating rink will be open.

There will be no vendor booths at the park, but participants are welcome to bring their own libations.

The platinum sponsors for Christmas on Broadway are Batson’s Corner Store and Umbrella Roofing.

For more information, visit www.eagleoutside.com.

‘Alpine Journeys: Through the Lens’: Colorado Snowsports Museum hosts a series that takes you on high country adventures

After wrapping up a massive transformation last summer, the Colorado Ski & Snowboard Museum crew wants to show off a little.

Every third Wednesday of the month, from December through April, the museum is hosting “Alpine Journeys: Through the Lens.”

The programs will present the museum’s huge collection to the public in new ways. While you’re there, you’ll be surrounded by more than 150 years of Colorado ski and snowboarding history.

Seating is limited and the museum staff is recommending that you buy your tickets in advance.

10th Mountain Division in December

Through the Lens kicks off Dec. 19 with Colorado Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame member Chris Anthony’s presentation on the 10th Mountain Division.

For more than 28 years, Anthony has traveled the globe as a member of the Warren Miller film team and has freelanced for several publications. He also co-authored a guidebook and produced several film projects, including the acclaimed 10th Mountain documentary “Climb to Glory.”

His extensive research and passion for the 10th Mountain Division has uncovered new and untold post-war stories, which he will share during his presentation.

“Abandoned” in January

On Jan. 16, the series takes you down the road less traveled, or The Road West Traveled in this case, with “Abandoned,” Lio DelPiccolo, Grant Robbins and his wife, Sara Beam Robbins’ short documentary about three long-shuttered Colorado ski areas: Geneva Basin, Cuchara and Berthoud Pass.

DelPiccolo and the Robbins’ launched their adventure production company, The Road West Traveled, in 2013 as an Instagram page. “Abandoned” is their first film and has screened to sold-out theaters all over the region.

The three were scouring a map one day, searching for a new spot to go ski touring, and headed toward Allenspark, a village northwest of Boulder. They read the name “Rock Creek Ski Area,” and realized none of them had ever heard of it.

That set them on a two-year research adventure around Colorado that culminated in the 23-minute film “Abandoned.” It debuted last month in Boulder.

Not all the areas were a mystery. As a kid, DelPiccolo hiked up Geneva Basin’s former ski runs with his family. Berthoud Pass remains a popular destination for backcountry skiers.

“Abandoned” takes an equally optimistic and sad look at the ski areas in their heyday, and what happened to them and the surrounding communities after they closed.

History and adventure

On Feb. 20, Dr. Jon Kedrowski will talk about his extensive outdoor adventures, such as a pair of Mount Everest summits, including one during one of the mountain’s worst tragedies and the quests that led to a series of books about skiing and camping on Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks.

On March 20, Western State University professor Dr. Duane Vandenbusche reflects on 55 years as a history professor, as well as the history of skiing.

The series culminates on April 18 with the grand opening of the museum’s new Warren Miller exhibit.

About the Museum

Located atop the Vail Village parking structure, the newly remodeled Colorado Ski & Snowboard Museum has six primary exhibits, enhanced with interactive screens that showcase and chronicle the history and heritage of the Colorado ski and snowboard industry.

The six exhibits include the 10th Mountain Division, Skiing Through Time, the History of Colorado Snowsports Competition, the Evolution of Snowboarding in Colorado, Colorado’s Ski Resorts and 100 Years of Ski Fashion and Function. The museum also houses the Colorado Snowsports Hall of Fame.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and rwyrick@vaildaily.com.

Street art in Gypusm — live event features Denver’s Casey Kawaguchi

Street art in Gypsum — now that’s a concept you probably wouldn’t expect.

But it’s happening on Saturday, Nov. 17, when one of the rising stars of Denver’s urban art scene travels to DJ’s & Dahlias in Gypsum for a live art event.

Casey Kawaguchi has been named one of 303 Magazine’s artists to watch in 2018.

“What makes Kawaguchi and his street art stand out from some of his peers is his unmatched ability to use a spray paint can like a pencil, sketching out illustrations with precision while retaining a hand-drawn quality,” notes 303 Magazine writer Cori Anderson.

DJ’s & Dahlias owner Anne Pasquale was introduced to Kawaguchi’s work when she was looking through the images of an art battle hosted at the Meadowlark Kitchen in Denver earlier this year. She was struck by his images of warrior women.

“It spoke to me as a woman business owner,” she said.

Pasquale remembered Kawaguchi’s name when she was later looking through the various murals that were part of the CRUSH event — a seven-day festival where 77 street artists completed displays at locations in the RiNo Art District in Denver.

“That’s when I called him because I thought ‘This guy is ridiculously talented,’” Pasquale said. “He is a very gracious man and he is going to be blowing up in the art world.”

When she contacted Kawaguchi, Pasquale had a simple idea — would he be interested in doing a live art show at her Gypsum shop?

“Some artists don’t do live art,” she noted. “I told him about my coffee shop and said I want to bring some art culture to Gypsum.”

Kawaguchi was up for the idea and willing to make the trip.

Art as it unfolds

During the event, Kawaguchi will complete an 8-foot by 4-foot panel, which will then remain on permanent display at DJ’s & Dahlias. As he works on his piece, all are welcome to watch, free of charge.

Saturday nights are ramen nights at the cafe, a great culinary companion to Kawaguchi’s images. Additionally, spectators can enjoy a glass of wine or beer as they watch Kawaguchi’s art unfold.

“I just think this area is hungry for new activities and events like this,” Pasquale said.

When she and her husband Scott opened DJ’s & Dahlias six months ago, they envisioned the space as a community gathering spot. The cafe has already hosted various special events such as a bourbon and chocolate seminar, Cars and Coffee and a Wine and the Women and Wellness event.

“We ended up having to buy a large table for the space being so many meetings happen here,” Pasquale said.

The cafe is open daily from 6:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, from 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday thorough Saturday and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. DJ’s & Dahlias is located in The Hangar commercial area just south of Costco.

To learn more, visit the cafe’s Facebook page or contact Pasquale at 970-390-0234.