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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:


  • 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.


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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.

Sanitize gear with A Good Sport Co.

Celena Olden was simply trying to find quality used hockey gear for her son and also find a way to get rid of the odor of that gear when she embarked on something much greater: starting up a preowned sporting goods shop and including a disinfecting and sanitizing system as a new and unique service in the Vail Valley.

A Good Sport Co. in Eagle is filled with not only hockey gear, but also skis, snowboards, boots, camping gear, fishing gear and new merchandise. But what makes her store unique is that all the gear has been disinfected by the Sani Sport machine, which uses ozone to kill pathogens, viruses and mold that can live within our beloved gear. Olden wants to pass on this sanitizing service to the public.

“While researching this, I’ve heard of instances where people had a cut on their hand and how it got infected by the bacteria in the glove,” Olden said. “Bacteria, viruses and mold spores can colonize in athletic gear due to the moisture and heat from our bodies, despite trying to clean our gear.”

Using the same equipment owned by professional sports teams in the NFL, NHL and the MLB, and by using zero sprays and chemicals, the Sani Sport machine can kill over 98% of infection-causing pathogens.

The Sani Sport disinfecting machine uses ozone, which Olden said is 150 times stronger than bleach and works more than 3,000 times faster.  

“Ozone is a gas that is able to penetrate past surface fabrics, deep into the foam, into tiny crevices where sprays and hands can’t reach in order to combat the bacteria that has set up inside,” Olden said.

Sanitizing isn’t only limited to your boots, gloves and hockey skates. You can use it to deep-clean your running shoes, yoga mat, even items around the house like pillows, stuffed animals and your pet’s toys and foam bed.

View how this machine works and just how quickly it can sanitize your equipment by watching today’s video on www.vaildaily.com Or stop by A Good Sport Co. at 422 McIntire St. in Eagle.

POC introduces helmets that can communicate

This is part seven of a seven-part series on the latest and greatest finds at the Outdoor Retailer and Snowsports Industries America (SIA) Snow Show held in Denver earlier this year. This trade show represents suppliers of consumer outdoor sports with constituents in the retailer, rep and resort communities.

The next time you are in the chair lift line, look around and see how many people are wearing helmets. Chances are, you’ll see a majority of skiers and snowboarders donning the brain bucket. Helmets are a common part of the winter sports equipment equation for all ages. POC Sports aims to develop products to possibly save lives and reduce the consequences of accidents for winter sports enthusiasts.

POC debuted its new OBEX Backcountry SPIN helmet for the 2019-2020 season at the Outdoor Retailer and Snowsports Industries America (SIA) Snow Show held in Denver earlier this year. It contains a Near Field Communication (NFC) medical ID chip that can give rescuers the medical information they need at the scene of an injury in an instant, thereby assisting them in making the best judgments for treatment immediately after an accident.

When you get the helmet you also need to download the app that goes with the NFC chip. Medical information such as if you are on blood thinners or have epilepsy or allergies is stored in the app.

“Ski patrol or mountain rescue teams will have this app and be able to click “scan” on their phone, tap it on the helmet and it brings up all of your medical information,” said Kelley Fitzpatrick, territory manager in Colorado for POC.

The helmet also has POC’s patent-pending silicone pad technology system, SPIN (Shearing Pad INside). This allows the helmet to move relative to your head. “It’s kind of like the skin on the outside of your skull or the cerebral spinal fluid between your brain and your skull. It allows for shearing motion and by doing that it reduces the energy transfer to your brain after an impact,” Fitzpatrick said.

The new OBEX Backcountry SPIN helmet gained rave reviews from ski and snowboard shops at the Outdoor Retailer and SIA Snow Show and received the Best in Show award from “Freeskier” magazine and the Show Stopper award from “Skiing” magazine. To learn more about this technology from POC, visit www.pocsports.com.

Salomon S Pro ski boots a hit for consumers and boot fitters

Editor’s note: This is part six of a seven-part series on the latest and greatest finds at the Outdoor Retailer and Snowsports Industries America (SIA) Snow Show, which took place in Denver earlier this year. This trade show represents suppliers of consumer outdoor sports with constituents in the retailer, rep and resort communities.

Ski boots are the most important part of the ski equipment equation, and the big buzz at the Outdoor Retailer and Snowsports Industries America (SIA) Snow Snow in Denver among retailers earlier this year was the new Salomon S Pro ski boots.

Operating out of the French Alps, Salomon has been helping people get out on the slopes on the right equipment since 1947. The company is driven by innovation and craftsmanship, and Salomon is excited to release this new S Pro line of ski boots. More than 5,000 foot scans were involved in the development of this boot. “The goal here was to create the best-fitting initial out-of-the-box fit in the entire industry,” said Chris McKearin, country commercial manager at USA Salomon.

This has boot-fitters at ski shops extremely happy. You can still customize the boots by adding a footbed, heel lifts and punching out tight-fitting spots, but having a good foundation to start with is good for the boot fitter and the consumer. “It makes things a lot easier in the shop and it gives the consumer a much better first impression when they put the boot on.

“Many retailers who’ve stopped by today to see and try on the S Pro boot have said how comfortable it is; yet there’s still good compression around the heel and ankle,” McKearin said.

Salomon also made this boot easier to get into. “Making the boots easier to get on and off is always a hot topic in skiing. We redesigned the instep geometry with a softer insert over the instep. You just pull up on the tongue of the boot and slide the foot in and you’re ready to go,” McKearin said.

The Salomon S Pro boot is also lighter than ever before. “It’s about a half of a pound lighter per foot. It’s the most customizable boot we’ve ever made and the seamless liner and custom shell so if you do need to make adjustments it’s more efficient and accurate than ever before,” McKearin said. If you want to learn more, visit the website at www.salomon.com.

Squash Blossom jewelry boutique continues under new ownership

Sometimes the stars just align and things work out as they should. That’s the story behind the new owners of the Squash Blossom, Hilary and Kevin Magner.

The Squash Blossom was founded by John and Patty Cogswell and has been a landmark jewelry gallery for the past 46 years. Once the Cogswells decided to retire, they hoped what they had built would continue to live on in someone else’s caring hands.

The Magners are keeping that family-owned tradition going. In fact, the jewelry business runs in the family for Kevin Magner. His father was in that line of work for years and Kevin never really thought of following his dad’s profession until after college.

“I was introduced to some of my dad’s lifelong friends in the business and they were the most interesting people and I just kind of wanted to be part of that,” Kevin said.

Kevin cut his teeth while working for the Roberto Coin brand, traveling 50 out of the 52 weeks a year selling jewelry. About the time Kevin’s dad was going to retire from Neiman Marcus, he and Kevin thought about doing a venture together, so Kevin went to gemology school to learn more.

In 2013, Kevin’s father passed away. “That kind of made the jewelry industry rotten for me. I was sad, I was running into a lot of his old friends and I missed him,” Kevin said.  “That was kind of the reason we came out to Vail, to escape, get a change of pace in life.  But, the jewelry business was in my blood and it drew me back.”

Kevin got a call from John Cogswell saying they needed help because they were short-staffed. “In the first conversation, it went from ‘we need salespeople’ to ‘we need a manager’ to ‘we’re thinking about retiring, you ought to think about buying this store’ and that was October of 2018,” Kevin said.

The stars for Hilary were shifting as well. “I’d been in corporate jobs for a while and traveling all the time, which was hard to be away, especially with two young kids,” Hilary said. “I started retail when I was 16 and there’s always been a seed growing in the back of my mind to own my own store, but then life took me on a different path and it’s kind of jolted me back to be here and to be with my family and create something in Vail.”

Although the Magners will continue to carry artists like Todd Reed, Gurhan and Penny Preville at Squash Blossom, they also have many relationships in the jewelry business that will add something new to the store. “We’ve called in favors from designers that we know and everyone is just so excited for us. We’re doing this all on our own and we want to succeed at keeping this a family-owned business,” Kevin said.

“I just feel so honored, honestly, we were selected to continue the legacy of the Squash Blossom,” Hilary said. “It’s like the universe selected us out of all the people who could have gotten this store, it’s a dream come true.”

Weston Backcountry expands into the ski market

Editor’s note: This is part five of a seven-part series on the latest and greatest finds at the Outdoor Retailer and Snowsports Industries America (SIA) Snow Show held in Denver earlier this year. This trade show represents suppliers of consumer outdoor sports with constituents in the retailer, rep and resort communities.

After walking around the Denver Convention Center for hours after what feels like miles and miles of exhibitor booths, it was fun to see a familiar brand near the far corner of the exhibit hall. Weston Backcountry had their “tiny home” showroom as their backdrop with all of the boards for the 2019-20 season on display. Leading the tour of the new gear was Weston Backcountry founder and owner, Leo Tsuo.

Tsuo took me over to the splitboards and chatted up the features of this season’s Backwoods Carbon Splitboard. “We aren’t compromising much anymore going from a solid board to a split board. Especially when you use carbon,” Tsuo said. “Carbon boards and the ultra-light binding options are very close if not at the same weight as a regular board.”

For being as small as they are, Weston is really excited about the growth and overall feedback from the community and riders.

“We used to show up and people would be like, ‘who are you guys?’ and now they see us and want to try the boards,” Tsuo said.

From using materials that are eco-friendly to opting to not have a permanent storefront and instead traveling in their “tiny home” showroom, Weston has been making a big impact.

“We were on a dealer visit in Minnesota and one of their employees summed it up nicely by saying we’re ‘snowboarding’s best secret,’” Tsuo said.

The secret is out and Weston has been receiving awards and accolades from “Outside Magazine”, “Transworld Snowboarding” and “Backcountry Magazine” for their products.

What started out as a snowboard company in 2012, Weston has dipped into the backcountry ski market as well. Learn what people are saying about the new Great White and Black Belt skis in today’s video.  

What does Tsuo think of all this success?

“I can barely believe it, but we have such a solid crew. Everybody is so passionate about getting people involved in riding, giving back to the community, being sustainable, that it’s more than selling boards and skis. The market is seeing what we are doing and supporting all that we do.”

For more information, go to www.westonbackcountry.com or follow them on their Facebook page.

‘Slow fashion’ part of the dialogue at ski industry trade show

Editor’s note: This is part four of a seven-part series on the latest and greatest finds at the Outdoor Retailer and Snowsports Industries America (SIA) Snow Show held in Denver earlier this year. This trade show represents suppliers of consumer outdoor sports with constituents in the retailer, rep and resort communities.

When you think of fashion, you may think of the fast-paced runway style shows and how looks are ever-changing, but at Krimson Klover, they want to slow things down. Here, “slow fashion” is a primary part of their mission.

“We’ve been honoring ‘slow fashion’ long before it became a movement. We strongly believe that fashion, like food, is best when crafted ‘from scratch’, with intention. This means knitting a piece of our soul into everything we make,” said Rhonda Swenson, founder and creative director of Krimson Klover, a contemporary knitwear company specializing in eco-friendly, luxurious clothing for women based on Boulder, CO.

Slow Fashion is a movement of designing, creating and buying garments that stand the test of time. It’s a philosophy that encourages slowing down our consumption, owning fewer, but better things that are purchased thoughtfully from brands that consciously manufacture clothing without threatening natural resources or damaging the social and ecological environment.

Krimson Klover’s talented design team selects superior-quality, natural fibers from sustainable sources across the globe that respect animals, employees and the environment. The companies they partner with are certified for excellence in wastewater treatment, energy usage, absence of harmful substances, continual supply chain improvement and overall environmental sustainability. “This high standard is what we expect from all of our award-winning yarn suppliers.”

Eco-friendly can still mean stylish and staying current with trends. “This season, we introduced a seamless technology which means everything is knit on a tube, you don’t have any seams, no chaffing and we’re doing this in quite a few of our base layers. People just love the way it feels next to their skin,” Swenson said.

Check out today’s video to see their line of clothing for hitting the slopes or going out to dinner after a day on the hill. View the whole line at www.krimsonklover.com.

Visits with Santa, holiday tunes, ice sculptures and more: Tricia’s weekend picks 12/20/19

Boulder Philharmonic playing Handel’s “Messiah”

This year’s Winter Holiday Series at the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek kicks off with a show sure to put you in the holiday spirit on Saturday at 7 p.m. A Classical Christmas with the Boulder Philharmonic features a full orchestra and a choir. Four soloists will perform, including a soprano, an alto, tenor and a bass, all under the direction of conductor Gary Lewis. Feel the holiday spirit while listening to “Archangel Corelli: Concerto grosso, op. 6, no. 8” (Christmas Concerto); Ralph Vaughan Williams’ “Fantasia” on “Greensleeves”; Antonio Vivaldi’s “Autumn and Winter” from the “Four Seasons”; and the Christmas portion of Handel’s “Messiah”, ending with the beloved “Hallelujah Chorus.”

Founded in 1958, the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra is comprised of the top freelance musicians from Colorado’s Front Range and beyond. The Boulder Phil was voted “Best of Boulder” for the past six years in a row. Today, under the vision and leadership of Music Director Michael Butterman, the Boulder Phil is bucking national trends with growing, enthusiastic audiences.

The Boulder Philharmonic performance is part of a brand-new VPAC program this year where you can Pay Your Age (18-30 years). “We are really hoping to be accessible to the young heart-and-soul of our community,” said Kim Hannold, Vilar programming director. “With the new Pay Your Age program the goal is to provide a way for locals who have a passion for the performing arts to experience a fantastic show.”  To purchase a Pay Your Age ticket, you must do so in person at the Vilar box office with valid proof of identification. For more information, visit www.vilarpac.org.

Vail Winterfest

Vail Winterfest returns for its 13th season this weekend with a number of events and activities to kick-off winter. The town of Vail’s Art in Public Places is pleased to announce its signature events celebrating the celestial wonders through the integration of ice, snow, and light.

Ice sculptor Paul Wertin’s illuminated ice installation will be reminiscent of stargazing around a campfire. The interactive ice sculptures will allow for seating and enjoying the views both day and night. The combination of illuminated ice sculptures, snow, light, and the reflections upon the Gore Creek will create a radiant experience.

New this year, Art in Public Places enlisted the help of Art Ethos out of Denver to create an immersive experience that uses art and technology. The installation will include programmed LED lighting on the adjacent trees and pedestrian bridge illuminating the entire Gore Creek Promenade. Here’s a look at the schedule of events:


Cocktails & Canvas: Lantern Painting with Alpine Arts Center-4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

  • Vail Recreation District Community Programming – 2nd Floor Lionshead Welcome Center
  • Alpine Arts Center will instruct participants on how to paint paper lanterns. This lively evening will include holiday music, complimentary light snacks, and wine and beer available for purchase 21 + years old.
  • Join to create your unique lantern to bring to the Holiday Lantern Walk on Sunday.
    RSVP: www.alpineartscenter.org or 970-926-2732. Please indicate the number in your party – space is limited. $10 per person.


Lantern Making Workshop with Alpine Arts Center–Noon to 3:30 p.m.

  • Create your lantern at a free workshop with Alpine Arts Center in the Community Room at the Vail Public Library.
  • Allow yourself 30 minutes at this drop-in workshop to create your lantern. The last entry is at 3:00 p.m. Following the workshop, join in the Holiday Lantern Walk through Vail Village.
  • RSVP: meppard@vailgov.com or 970-479-2344. Please indicate the number in your party.
  • Vail Public Library Community Room
  • Free and family-friendly

 Holiday Lantern Walk through Vail Village

  • 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. Music by “Grown Men in Lederhosen,” authentic family-friendly entertainment
  • 4:30 p.m. Santa and Ralph the World’s Tallest Elf arrive to mingle with guests
    5:00 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. Holiday Lantern Walk through Vail Village
  • Complimentary LED lights & hot chocolate distributed before the walk.
  • Gather in Slifer Square before the walk. A short jolly procession led by Santa and Ralph the World’s Tallest Elf through Vail Village winds its way to the Gore Creek Promenade for the grand opening of the 13th Annual Vail Winterfest Ice Theater.

Grand Opening Celebration-5:15 p.m.

  • 13th Annual Vail Winterfest Ice & Light Installation
  • Gore Creek Promenade, Vail Village
    The illumination begins daily at dusk and runs until 10:00 p.m. through January 20, 2020.

Santa at Riverwalk

If your kids haven’t paid a visit to Old St. Nick, there is still time before Christmas to do so. As the song goes, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” and that town is Edwards, and more specifically, Riverwalk.

Riverwalk is putting together a full schedule of activities on Saturday to get you into the holiday spirit. Santa and Ralph, the World’s Tallest Elf, will be at the Riverwalk Theater from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Then, the pair will travel a few blocks down to the Bookworm of Edwards where there will be a Santa Story Time at 4:30 p.m.

In addition to visiting Santa, visitors can view live reindeer on Main Street in Riverwalk and listen to the Calvary Chapel Vail Valley Carolers who will be singing holiday tunes while strolling along Main Street.

There will also be the Famous Kitchen Collage Cookie Contest at the store starting at 3:30 p.m. Speaking of food, dip into one of the many restaurants in Riverwalk if you need a bite to eat or feel a little chilly. With the variety of shops at Riverwalk, you can finish up your Christmas shopping on Saturday, too.

If parking is full on the ground level in front of the shops, don’t forget there is parking also available in the underground parking garage.

Vail Skating Festival

The Vail Skating Festival returns to Vail with shows indoors and outside. Get a glimpse of the talented skaters on Friday with two shows on the in-town ice rinks. At 5 p.m. the skaters will take to the ice rink at Solaris in Vail Village and then move over to Lionshead for a short skating exhibition at the ice rink next to the Arrabelle. These two outdoors shows are free and will feature U.S. national and international medalists. The shows are about 15 minutes in length, so you won’t spend too much time out in the cold but dress accordingly for the temperatures for that time of night.

On Saturday, come see the Ice Spectacular at Dobson Ice Arena. 2018 Olympic medalists Mirai Nagasu and Chris and Alexa Knierim will be performing as well as national and international medalists and world competitors. The Knierims are a husband-wife team who won a bronze medal at the 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang. Nagasu was the first U.S. woman to land a triple axel and the third woman in the world to do the feat. She was also featured on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.”

The Vail Skating Festival is also offering two half-day clinics and seminars featuring Olympic and world coach Christy Krall. For more information and to get tickets to the Dobson Ice Arena show, go to www.vailskifest.com. Tickets are $40 for on-ice seating and $20 for bleacher seating.

KidZone School’s Out Camp

If you are wondering what to do with the kids once school is out for the holiday break, check out the programs offered at the KidZone School’s Out Camp at the Vail Recreation Center. Operated by the Vail Recreation District’s community programming department, KidZone is fully licensed by the Colorado Department of Human Services Division of Child Care.

The goal is the KidZone School’s Out Program is to give children ages 5 (and in kindergarten) through fifth grade a fun and structured program that fosters social, physical, emotional and intellectual development.

Check out www.vailrec.org for more details and how to pre-register your child for these day camps that are offered from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on various dates throughout the holiday break.

Are your ski boots uncomfortable? Try Dahu

Editor’s note: This is part three of a seven-part series on the latest and greatest finds at the Outdoor Retailer and Snowsports Industries America Snow Show in Denver each January. This trade show represents suppliers of consumer outdoor sports with constituents in the retailer, rep and resort communities.

I have a lot of guests who come out to ski Vail and Beaver Creek once or twice a year, and one of the biggest complaints I hear is how uncomfortable the ski boots are. It’s tough to see family and friends struggle after taking the time off and spending the money to get here cutting their day short because of sore feet.

It’s no secret that ski boots aren’t the most comfortable type of sports footwear out there. Most locals have their boots dialed in with footbeds and heaters, and if there is a troublesome spot, it’s been “blown out” or adjusted by one of the many great boot-fitters in our valley. But if that isn’t enough, there is an option for those looking for a ski boot that provides comfort, warmth and performance.

I was introduced to the Dahu ski boot at the Outdoor Retailer SIA Snow Show earlier this year. Designed in Switzerland, the Dahu Swiss boot is a groundbreaking modular design that reimagines the ski boot. The boot is a two-part system, a standalone boot and the plastic shell that acts as a chassis to hold the boot and connect it to the ski binding and skis.

Let’s start with the boot and how comfortable it is. The boots are made in Italy, and everyone knows those Italians know how to make boots. The leather and the materials used plus the craftsmanship are exquisite. You’ll want to wear these boots out on any cold day, not just the days you are skiing in them. The boots also have PrimaLoft insulation, so no need to dip into the lodge to warm your feet up during your ski day. It excels as both a performance liner and standalone piece of Alpine footwear that you can wear, even if you are dancing at après-ski.

Now back to the shell, which is made of Grilamid plastic and features a series of strategic cutouts that alleviate typical pressure points while maintaining external rigidity, which means, performance isn’t compromised. The revolutionary Corsair entry process introduces a precisely engineered gull-wing open and close design. The skier has two options, to step into the insulated boot, lace it up, and then simply step into the shell, or leave the liner in the shell and step in, as a single unit, like a conventional Alpine setup. Either way, Dahu boots are easy to get in and out of. Watch today’s video to see how this works.

Of course, if you’re a World Cup-caliber skier, these ski boots aren’t for you. But, if you want a ski boot that delivers comfort, warmth and performance, give Dahu a try.

Free concerts, ugly sweater 5K, free ski demos and more: Tricia’s weekend picks 12/13/19

Vail Snow Days

Vail Snow Days is the official kickoff to winter with free live music, fun après-ski and after-dark parties, gear demos and more. Here’s a look at the weekend’s events and activities:


Festival Village (Mountain Plaza, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

  • Ski demos from Liberty Skis, gear demos from Oakley, samplings from Nature Valley, Pepsi, Ripple Foods and Kicking Horse Coffee and partner integrations from Audi, Helly Hansen and GoPro

Block Party (International Bridge, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.)

  • This will be the place to gather swag and try products like Jack Link’s Beef Jerky and Babe Wine among other brands.

Snow Days Live (4 p.m.)

  • Live music around town and on the mountain

Free Concert (Ford Park parking lot concert venue, 6 p.m.)

  • 5:30 p.m. gates open, 6 p.m. music starts
  • Opening band: The Rad Trads
  • Headliner: Modest Mouse

Snow Days Live (10 p.m.)

  • Live music around town


Festival Village (Mountain Plaza, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

  • Ski demos from Liberty Skis, gear demos from Oakley, samplings from Nature Valley, Pepsi, Ripple Foods and Kicking Horse Coffee and partner integrations from Audi, Helly Hansen and GoPro

Block Party (International Bridge, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.)

  • This will be the place to gather swag and try products like Jack Link’s Beef Jerky and try Babe Wine among other brands.

Snow Days Live (4 p.m.)

  • Live music around town and on the mountain

Free Concert (Ford Park parking lot concert venue, 6 p.m.)

  • 5:30 p.m. gates open, 6 p.m. music starts
  • Opening band: Rob Drabkin
  • Headliner: The Head and The Heart

Snow Days Live (10 p.m.)

  • Live music around town


Bluegrass and Bloodies (The Tavern at Arrabelle, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.)

  • Music by the Runaway Grooms

Festival Village (Mountain Plaza, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

  • Ski demos from Liberty Skis, gear demos from Oakley, samplings from Nature Valley, Pepsi, Ripple Foods and Kicking Horse Coffee and partner integrations from Helly Hansen and GoPro

Block Party (International Bridge, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.)

  • This will be the place to gather swag and try products like Jack Link’s Beef Jerky and try Babe Wine among other brands.

Snow Days Live (4 p.m.)

  • Live music around town and on the mountain

For a complete schedule of events, visit www.vailsnowdays.com.

Vail Holidays

Vail Holidays will ring in the season with a two-week celebration including ice skating shows, kids activities, cookie decorating, a lantern walk, tree lighting ceremony and New Year’s Eve fireworks. Here’s a look at what’s happening this weekend:


Santa and the Babies (Vail Public Library, 11 a.m.)

  • Little tots ages 3 years old and under are invited to join Santa in a calm and casual setting during the daytime (and hopefully not during their nap time). Toys and snacks will be offered to make waiting for your turn with friends and family a playful experience.


Vail Holiday Sweater Run (Bart and Yeti’s, 8 a.m.)

  • Here’s one more chance to wear that ugly holiday sweater during this 5K fun run.
  • Entry is free with a donation of toys or food to benefit Toys for Tots and the Eagle Valley Community Foundation’s Community Market.
  • The run starts and finishes at Bart and Yeti’s in Lionshead.
  • Pre-registration is required at sports@vailrec.com.


Vail Après Ski Ceremonial Bell Ringing (El Sabor, 2:45-5 p.m.)

  • Join Vail dignitaries, guests and locals for the new bell-ringing tradition that kicks off après ski each day.
  • Complimentary tacos and beverages

Vail Village Tree Lighting Ceremony (Slifer Square in Vail Village, 5 p.m.)

  • Come hear holiday music from local entertainers like the Eagle Valley High School Jazz band, the Dickens Carolers. There will also be a visit from the town of Vail mayor and St. Nick.
  • The Faessler family of the Sonnenalp Hotel Vail will be honored. The Sonnenalp Hotel Vail is celebrating its 40th anniversary in the valley.
  • Free hot chocolate and cookies.

For a complete list of events, visit www.vailholidays.com.

15 Days of Minturn

The town of Minturn is recognizing its 115th anniversary by having a celebration that lasts for 15 days. Take part in the tail end of the event this weekend by enjoying an outdoor holiday market, a free concert, a community potluck dinner and more:


Revival Photographic is hosting a Tintype Portrait Party, 5:30 to 10 p.m.

  • Bring your best 1900s-inspired gear like top hats, snap caps, feather caps, think Prohibition era.


Winter Holiday Market (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.)

  • Shop for unique and hand-crafted gifts, carolers, visits with Santa, food vendors, s’mores and more.

Historical walking tour (tours start at 10 a.m., last tour departs at 1 p.m.)

  • Hosted by the Eagle County Historical Society
  • Learn about this town that was incorporated on Nov. 15, 1904.

Self-care Saturdays

  • Two opportunities to practice self-care on your mat: 9 a.m. Solar Flow Yoga and 11 a.m. Lunar Flow Yoga.
  • All levels welcome at Anahata Yoga.

Free outdoor concert (3 to 5 p.m.)

  • Featuring The Blue Canyon Boys playing bluegrass
  • Beer from Crazy Mountain Brewery, wine from Monkshood Cellars, food by Baked and Loaded


Send It Sundays (3 p.m. every Sunday at the Minturn Saloon)

  • Presented by Crazy Mountain Brewery and sponsored by Weston Snowboards
  • Raffle prizes each week including ski and snowboard giveaways each month

Community Potluck Dinner (5:30 to 7 p.m.)

  • Guests should bring their favorite holiday appetizer, salad, side dish or dessert to the Minturn Town Hall.
  • Entrée sponsored by Sunrise Minturn.

For a full list of events, visit www.minturn.org.

Holiday performances

The ‘Nutcracker’

The Vail Youth Ballet Co. will host the “Nutcracker” this weekend at the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek. The Vail Youth Ballet Co. will be joined by guest artists from the Vail Valley Academy of Dance and community members.

Listen to the music of Tchaikovsky while watching the Sugar Plum Fairy, the Mouse King and other characters dance across the stage. This holiday favorite is sure to be a crowd-pleaser for all ages.

The show is produced by Vail Friends of Dance and presented in part by the Vilar Center for the Performing Arts Community Fund.

Performances will be held Friday at 7 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $38 and can be purchased online at www.vilarpac.org, at the box office or via phone by calling 970-845-8497.

‘Shrek the Musical, Jr.!’

It may not be holiday-themed, but check out the Homestake Peak School students in “Shrek the Musical, Jr.!” this weekend. Students in grades three through eight have been working hard practicing their lines, songs and stage presence to get ready for this weekend’s shows.

Follow the cast as they make their way across sunflower fields and dragon keeps and see familiar characters like Donkey and Shrek himself. “Shrek the Musical, Jr.!” is full of fun, laughter and surprises along with songs, dance and even a little bit of romance.

Head to the Homestake Peak School in EagleVail at 6:30 p.m. for performances on Friday and Saturday night. Tickets are $8 and can be purchased online at www.showtix4u.com/events/16006 or at the door. For more information, visit www.hpsdrama.org

Free women’s ski demo day in Vail

Ladies, if it’s been a while since you’ve stepped into a new pair of skis, take advantage of the latest technology at the free women’s ski demo day in Vail on Saturday.

Lionshead will be the headquarters for new women’s specific equipment where you can try a variety of makes and models to see which pair of skis works best for you. Take them out for a lap off of the Born Free Express lift and then grab another pair. Need a bit longer to see what the ski has to offer? Go east over to Mid Vail or Northwoods and see how they zip around on that terrain. The best way to see if a ski feels right is to try before you buy.

Brands that are slated to be offered for test drives include Elan, Kastle, Head, Blizzard, Volkl, Black Crow and more. Outdoor Divas, a women’s specific sports shop in Lionshead, has teamed up with Vail Sports to offer hand-selected skis designed for women.

Take advantage of this free demo between 9 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. on Saturday. If you miss this demo day, don’t worry, there will be one each month for the next three months. For more information, visit www.outdoordivas.com.