Eagle County Fair & Rodeo
Since 1939, Eagle County has celebrated its western heritage by hosting a rodeo to showcase the skills used on the ranch. This Pro Rodeo Cowboys Association-sanctioned event has grown throughout the decades and brings in talent from all over, and that talent includes not only the cowboys and cowgirls but also the stock featured in the rodeo. The bucking animals are brought in by Cervi Championship Rodeo out of Greeley.
The carnival rides and food booths are open early, so come down and enjoy the fun. On Friday, the carnival gates open at 3 p.m. and on Saturday gates open at noon. There will be a kiddie land at the east side of the Eagle River Center. This year’s carnival will feature rides and attractions including the Majestic Ferris Wheel, Space Shuttle, Ripsaw, Thea’s Zoo, Flying Pink Elephants and more. Get your thrills before eating too much cotton candy or funnel cakes.
Come early to view the 4-H exhibits in the Eagle River Center, which will be open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Check out the chickens, bunnies, lambs, pigs, goats and more. The 4-H kids have been working hard to raise these animals over the past year and many of them will be featured at the Junior Livestock Auction on Saturday at 11 a.m. Money raised from the auction helps kids invest in their next animal and often goes toward funds for college. Many area restaurants have been known to buy livestock from this auction to keep the meats on their menu super local, so don’t be surprised if you see a few restaurant owners bidding.
Also on Saturday you’ll find the Pretty Baby contest. This is the cutest thing ever with little ones dressed in their best to impress the judges. Does your baby have what it takes? Show up to register between 9:30 and 9:55 a.m. and the contest starts at 10 a.m. at the Eagle River Center.
There are theme nights throughout the rodeo and Friday’s theme is Pink Night. Are you tough enough to wear pink? The cowboys and cowgirls are. Don a pink hat, shirt, skirt or event boots and show up for a good cause. The Eagle County Fair & Rodeo will donate $0.50 for each Friday rodeo ticket sold and that money will go to the Shaw Cancer Center in Edwards.
For more information, go to EagleCountyFairAndRodeo.com.
Vail Dance Festival
The 34th annual Vail Dance Festival returns with 12 performances, over 40 festival events and three dance companies making their Vail Dance Festival debuts this summer.
“We can’t wait to get back onstage here in the Vail Valley,” said Damian Woetzel, artistic director of the Vail Dance Festival. “In addition to a return engagement by New York City Ballet MOVES after their sold-out performances last year, audiences won’t want to miss the Festival debuts of Ephrat Asherie Dance, Limón Dance Company, and DanceAspen.
This year’s Artists-In-Residence include dancer and choreographer Caili Quan and New York City Ballet soloist Roman Mejia. Look for each of them to have new collaborations, stretching their limits of performance in the next two weeks. New collaborations are all a part of the spirit of adventure at the Vail Dance Festival so expect to see cross-genre pairings showcasing some of the best choreographers, dancers and musicians in the world.
Opening Night at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater on Friday includes performances by the New York City Ballet MOVES. Watch them perform “Red Angel” by Ulysses Dove and “Other Dances” by Jerome Robbins. The Limón Dance Company takes the stage for the first time and so does Ephrat Asherie Dance. Sprinkled in between will be performances by festival artists.
On Saturday, New York City Ballet MOVES returns to The Amp and will showcase Justin Peck’s recent premiere “Partita,” which will be set to Caroline Shaw’s “Partita for 8 Voices,” which won a Pulitzer Prize. Artist-In-Residence Roman Mejia will dazzle audiences debuting in Jerome Robbins’ “A Suite of Dances” and “In the Night.”
On Sunday, the performance moves to the Vilar Performing Arts Center and celebrates the debut of Ephrat Asherie and “ODEON.” This New York City-based group is known for its African American and Latine street and social styles. This will be a high energy show. Think break, hip hop and house styles of dance found on the streets and the clubs. It will be hard to sit in your seats for this show, which starts at 6 p.m.
Rounding out the weekend will be Master Dance Classes at Vail Mountain School with different artists. For the little ones, don’t miss the Tiny Dancer Tea Party from 10 to 11:15 a.m. on Saturday at the Social Courtyard at The Amp.
The dance festival runs from now until Aug. 9 and performances will be happening up and down the valley at The Amp, The Vilar Performing Arts Center, the Avon Performance Pavilion and even on the streets of Vail. For a full schedule of events, go to VailDance.org.
Beaver Creek happenings
In addition to the lift rides on Centennial Lift (No. 6), the hiking and biking trails and mini golf and other attractions at the base of Beaver Creek, the resorts has a lot of free family entertainment throughout the weekend to enjoy. Whether you are visiting or if you are a local, head up there for a day of fun that won’t break the bank.
Friday kicks off with free yoga from 9 to 10 a.m. on the plaza level. In the summertime, the ice rink is converted into a lawn area filled with patio tables, chairs and umbrellas surrounded by games like shuffleboard. Stretch out with the free yoga and then sit and enjoy a latte before hopping into a game of ping pong.
Later that afternoon, the Beav’ offers free live music with different bands playing each week from 4 to 6 p.m. The Beau Thomas Band will play this Friday on the stage at the end of the plaza.
On Saturday, sit back and let Ken Carpenter draw a picture of you as a caricature. Carpenter has been the featured caricaturist at Beaver Creek for decades and has drawn grandparents, children and now their children. Take home a complimentary memory of your trip through the eyes of Carpenter, who will be on the plaza from 4 to 6 p.m.
Also on Saturday, get your groove on with some silent disco. If you have yet to try this fun activity, get up to Beaver Creek and don a pair of headphones and listen to the beat. Different sets of headphones are tuned into different songs. Pretty soon you’ll start grooving to a tune and realize someone else is dancing to the same beat. It’s a ton of fun and you have to experience it to understand what it’s like.
On Sunday, listen for the accordion, alpenhorn or a yodel from Helmut Fricker, the valley’s Bavarian entertainer who always has a smile and a joke to tell. He’s a fixture on the entertainment scene and you can find him roaming around the plaza from 1 to 3 p.m. on Sunday.
Did you know that pre-historic creatures walked the earth right here in Eagle County years ago? Find out who roamed these parts long before it was a ski area with Fossil Posse Adventures. Led by Billy Doran, who hosts the Fossil Posse Adventure Camps for kids and just opened up the new Museum at Dinosaur Junction in Edwards, these programs are as educational and interactive as they are fun. Let yourself be a kid again and learn more about the wonders of the pre-historic world. Doran will be on the plaza stage from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on Sunday.
Don’t forget that Beaver Creek has its Common Consumption Area (CCA) that allows those 21 and older to stroll around the village or sit at the tables at the plaza with an alcoholic beverage served by one of the participating restaurants. Just ask for your drink to go and the server will place it in a disposable CCA cup.
For a list of complimentary family activities at Beaver Creek throughout the week, go to the Events Calendar on BeaverCreek.com.
Avon Arts Celebration
Back for its second weekend, the Avon Arts Celebration is a true celebration of the arts with so many talented individuals coming in from states across the country. Whether you are making this your event of the day or are dropping by after a bike ride or a hike, stop by Nottingham Lake and talk to the artists who will be there and speak to them about their craft. This is a juried art show and the quality of work reflects that. Mediums include painting, jewelry, ceramics, sculpture, metal and woodwork, fiber, clothing, furniture and more.
The show is free to attend. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.
Cordillera Fine Art Show
Cordillera is bringing art to the eyes of the public with its Fine Art Show happening this weekend. Stop by the Cordillera Metro District at 408 Carterville Road and see quality artwork for your home. On Saturday the show will be from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. with a wine tasting going on from 3 to 5 p.m. On Sunday, the show will be from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. with a Mimosa Art Trail from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m.
Berry Creek Trail Run
How about a little jog up to Mid-Vail this Saturday? For time. That’s what it’s all about at the Dynafit Vail Trail Running Series that the Vail Recreation District hosts throughout the summer. This running series is known for its great courses and views and it was recently named by the American Trail Running Association as Race Standards Certified for exceeding measurements in safety, well-marked courses, timely results and awards, environmental responsibility and excellent communication with racers prior to the event.
Let’s get to the stats:
- Race distance: 4.6 miles
- Elevation gain: is 2,337 feet
- Average grade: 14%
The course starts at Gondola 1 in Vail Village and travels up single and double track on Berry Picker and Fireweed trails until it brings runners on the Mountain Access Road to Mid-Vail. The race starts at 8 a.m. and spectators may hop on Gondola 1 for free between 8 and 8:30 a.m. After that, spectators can buy a lift ticket to ride the lift when it opens to the public at 9:30 a.m.
Save yourself some time on race day by going to the pre-race bib pick up on Friday at West Vail Liquor Mart from 4 to 6 p.m. Otherwise day-of race bib pick up will starts at 6:45 a.m. and goes until 7:45 a.m. on Saturday at the base of Gondola 1.
What’s your incentive for doing this? How about some donuts and refreshments from Northside Coffee & Kitchen and a custom T-shirt? The afterparty and awards ceremony will be held at Mid-Vail and additional food will be available at The Coop. Prizes will be given out to the top male and female finishers in different age categories.
Although I said it’s all about your race time, it’s way more about the fun and the community these races provide. It’s a welcoming bunch and it’s a great way to kick off your Saturday. For more information, go to VailRec.com.