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More ski resorts opening, holiday craft fairs, art walks and more: Tricia’s weekend picks 11/8/19

More ski resorts open

Although the calendar still says autumn, winter is here in the minds of many skiers and snowboarders who are enjoying lift-accessed skiing and riding in Colorado. Arapahoe Basin and Keystone have been open since mid-October with Loveland, Eldora, Monarch and Wolf Creek opening their slopes a few weeks later. This Friday marks the opening day for two more Colorado resorts: Breckenridge and Copper Mountain. A snowy and cool October brought a lot of natural snow to the resorts and snowmaking crews have combined forces with Mother Nature to allow more than one run to be open this early in the season.

Breckenridge Ski Resort will offer nearly 200 acres of terrain on Peak 8 for opening day. Skiers and riders will have access to a variety of groomed trails on lower Peak 8 accessed by the Colorado SuperChair, Rocky Mountain SuperChair, 5-Chair and Rip’s Ride. The resort will offer skiing and riding for all ability levels on trails including Springmeier, 4 O’Clock, Columbine, Northstar, Duke’s, Claimjumper and Trygve’s.

Lifts are set to open at 9 a.m. while the BreckConnect Gondola will open at 8 a.m. to provide access from Town and the Gondola lots to the base of Peak 8. The official first chair celebration and banner-breaking will take place on the Colorado SuperChair. Before the rope drops, guests can enjoy complimentary waffles and DJ music on the snow.

Take note of some of the new conveniences at Peak 8 such as escalators, skier drop-off parking, skier services facilities, rental and retail space, public restrooms and more. You can buy a day pass or Epic Passes are still available through Nov. 24. For information on the resort, go to www.breckenridge.com. For information on Epic Passes, visit www.epicpass.com.

Copper Mountain will also open on Friday with more than 90 acres of terrain featuring skiing and riding for all ability levels. The American Eagle lift will begin turning at 9 a.m. and shortly thereafter the Easy Rider and Excelerator lifts will spin.

Trails that are expected to open Friday include Ptarmigan, Rhapsody, Main Vein, Fairplay and Easy Rider. Additionally, Lower Bouncer is expected to feature a Woodward Pop-Up park consisting of one jump and about a dozen features. Skiers and riders can look for more natural terrain to open as conditions allow.

Throughout the weekend, guests can enjoy free live music, giveaways and a variety of dining and après ski options throughout Center Village.

Copper Mountain season passes are on sale for $589 for adults and $289 for children until November 18 when prices increase $40 and $20 respectively. The last chance to purchase Copper Mountain Four Packs for $279 in-person and online is now through November 18. For more information on opening day and passes, visit www.coppercolorado.com.

To show Copper’s appreciation for military veterans, the resort will offer $60 lift tickets on Veteran’s Day, Monday, Nov. 11. The $60 discounted lift tickets are available for one day only to all skiers and riders and must be purchased online before midnight Monday.

Vail Nordic Ski Swap

We just had the big Vail Ski & Snowboard Club swap where you could get everything you needed for alpine skiing and snowboarding a few weeks ago. This weekend, the Vail Nordic Center hosts the 35th annual Nordic Ski Swap at the Vail Nordic and Golf Clubhouse in Vail.

Winters are long in Colorado, so switch things up by switching out your activities. Taking a day off from alpine skiing or snowboarding and heading out to do some cross country skiing or skate skiing lets you experience the outdoors in a different way. Telemark gear and alpine touring gear can get you up to that next hut trip or allow you to avoid the crowds by skiing in the backcountry. Or skin up the mountain before work to get some cardio in before you start your day. Whatever your mode of transportation, it all provides a great workout (remember, the holidays are coming and you need to fit into those ski pants).

Getting into a new sport can be expensive. By going to a swap, you are able to find the gear that will allow you to try out the sport and see if it is right for you without paying retail.

Buy or sell skate skis, touring and track skis as well as telemark, backcountry and snowshoe equipment. Winter clothing will be on sale as well. Drop off Nordic gear you want to sell between 2 to 6 p.m. on Friday. The Nordic Ski Swap takes place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday with discounts starting after 12 p.m. A portion of the proceeds benefit the Homestake Peak School Nordic program. Please note that it is cash or check only for purchases. Visit www.vailrec.com or call 970-479-2279 for more information.

2nd Friday Artwalks on Broadway

Eagle Arts presents 2nd Friday Artwalks this Friday, but this time it’s extra special because the art community in Eagle is celebrating its first anniversary. What started out as an idea artist Tara Novak of Artspace workshop+gallery hatched with the Vail Valley Art Guild and Red Canyon Cafe to host the first Eagle Art Walk last November has grown into an event that encompasses more than art.

Broadway Street in Eagle will turn into a holiday market with galleries, shops and restaurants offering art exhibitions, live music, interactive activities, sales and specials.

Presented by Eagle Arts and the Broadway Business Community, join family and friends from 5 to 8 p.m. for a fun evening out. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/eagleartscolorado. Here are a few of the participating businesses and what they will be featuring:

  • Alpaca Yarn Shop
    – Live alpacas, bring your knitting projects for a Knit Night
  • Artspace workshop+gallery
    – Art exhibit and live music
    – Eagle Arts raffle and food drive – bring a canned food item, get a ticket
    – 3 Holiday gift making mini-workshops
  • Bonfire Brewing
    – Happy hour and live music
  • Old Town Hall Gallery – Vail Valley Art Guild
    – New gallery location and exhibition
    – Live music with Jen Mack
  • Owashi Sushi & Kitchen
    – Art exhibit and dinner special
  • Katch of the Day Wine Bar
    – Fundraiser for Zehr Goat Ranch with goats
  • Brush Creek Saloon
    – Dinner specials
  • Everyday Outfitters
    – Live Music, refreshments and art
  • Fusion Hair Salon
    – Art and pottery exhibition
  • Petals of Provence
    – Holiday gift making mini-workshop

Craftsman’s Christmas Market

What’s been known as the Chicken Noodle Soup & Bazaar for years is now the Craftsman’s Christmas Market. Hosted at the Brush Creek Elementary in Eagle, the holiday market and crafts fair will feature hand-made items that are unique to this region. Shoppers will still be able to find their favorite western and vintage items as well as visit the man in the big red suit. Santa will make an appearance in Eagle County, so bring the kids along to this event.

Along with the crafts, the famous home-made chicken noodle soup and pies will be available for purchase to enjoy with friends while you shop or you can even take it home and enjoy it later.  

This holiday fair has been going on for over 40 years and is the main fundraiser for the United Methodist Women of Eagle Valley. The proceeds from this event go directly to helping women and children in our community and throughout the world. Stop by Brush Creek Elementary School from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Veteran’s Day Ceremony

Leading up to Veteran’s Day, which is Monday, the veterans from the Mount of the Holy Cross VFW Post 10721 out of Minturn were busy visiting 19 schools and being part of receptions, assemblies and classroom talks. Kids from all grade levels were able to learn more about what it was like to be on a tour of duty or to serve during a time of peace.

Many of the veterans wore their uniforms or fatigues and brought other items like canteens, technical backpacks and fireproof flight suits to share in the classrooms so the kids could see the gear and learn about what it was like in the jungles of Vietnam during that war or flying a B-52 bomber.

According to Military.com, Veteran’s Day honors veterans who are living or deceased who served honorably in the military during wartime or peacetime. It is sometimes confused with Memorial Day, which honors service members who died during service to their country or as a result of injuries incurred during battle. Veteran’s Day is observed on Nov. 11, which was also known as Armistice Day.

A public Veterans Day ceremony will be held at Freedom Park in Edwards at 4 p.m. on Monday. The guest speaker will be retired US Navy Chaplain Rabbi Joel Newman. The VFW has enlisted the talents of community members to perform on Monday. Nicole Gustafson will sing the “National Anthem”. Gustafson is a former student of Vail Performing Arts Academy, who is currently attending Colorado Mountain College working towards a nursing degree. The 5th-grade classes from Edwards and Avon Elementary Schools will be singing also.

Freedom Park hosts many military-related ceremonies throughout the year. Along the west end of the pond, you will find the Freedom Park Memorial, a 600-pound piece of limestone from the Pentagon’s west wall. The memorial not only commemorates 9/11 but also honors fallen veterans, police and emergency personnel from Eagle County.

Restaurant deals, Oktoberfest, a wine crush and more: Tricia’s weekend picks 9/27/19

Vail Beaver Creek Restaurant Week

The seventh annual Vail Beaver Creek Restaurant Week kicks off Friday and will run through Oct. 6. This 10-day event excites foodies and those looking for deals at area hotels and spas during autumn in the Vail Valley. The $20.19 restaurant specials offer a chance to go for that expense dish and with hotels and spas offering discounts, you could make a staycation out of it or invite friends and family into town at a discount. If you’re celebrating a birthday, anniversary or just want a date night, take advantage of the savings this time of year.

Guests will quickly notice their favorite locations from the past six years are once again participating with new restaurants, lodges and spas joining this popular event.

At the Vail and Beaver Creek Chophouse, the lunch deal will feature a house salad, their Mountain Cheeseburger plus one topping and house dessert for $20.19. For dinner enjoy either the Loch Duart Scottish Salmon with summer sweet corn succotash, rock shrimp and roasted corn sauce or slow-cooked pork shank with green apple mustard, mascarpone polenta and fennel slaw.

Sweet Basil with have appetizer and drink specials for $20.19. A few to choose from: Salmon Tataki and their Perfect Margarita, a blend of Herradura Silver tequila, lime, Cointreau and Grand Marnier; chicken liver terrine and a glass of Tokaji wine; six oysters and a glass of sparkling wine.

Montauk Seafood Grill in Lionshead is doing the math for you with 40.38% off entrées. (That’s 20.19% times two). At Gessner at the Grand Hyatt Vail (formerly Hotel Talisa) enjoy $20.19 select bottles of wine in addition to two-for-one entrées with the purchase of an appetizer.

Hotels are offering attractive deals as well. The new Grand Hyatt Vail will have rates starting at $169. Montaneros Vail will offer 20% off its rates and the Antlers Vail has condos starting at $168 per night. The Sebastian Vail has its special fall staycation specials for Colorado residents from Eagle, Summit, Pitkin and Garfield Counties.

Spa deals can be found at the Allegria Spa at the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek, Bloom Spa at the Sebastian Vail, the Spa at the Sonnenalp Vail and Vail Athletic Club.

For the most updated list of deals, view the Dining at Altitude website at www.diningataltitude.com. Check back often, as more specials may be added.

Oktoberfest at the Sonnenalp

Just when you thought it was safe to put away the lederhosen, the Sonnenalp Vail is hosting another Oktoberfest celebration this Saturday. The Sonnenalp typically hosts a few of these traditional beer fests around Memorial Day and July 4. This last event lines up with the official Oktoberfest celebration in Munich, Germany, which kicked off last Saturday and runs through Oct. 6.

The family-run hotel, which has roots that date back to 1919 in Bavaria, Germany, will provide the most authentic backdrop of all the Oktoberfest celebrations held in the area. The dirndls and lederhosen you see the staff wear aren’t just brought out for this day, it’s the uniform they don throughout the year.

There will be classics such as bratwurst with sauerkraut and specialty dishes like kasespatzle and apfelstrudel will also be on hand. Their pretzels will be served with dark ale mustard, Erdinger beer cheese sauce and apple butter. Seating will be classic beer garden style on a first-come, first-served basis.

There will be beer to wash it all down. The Sonnenalp has paired up again with Erdinger beer from Erding in Bavaria. Big steins will be filled with a few different varieties.  

Providing the music will be Those Austrian Guys playing classic folk tunes and the chicken dance. The event runs from 2 to 8 p.m. Fall lodging specials are available in case you want to remain in the Bavarian vibe and stay right at the hotel. For more information, please visit www.sonnenalp.com.

Wild West Day

Wondering where all the families are on Sunday? You’ll find them at 4 Eagle Ranch for Wild West Day. Hundreds of families will be having a great time while supporting and raising money for nine public elementary schools in Eagle County.

The 29th annual event is put on to enhance the education of the children through each school’s PTA/PTO and Education Foundation of Eagle County (www.efec.org). This local hoedown is filled with fun, games and entertainment for the whole family from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Get there early and take part in the Wild West Great Stampede hosted by the Kids Adventure Games on Sunday morning. This event will be more of an obstacle course style race this year. Registration is from 8:45 to 9:15 a.m. and the race starts at 9:30 a.m.

The silent auction, featuring all sorts of spa deals, restaurant deals and gift cards, is already live online so you can peruse it at your leisure but keep in mind, the auction closes on Oct. 5. Western fun and activities can be found around the ranch and rumor has it that the dunk tank and the open mic for aspiring singers may show up again.

In addition to Wild West Day, the Wild Wine Tasting will be held on Friday at the beautiful and rustic SaddleRidge restaurant in Beaver Creek. Boone’s Wine and Spirits is bringing out a huge wine selection, plus there will be appetizers and dessert from SaddleRidge and Mountain Flour. There’s also a silent auction featuring exclusive auction items available only at the Wild Wine Tasting.

To get tickets for Wild West Day, Wild Wine Tasting or to view the auction items go to www.efec.org.

Vines at Vail Wine Crush

Speaking of wine, why not join in the winemaking process by visiting Vines at Vail? This modest mountain, boutique winery hosts its 29th annual crush this weekend at its location at 4 Eagle Ranch.

Come out between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Friday and from 10 a.m. until about 2 p.m. on Saturday for the crush, which starts the fermentation process. Also on Saturday, be a part of the “I Love Lucy” costume contest reminiscent of that famous scene where Lucille Ball was stomping grapes with her feet. Look for inspiration for costumes on the Internet by searching “Lucy grape stomp outfit” and you’ll see plenty of ideas.

When you hear Vines at Vail you may wonder where their grapes come from. Although there are some vineyards in western Colorado, all of the Vines at Vail grapes come from Lodi, Stockton and Amador, California.

“We are hands-on with every process of making wine. All of our patrons love to touch, taste and be a part of it because no one in the valley does this,” said Patrick Chirichillo, founder, owner and winemaker at Vines at Vail. To learn more or to get signed up for the event, visit www.vinesatvail.com.

Walk to End Alzheimer’s

The second annual Vail Valley Walk to End Alzheimer’s will take place at the Brush Creek Park and Pavilion in Eagle on Saturday morning. The Walk to End Alzheimer’s is part of the walks held nationally by the Alzheimer’s Association. The walk is one of six held in Colorado. There are 600 held throughout the nation each year.

According to its website, the mission of the Alzheimer’s Association is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. It’s a daunting task, but one that is necessary, especially when you consider the statistics on the website:

  • Between 2000 and 2017, deaths from Alzheimer’s have increased by 145%.
  • In the United States, someone develops Alzheimer’s disease every 65 seconds.
  • Alzheimer’s Disease is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States.
  • In 2018, more than 16 million caregivers of people living with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias provided an estimated 18.5 billion hours of unpaid care, a contribution to the nation valued at more than $234 billion.
  • In 2019, Alzheimer’s disease will cost the United States $290 billion. This number is projected to rise to more than $1.1 trillion in 2050.

Those statistics are why it’s now being called an epidemic in the U.S. and the Alzheimer’s Association is leading the charge for Alzheimer’s care, education and research and is making sure that every level of government is hearing this. 

Register online in advance or register at the event starting at 8:30 a.m. and the program begins at 9:30 a.m. followed by the walk at 10 a.m. Walking in the event is free, but feel free to donate to help the Alzheimer’s Associate keep this disease at the top of minds of researchers and the government. Set up a team or join a team and wear purple to the event if you have it. The walk is a moderate two-mile walk around the Brush Creek Park and downtown Eagle Ranch. Bring the whole family and dogs are welcome, too.

Alzheimer’s is the only top ten causes of death in America that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed. If Alzheimer’s touches you or someone you know, gain some hope by joining the walk on Saturday. For more information and to sign up in advance go to www.alz.org/walk. Join me if you want someone to walk with. I’ll be walking for my dad who is currently suffering from Alzheimer’s.

Mountainfilm on Tour showcase focuses on equity emphasis in Eagle County Schools

Perspective is everything.

Eagle County Schools wants to help us see things from someone else’s point of view, someone culturally different. Among the keys to achieving this, district officials say, is to have this conversation without anyone being called a racist.

“That’s a conversation killer. The school district does not believe we live in a racist community,” Dan Dougherty, the school district’s communications chief said.

Toward that end, Mountainfilm on Tour is stopping in Edwards and Eagle with a special lineup of short films — about 10 minutes each — focusing on equity.

The school district defines equity as “freedom from bias or favoritism.” The two traits are often not intentional, the district said in announcing Mountainfilm on Tour, but stem from a lack of experience with other cultures and “dimensions of difference.”

“It’ll help provide a framework to help parents understand it,” Dougherty said.

Equity training

The Mountainfilm evenings are sandwiched around this week’s launch of the school district’s Youth Equity Stewardship Training. Student volunteers are learning to be more culturally inquisitive and how they can change their school’s culture from the inside out, Dougherty said.

For example, it might be common for those raised in Hispanic culture to think that all white people want to live in Mayberry. They don’t. English speakers might think that all Spanish speakers come from Mexico. They don’t.

“It would help to be able to communicate without all the emotion and vitriol,” Dougherty said.

Mountainfilm’s worldwide viewpoint

The films are designed to demonstrate how people in other parts of the world are dealing with the issue.

“Hopefully some of the content will help advance their goals and inspire the students,” said Will Falltrick, the producer of Mountainfilm on Tour.

Mountainfilm hosts its annual film festival over the Memorial Day weekend in Telluride. The nonfiction films chronicle adventure and empowering stories. This year’s Mountainfilm theme was equity.

When the festival is over, Mountainfilm takes its shows on the road. This week in the Vail Valley is the first time the organization has partnered with Eagle County schools, Falltrick said, and it’s one of Mountainfilm’s rare custom programs. Most of the student shows they take to public K-12 schools screen shows from a consistent list.

American underdogs

These documentary shorts are classic American underdog stories, focusing on what some kids have faced in terms of their cultural differences and how the community made them feel, Dougherty said.

“Many of the films have an equity theme, and we felt it would help people understand the cultural competency,” Dougherty said. “We are a diverse community. Recognizing all cultures and recognizing that the way out of this is through experience.”

High school students will see some of the films during the school day Wednesday at Battle Mountain and Thursday at Eagle Valley.

To bring the parents into the loop they’ll have evening showings: Wednesday at the  Riverwalk Theater in Edwards and Thursday at the Capitol Theater Eagle. They’re free, but all the tickets are gone.

If you have tickets they want you to arrive early so you can “connect” with others attending. They’d also like you to hang around afterward for a panel discussion.

Among the films:

“Safe Haven” — Since it opened in March 2018, Memphis Rox has been the nation’s only nonprofit climbing gym — open to all, regardless of ability to pay. It has proven that the challenges of technical climbing have strong appeal and can provide benefits well beyond the traditional outdoor-recreation community.

Brotherhood of Skiers” — The group has been bringing camaraderie and dance parties to ski slopes since 1973. The annual summits, which unite African-American ski clubs across the country, are fundraisers for youth programs to pass the love of skiing down to the next generation.

Mi Mama” — Nadia Iris Mercado is connected to nature, her ancestry and her mother, who sacrificed her own hopes and dreams to give Nadia the best possible chance to realize hers.

R.A.W. Tuba” — If you’re Dr. Richard Antoine White, the tuba is like the life of the underdog. White grew up intermittently homeless and became a world-class symphony musician, professor and the first African American in the world to receive a doctorate in music for tuba performance. As he says, “the only thing that will stop me from being successful is death.”

Vail Oktoberfest, Eagle River clean up, car shows and more: Tricia’s weekend picks 9/6/19

Oktoberfest in Lionshead

After kicking off Oktoberfest last weekend in Beaver Creek, the annual Bavarian holiday comes east. Vail Oktoberfest will be set up this Friday through Sunday in Lionshead, where the Arrabelle provides the perfect backdrop with its Bavarian-style architecture. 

Festival guests will enjoy classic Bavarian fare including brats, schnitzel sandwiches, spaetzle, pretzels and more. No Oktoberfest celebration would be complete without authentic Oktoberfest beer and Vail Oktoberfest is proud to serve Spaten.

Come for the beer and brats, but stay for the entertainment. Each day offers an array of music from the traditional oompah-style bands like Helmut Fricker and the Rhinlanders Band to ‘80s cover tunes from local band Rewind. 

You’ll also notice that it is all fun and games at Vail Oktoberfest. Enter the brat eating or stein lifting competitions, try keg bowling or see if your outfit is authentic enough to win top honors in the costume contest. Bring the kids to the Bavarian Kinder Club for games and crafts from 12 to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. For the full schedule of events, please visit www.vailoktoberfest.com.

Races in Eagle County

There will be plenty of opportunities to test your mettle against other athletes both up valley and down valley this weekend. Major League Triathlon returns to Avon and the Mountain Rats Trail running races are back in Eagle this weekend. 

Major League Triathlon isn’t just a competition, it’s a show that is spectator friendly where pro triathletes race a mixed-race relay format with abbreviated swimming, biking and running courses before tagging their teammate to race the next leg. But the event isn’t just for the pros, amateurs are welcome to come out and try it as well. There will be everything from the 5k to an IPA run to an Avon Beer Mile run and a splash and dash race for the kids. Bark in the Park allows you to bring your dog along while you run a little over 3 miles in Nottingham Park. 

On Saturday, qualifying rounds will be going on all day with the championships taking place starting at 5 p.m. Locals will get one more chance to see a super-sprint mixed-relay triathlon before the event makes it Olympic debut in Tokyo in 2020.

Live free concerts by The Larry Keel Experience and Trout Steak Revival round out the festival with concerts each night. For more information, go to www.majorleaguetri.com

If trail running is more your thing, the Mountain Rats trail racing event down valley will offer a marathon, a 50k run and a “heavy half”, which is a little longer than the typical half marathon. There is also a 5k held on a relatively flat path that is paved where you can walk, jog, run or race for time. 

All events will start and end in Eagle Ranch. Color Coffee will serve as the kick-off and return point during the races and the after part will be at Boneyard (formerly the Dusty Boot in Eagle Ranch). For a complete schedule and registration information, visit www.geminiadventures.com.

Vail Automotive Classic

If you like cars, you’ll love the opportunities to see some great classics or newer makes and models at this year’s Vail Automotive Classic in Vail.

Each year, the Vail Automotive Classic celebrates the art of the machine with a series of automotive events in the Vail Valley. Their largest event and fundraiser takes place every September and brings car collectors and admirers of all ages out to talk cars and raise a little money for charities.

On Saturday, bring your prized vehicle to Mountain Plaza at Gondola One from 9-11 a.m. for Cars and Coffee. View the vehicles and talk about everything from Bugattis to Bentleys and muscle cars to Maseratis. 

On Sunday, the vintage and new vehicles will be on display in Vail Village from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The marque brand for 2019 is BMW, so expect to see some old and new cars and motorcycles on display. There will be judged categories as well as a people’s choice award, so cast your vote for your favorite vehicle. For more information, call Mark Bergman at 518-232-6544.

Eagle River Cleanup

By donating just three hours of your time, you can help improve the watershed in Eagle County. Saturday marks the 25th annual Eagle River Cleanup, which goes beyond the Eagle River. Nearly 70 miles of banks along the Eagle River, Gore Creek, the upper Colorado River and tributaries are part of this countywide effort. 

The Eagle River Watershed Council organizes the event, which will see over 350 volunteers come out from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m. The Eagle River Watershed Council strives to protect and enhance the high-quality natural, scenic and economic values that the rivers and tributaries provide to the citizens, visitors and wildlife of the Eagle River and Colorado River watersheds located in Eagle County.

“The efforts of hundreds of volunteers are very evident throughout the valley after our cleanup events,” said Kate Isaacson with the Eagle River Watershed Council. “A lot of the trash found along our waterways contains plastics or other harmful chemicals which degrade and make their way into our water system.”

As a thank you to all the volunteers, presenting sponsor Vail Resorts Epic Promise will host a barbecue after the clean up from 12 to 2 p.m. at the Broken Arrow Cafe in Arrowhead. There will also be live music with The Runaway Grooms and free beer from Bonfire Brewing. 

Each participant will also get a commemorative t-shirt and the teams are asked to bring in their most interesting piece of trash to the event for a chance to win the Most Unusual Trash Award. To learn more contact the Eagle River Watershed Council at www.erwc.org

First Fridays Art Exhibits 

The Vail Valley Art Guild will showcase the photography of a local high school student as part of its First Friday exhibit and reception series at the Guild’s studio at 291 Main Street in Minturn. 

Celia Barrie, a sophomore at Battle Mountain High School, will exhibit photos taken while on a recent safari in Africa. Accompanied by her Richmond, Virginia, grandparents, Celia traveled to Qatar, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa and viewed a variety of landscapes and wild animals.

The event is free and open to the public on Friday between 5:30 and 8 p.m. and is made possible by the Vail Valley Art Guild’s Outreach program, which provides local venues for young artists and photographers to exhibit their work. The Vail Valley Art Guild also sponsors lectures, field trips and workshops throughout the year. For additional information, visit www.vailvalleyartguild.com.

Also on Friday, check out Gallery 8 Arts in Avon as they showcase the artwork of Shen, the original West Coast graffiti girl at their First Friday event. 

Shen used to call the Vail Valley home and now resides and Texas, but just came from South Dakota where she was painting a mural in a school at the Rosebud Indian Reservation. It’s all part of her new Street Art Evangelism program where Shen goes into areas that are depressed or hurting and strives to bring hope, light and love to those communities through her art. 

Shen is known for her portraits, especially portraits of musicians from pretty much every genre. Welcome Shen back to the Vail Valley at the reception between 4 and 7 p.m. Gallery 8 Arts is located at 150 E. Beaver Creek Blvd., between the UPS Store and Green Elephant Juicery. For more information, go to www.gallery8arts.com.

Pro bike racing, live music, trail runs at 10k feet and more: Tricia’s weekend picks 8/23/19

Colorado Classic bike race in Avon

Professional bike racing returns to Colorado and this time it’s the ladies’ turn to take to the streets and steeps throughout a four-city tour that includes Avon this Friday. The Colorado Classic presented by VF Corporation will be the only UCI standalone women’s stage race in North America; raising the bar with quadrupled prize purse, team stipends, live streaming and longer, more challenging routes.

Avon represents Stage Two of the Colorado Classic and the women will complete seven laps that are five miles in length around the town of Avon before the final lap, which is 15 miles long and will take riders up and down some of the steepest roadways in Eagle County: Strawberry Park Road and Daybreak Ridge Road.

To add an extra element of suspense, there will be a Bonus Cash Lap where you can donate money and half of the donation will go to the winning rider and the other half will go to a different charity during each stage. The charity for the Avon stage is the locally-based Youth Initiative Project, created by local professional skier Chris Anthony. Anthony’s goal is to have the Avon Stage be the biggest moneymaker of all the Bonus Cash Laps held at the other stages. Stage One was held on Thursday in Steamboat Springs, Stage Three takes place in Golden on Saturday and Stage Four will be in Denver on Sunday. To donate, go to www.accelevents.com/e/avon.

Here are some tips on where to watch:

Start/Finish Line at Lake Street Nottingham Park:

Enjoy the Bike and Lifestyle Expo area in Nottingham Park while cheering on riders during the first seven laps from the start/finish line on Lake Street.

Main Street Mall and Benchmark Road: 

Catch the racers as they sprint through seven laps and, on the final lap, fight to the finish line. You can also pick up official Colorado Classic merchandise by Primal.

Village Road:

Line the sidewalk and make some noise for the final lap as the peloton begins their uphill battle towards Bachelor Gulch, they’ll fly by again on their descent as they race toward the finish line. 

Daybreak Ridge Road at Village to Village Trail:

Encourage racers as they battle it out for Queen of the Mountain while tackling one of Colorado’s most notorious climbs: Daybreak Ridge. This Fan Zone is accessible by foot only and offers a prime opportunity to hike or bike your way to the cheering section on this landmark.

For more details including the schedule of multiple road closures throughout Avon, Beaver Creek and Bachelor Gulch and how to watch the race if you can’t be there in person, go to www.avon.org/coclassic.

José González at the Vilar

The name may not be familiar – yet – but the music of José González will jog the memory of those who have heard his songs on shows like “The O.C.,” “One Tree Hill,” Parenthood,” and Ben Stiller’s “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” over the past several years. This Argentinian-Swedish singer-songwriter takes the stage for the first time at the Vilar Performing Arts Center on Saturday at 8 p.m. Here’s what the Vilar staff is saying about this Saturday’s concert:

“José González has a way of drawing in listeners with his beautiful voice. He’s known for the intimate nature of his performances which is one of the reasons we knew we had to have him on our stage,” said Ruthie Hamrick, marketing manager for the Vilar Performing Arts Center. “His lyrics are truly moving and if you don’t know him yet, he headlines festivals in Europe, so being able to host him for a stop on his U.S. tour is an honor.”

“We’re also happy about the addition of Colorado-based musician Covenhoven who will open the show. He has steadily been making a name for himself and we’re excited to see where his career will take him,” said Kim Hannold, programming director for the Vilar.

“He has been picking up momentum in the U.S. and filling venues across the front range,” added Duncan Horner, executive director of the Vilar. In fact, González’s show at the Denver Botanical Gardens is sold out on Sunday.

Get your tickets for Saturday’s show by visiting www.vilarPAC.org or call the box office at 970-845-8497.

Eagle Music Festival

With the school year upon us, many families will be staying in town this weekend. If you are looking for a fun way to gather and be entertained, then head on over to the Boneyard in Eagle for the Eagle Music Festival: We Are In This Together on Saturday. 

This family-friendly event is a fundraiser benefitting the Eagle River Youth Coalition and the Red Ribbon Project. The Eagle River Youth Coalition’s mission is to continuously and collaboratively improve the lives of youth in the most powerful ways possible. The Red Ribbon Project’s mission is to promote healthier lives by empowering the community to reduce teen pregnancy, HIV/AIDS and other STIs. The two nonprofits teamed up formally in 2017 and they are excited to expand their collaboration efforts.

“We have seen our efforts grow tremendously and believe that together we are better serving the community,” said Mikayla Curtis of the Red Ribbon Project.

“Together we are stronger; we don’t duplicate services and we remain committed to providing high-quality services while being fiscally responsible,” added Heather Hower of the Eagle River Youth Coalition.

The event kicks off at 4 p.m. and goes until 10 p.m. During that time, enjoy a raffle, silent auction and music by First Chair, Mysterious Forces and Wave 2 youth band. The silent auction will have items from Vail Resorts, a one-night stay at The Sebastian Vail, stays at The Antlers, Marriott, along with spa, yoga and restaurant gift certificates. There is also a balloon pop where guests can pay $10 and select a balloon to pop and win a fun prize. And, it wouldn’t be family fun without a bounce house, so prepare to tire the kids out during this time.

“Working together we can now say that we’ve educated 4,568 youth in grades five through twelve during in-school prevention programs. We have increased the number of hours spent with children, helping create a positive, safe place for open conversations on sensitive youth issues,” Hower said.

All of the programs are offered free of charge. “There is only more and more of a need for social-emotional and prevention programs, so here we are, hoping to increase our offerings,” Hower said. 

For more information contact either organization at info@EagleYouth.org or info@redribbonproject.org. The Boneyard was formerly The Dusty Boot restaurant in Eagle Ranch near the movie theater.

Run a 10k at 10,000 feet

If you’ve been trail running all summer long, why not test your mettle and sign up for the Dynafit Vail Trail Running Series 10k at 10,000 Feet? Or, if you aren’t quite ready for a 10k at that altitude, there is a 5k as well. Both races are at 8 a.m. on Saturday on Vail Mountain.

The good news is that you don’t have to run all the way up Vail Mountain, both the 5k and 10k start at the top of Gondola One at Mid Vail, which is around 9,000 feet. Racers for both distances will be taken up to elevations around 11,000 feet above sea level before returning to Mid Vail. To keep minds off the pain the lungs and legs might feel, fantastic views of the Gore Range and Mount of the Holy Cross are all available to those who take their gazes off the trail below for a few moments.

All racers must ride up Gondola One. Ride time is estimated at around 12 minutes, so the Vail Rec District recommends runners load the gondola by 7:30 a.m. to get up to the starting line.

After the race, runners are treated to nutritious, local and tasty fuel from Northside Coffee and Kitchen and a custom-designed t-shirt.

Online pre-registration ends at 3 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 23. Day-of registration is available at the base of the gondola from 6:30 to 7:45 a.m. Bib pick up and registration is also available at the Lululemon store in Vail Village from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday.

This is the sixth race of the Dynafit Vail Trail Running Series and the last race is Meadow Gold 5k and 10k race on Sept. 14. For more information about the race and how spectators can view friends and family, visit www.vailrec.com.

Riverwalk Jazz and Walk to End Alzheimer’s fundraiser

Labor Day Weekend marks the big Vail Jazz Party with days of musical acts lined up, but all summer long we’ve received a taste of the musical flavor of jazz with various concerts at venues throughout the Vail Valley and Jazz at Riverwalk has been one of those venues. Friday marks the last concert of the Vail Jazz series. Don’t miss Eef & the Blues Express at 6 p.m. at the outdoor stage along the Eagle River.

Eef & the Blues Express celebrates its 10th year of making music with a Vail Jazz debut. One of Colorado’s premier blues bands, this dynamic five-piece sonic party has seen its popularity increase throughout the U.S. but enjoys particular popularity for its many gigs around the state. They bring a feel-good drive to blues, soul, Motown, New Orleans and a variety of original and cover tunes. Come celebrate Riverwalk’s fifth season of summer parties down by the river at this free show. For more info, go to www.vailjazz.org.

Also at the Riverwalk on Friday, look for the Alzheimer’s Association folks who will be “Painting Riverwalk Purple” for a special fundraiser. Purchase a $25 Purple Value Card in front of Village Market, Riverwalk Theater or Slifer Designs and take advantage of special offers all day and evening from participating Riverwalk merchants. How about 15% off your bill at Main Street Grill, 15% off furnishings at Slifer Designs or 25% off in-stock cycling shorts and short-sleeve cycling tops at The Kind Bikes and Skis? It’s a special sale just for Purple Value Cardholders that day only.

Proceeds from the Purple Value Cards benefit the Vail Valley Walk to End Alzheimer’s on September 28th at Brush Creek Pavilion in Eagle. To learn more about the walk, visit www.act.alz.org.

Wine tastings, mud runs, monster trucks and more: Tricia’s weekend picks 8/9/19

Beaver Creek Wine and Spirits Festival

There are wine and spirits festivals, and then there are wine and spirits festivals at Beaver Creek. For the 13th year, the Beaver Creek Wine and Spirits Festival puts its own special twist on incorporating culinary excellence with outdoor adventures that pair together perfectly. Here’s a look at the schedule throughout the weekend. Please note that the wine dinners at both Mirabelle and Splendido are sold out.

Friday

  • A Taste of Sicily Seminar – 12-1:30 p.m. – Toscanini
  • The Grower Champagne Seminar – 2:30-4:00 p.m.  – The Met Kitchen
  • Rosé Soiree – 3–5 p.m. – Village

Saturday

  • Hike and Lunch: A Guided Gourmet Adventure – 10 a.m. –2 p.m. – Summer Adventure Center – Spruce Saddle
  • Shaping Your Senses: Wine Glassware and Tasting Seminar – 12-1:30 p.m. – Peregrine Room at The Osprey
  • Women in Wine – 1– 3 p.m. – Village
  • Pinot Noir Uncorked Seminar – 2:30-4 p.m. – Peregrine Room at The Osprey
  • 13th Annual Grand Tasting – 5– 8 p.m. – Base of Haymeadow Express Gondola 

Sunday

  • Guided 4×4 Adventure Tour with a wine and cheese pairing – 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. – start and end at Centennial Station.  

For more information and tickets, please visit www.beavercreek.com.

Vail Dance Festival Closing Weekend

If you haven’t had a chance to see a performance at the Vail Dance Festival, there is still time this weekend. In its 31st year, the Vail Dance Festival continues to shine, inspire and amaze event-goers throughout the two-week festival.

The Martha Graham Dance Company returns to the festival with a program that highlights both the history of the company and the future of modern dance. Don’t miss the Graham masterpiece “Appalachian Spring” which will be set to the Aaron Copeland score and played by the Breckenridge Music Festival Orchestra.

Choreographer Pam Tanowitz will also present one of her works set to the music of composer-in-residence, Caroline Shaw.

Find out why the “New York Times” has been stated that “The company is overflowing with talented dancers” at Friday night’s show at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater.

Ballet Hispanico made its debut in 2018 and is back for more on Saturday. “Last year was an incredible experience and we look forward to sharing more of our repertory with the Vail audiences,” said Eduardo Vilaro, artistic director and CEO of Ballet Hispanico. 

Before closing down the festival on Saturday night at the Ford Amphitheater, Ballet Hispanico will be Dancing in the Streets, one of the Vail Dance Festival’s fringe events, on Saturday at 12 p.m. at the crossroads of Gore and Bridge Street in Vail Village.

“Since Ballet Hispanico’s inception, our mission has been tied to community education and engagement making the Dancing in the Streets event something we relish in doing as a Company.”

Ballet Hispanico will close down the festival with new works along with audience favorites including “Club Havana” which was featured on PBS’s “Live From Lincoln Center.” A closing night dance party complete with a salsa band will follow the performance. The audience is invited to join in the celebration and dance on the same stage the pros have been on for the past two weeks to close down another fun and fabulous Vail Dance Festival.  

For tickets, go to www.vaildance.org. Showtime for both shows is 7:30 p.m.

Kids Adventure Games

I have some good news and bad news about the Kids Adventure Games. I’ll give you the bad news first: they are sold out. But, the good news is there are still ways to take part in this fun family weekend.

The challenging yet fun course is designed especially for kids in teams of two ranging in age from 6 to 14. The course involves a range of obstacles in an outdoor environment. It’s very spectator friendly along the 2.5-4 mile course as well. Watch as the teams go through up to 15 man-made and natural obstacles.

In addition to spectating, take part in activities at the Adventure Zone in Solaris Plaza from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Friday through Sunday. There will also be a yoga session with Revolution Power Yoga at 2:30 on Saturday.

There’s still space available to get your competitive juices flowing during the KEEN Family Mud Run on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. Here, it’s more about getting dirty and having fun than taking first place. The course meanders around the base of Mountain Plaza and yes, you will get muddy during the mud run. All mud runners will receive a special gift from the sponsors for their willingness to get soiled and there will be some “cool” ways to wash off at the finish line.

The Kids Adventure Games started in Vail in 2010 and has grown greatly since then. Competitions are held at various locations across the U.S., so if you can’t get into the Vail Kids Adventure Games next year, try traveling to one of these destinations:

  • Stowe, VT
  • Big Sky, MT
  • North Lake Tahoe, CA
  • Lost Valley, ME
  • Park City, UT

For a full schedule and information on how to get involved, visit www.kidsadventuregames.com.

Vail Jazz at the Riverwalk

Summertime in the Vail Valley is all about outdoor music and one of the newest venues is the small amphitheater along the river at Riverwalk. Vail Jazz has its big Vail Jazz Party coming up Labor Day weekend, but leading up to the signature event, the music spills out into communities up and down valley. The Jazz at the Riverwalk shows started out just being a once a month thing and has grown to include every Friday between Independence Day through Labor Day.

Quemando takes the stage on Friday. Quemando means “burning” in Spanish and this salsa band will be heating up the stage and encouraging folks to get up and move on the lawn at Riverwalk. Lots of energy will be coming out of this 12-piece band as they cover legendary Latin tracks from artists like Celia Cruz, Marc Anthony, Gloria Esteban and more. They have also been known to add a little heat to classics from the Beatles and Frank Sinatra.

Gates open at 5 p.m. and there are food and beverage tents and other vendors on hand for you to mingle with before the free concert begins at 6 p.m. For more information, go to www.vailjazz.org.

Crawling to a Cure

One thing I love about the Vail Valley is that you can see ballet one day and get to ride in a monster truck the next day. Come down to the Eagle on Saturday for Crawlin’ to a Cure, a benefit that “races to raise cash” and gives that money back to local families impacted by cancer. 

The Eagle County Fairgrounds are transformed into an obstacle course full of boulders, logs, tabletop jumps and other hurdles that will challenge the drivers of the various vehicles that will be out on the course. There are seven classes of vehicles competing in Saturday’s event. The cost is $100 to compete in the event or $50 if you just want to drive the course and aren’t doing it for time. Qualifying rounds will begin at 9 a.m. and the competitions will begin at 5:30 p.m.

Other activities include rides in the monster trucks, kids power wheels racing and a Show and Shine car show where you can show off your 4×4 rig.

Crawlin’ to a Cure was created in 2011 by Stewart and Vikki Hobbs as a way to help support their friend, Tiffany Myers. Tiffany Myers was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007 and lost the battle in 2016. Part of the proceeds go to the Tiffany Myers Keeping ‘em Real Memorial Scholarship Fund that helps graduating seniors in the Eagle and Garfield County area public high schools that have been impacted by cancer in their immediate family.

Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for kids aged five to ten years old. Kids who are four years old and younger are free. Crawlin’ to a Cure donates all of the driver’s fees, gate admissions and merchandise sales proceeds. For more information, visit www.crawintoaocure.org.   

Dance Festival, mushroom forays, “Frozen Jr.” and more: Tricia’s weekend picks 8/2/19

Vail Dance Festival

We are one week into the 31st annual Vail Dance Festival and premiers and collaborations have already wowed audiences and this weekend proves to be no different. A brilliant cast of dancers from around the world takes the stage in the signature International Evenings of Dance I on Friday and International Evenings of Dance II on Saturday. Don’t let the similarity in titles faze you, each evening will have different works so you’ll want to attend both.

On Friday, don’t miss 19-year-old firecracker, Roman Mejia from the New York City Ballet. He’ll be taking on the traditional woman’s solo in “Fandango” in a new collaboration with choreographer Alexi Ratmansky. You may think riding a bike up a mountain is hard on your lungs, but this solo is seven minutes in length and includes lots of jumps and turns at a dizzying speed at the end, at 8,150 feet above sea level.

On Saturday night, don’t miss the world premiere from legendary choreographer Alonzo King. This new work will be performed by an amazing cast of dancers from King’s LINES Ballet and New York City Ballet. The choreography will be paired with an original score by jazz pianist, composer and performance artist Jason Moran.

More dazzling works will be presented during this two-night showcase that features over two dozen dancers from various companies coming together to form collaborations not found anywhere else. We can’t forget the musicians, either. Many of the performances are set to live music on stage with string quartet, Brooklyn Rider, the Juilliard Music Fellows and other pianists, violinists and vocalists.

“Audiences at the International Evenings of Dance experience our magnificent dancers and musicians like nowhere else in the world. It’s new partnerships, new explorations and new interpretations of classical works done on our extraordinary Ford Amphitheater stage surrounded by the Rocky Mountains,” said Damian Woetzel, artistic director of the Vail Dance Festival.

For ticket information, go to www.vaildance.org. The Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater is an outdoor venue, so dress accordingly so you can enjoy the entire performance.

All about Art

For over three decades Beaver Creek has played host to hundreds of artists from all over the country and the world during the Beaver Creek Art Festival. Weaved throughout the Beaver Creek plaza, you’ll find over 100 artists from 30 different states showcasing paintings, sculpture, pottery, jewelry, mixed media and much more. Artists at the festival are hand-selected by an independent panel of expert judges, so know that you are seeing some of the best artists in their respective mediums at this show.

The art show is put on by Howard Allan Events, which is consistently ranked among the top art shows in the country. Every weekend Howard Allan Events shares the unique creations of hundreds of award-winning artists with thousands of art enthusiasts. Each artist will be on hand during the two-day festival.

The 32nd annual Beaver Creek Art Festival takes place Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Admission to the event is free. For more information, please visit www.beavercreek.com.

Speaking of art, there is an Art Battle hosted by Alpine Arts Center on Friday. What’s an Art Battle?  Watch as local artists battle for the public vote as they work in all different mediums and subjects in a timed art competition. There will be painters, potters, glass artists, fiber artists, and more, and spectators can see behind-the-scenes art techniques up close and watch each piece evolve from beginning to end.

The Art Battle will happen from 3 to 6 p.m. at Alpine Arts Center with live music by Justin Allison. The music continues with the free Vail Jazz Concert at the Riverwalk back lawn. The winner will be announced at the concert. Both the Art Battle and Vail Jazz Concert are free for spectators. Visit www.alpineartscenter.org for more details.

Eagle Mushroom and Wild Food Festival

Have fun learning about fungi this weekend at the Eagle Mushroom and Wild Food Festival in Eagle and beyond. Six speakers, whose talents range from academic, to author to enthusiasts to semi-professional foragers, will give you some tips on how you can locate, identify and cook up these delicious morsels. The nine-course dinner prepared by Graham Steinruck on Saturday has already sold out, but here’s a rundown of the other talks, mushroom forays and cooking demos you can take part in:

Friday

  • 4 to 7 p.m. – Registration and Speaker Meet and Greet

Saturday

  • 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. – Registration
  • 8:30, 9:30 and 10:30 a.m. – Speaker Series – Capitol Theater
  • 10:30 a.m. – Kid’s Session – Capitol Theater
  • 12 to 4 p.m. – Free, unguided public forays – various locations
  • 1 to 3 p.m. – Cooking class – Zealous School
  • 3 to 5:30 p.m. – Identification Table – Boneyard (formerly Dusty Boot)
  • 4 to 5:30 p.m. – Sauté Table – Boneyard (formerly Dusty Boot)
  • 6 p.m. – nine-course dinner – SOLD OUT

Sunday

  • Farewell Brunch – Grand Avenue Grill 

Trail running races

If you’ve been trail running all summer and want to see how you stack up against other running enthusiasts, there are a couple of options this weekend. The Vail Recreation District hosts the Dynafit Berry Picker Trail Run on Saturday and Beaver Creek hosts a half marathon on Sunday.

The Dynafit Berry Picker Trail Run takes runners from the base of Gondola One in Vail Village to the top of Vail Mountain at Mid Vail. The course will take you through gorgeous stands of aspen trees and along great trails that will lead to some wonderful views. Runners will gain over 2,200 feet in just over 4.5 miles with an average gain of 14%.

Dynafit Berry Picker Trail Run

  • Registration – pre-register on www.vailrec.com or day-of registration is from 6:30 to 7:30 a.m. at the base of Gondola One
  • 8 a.m. race starts
  • 8 to 8:30 a.m. Free access for spectators
  • Post-race the gondola will be free for racers and spectators to ride back down to Vail Village

The Endurance Race Series returns to Beaver Creek for its eighth year with not only a half marathon but also a 10k and a 5k. The courses are run on both single track and dirt road trails with a total elevation gain of 2,400 feet for the half marathon, 1,200 feet of elevation gain for the 10k, and 600 feet of elevation gain for the 5k.

Please note that this is a cupless event, meaning they will have aid stations available on course, but no cups will be handed out. Runners will be allowed to fill up their water bottles or packs. The folks from Endurance Racing Series will also be selling ERS reusable cups that are easy to carry during any race or training. They will be available onsite that morning for purchase as well.

Endurance Race Series at Beaver Creek

  • Registration – 6 a.m.
  • Half marathon – 7:30 a.m.
  • 10k – 8 a.m.
  • 5k – 8:30 a.m.
  • All races start and finish at Creekside Park
  • For more information: www.enduranceraceseries.com

 “Frozen Jr.” Musical at the Vilar

For most kids, summer means lazy days in the sun, family vacations and summer camps but for the 60 students that are a part of the Vail Performing Arts Academy (VPAA), summer also means long hours dedicated to learning the lines and dance moves for Disney’s “Frozen Jr.”

The VPAA is one of the first theatre companies in the world to be granted the rights to the performance, making this production, which is based on the 2018 Broadway musical, extra special.

Sing along with Elsa, Anna and the rest of the characters from the magical land of Arendelle when “Frozen Jr.” takes the stage at the Vilar Performing Arts Center on Sunday and Monday. “We invite the little ones (and big ones) in the audience to stand and sing along with our cast to “Let It Go!” in a rousing, jubilant finale,” said  VPAA executive producer, Annah Scully, in a press release.

“With a cast of beloved characters and loaded with magic, adventure, and plenty of humor, “Frozen Jr.” is sure to enchant and delight audiences of all ages,” Scully said.

“Frozen Jr.” will be performed at Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek on Sunday, August 4 at 2:30 and 6:30 p.m. and on Monday, August 5 at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for reserved seating. Visit vilarpac.org or call 970-845-8497.

Porcinis and chanterelles and morels, oh my!

Mushroom hunting season is upon us and with it comes the Eagle Mushroom and Wild Food Festival August 2 through 4. The typical monsoon rain showers this time of year bring out the fungi and the Eagle Mushroom and Wild Food Festival wants to give you some tips on how you can locate, identify and cook up these delicious morsels.

This three-day festival brings in experts from all over who will discuss everything from the basics of mushroom hunting and the role of mushrooms in the environment to the beneficial properties of mushrooms and how to cook and preserve them.

The Vail Valley is a perfect place to look for mushrooms because of its elevation and proper growing conditions. “Gourmet mushrooms are usually found in higher elevations, above 9,500 feet or higher near conifer trees, firs and spruces mostly. The mushrooms grow best during the summer monsoon rain patterns in the afternoon,” said Trent Blizzard, of Modern Forager and one of the featured speakers at the event. He also mentioned that porcinis, chanterelles and morels are the three varieties that they typically look for in this area.

If you know any mushroom hunters, you know that they can be secretive when it comes to where they find their bounty, but at the Eagle Mushroom and Wild Food Festival, they will lead you to a number of places so you can get a taste of what mushroom foraging is all about. “We’ll have maps leading folks right to parking spots for 12 different locations. All are 30 to 60 minutes away and each location will also have a leader to make sure people find each place and get off the mountain when they are done,” Blizzard said.

After you learn where to find them, it’s time to try them at the sauté bar from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday. “It is an eating experience. We are serving probably 30 to 40 pounds of mushrooms and will have at least five or six different species,” Blizzard said.  

Bring the kids, as there are special kids talks and activities at the Eagle Mushroom and Wild Food Festival as well. For more information, visit www.eaglemushroomfest.com.

Rodeos, reggae, star gazing and more: Tricia’s weekend picks 7/26/19

Eagle County Fair and Rodeo

For eight decades the Eagle County Fair and Rodeo has brought together families and friends to enjoy some western fun in Eagle. Come on down to the Eagle County Fairgrounds to celebrate the county’s western heritage.

Families can have fun with offerings such as carnival rides, exhibits, racing pigs, a petting zoo and contests. It’s also a way to support youth education with 4-H shows and the Junior Livestock Auction on Saturday. The nights heat up with classic rodeo action as the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) Rodeo takes to the dirt.

Wear some pink on Friday because it is “Tough Enough to Wear Pink” night, which benefits the Shaw Cancer Center. Saturday Night honors our local veterans with “Patriotic Night” and everyone is encouraged to wear some red, white and blue. Nashville recording artist Buck Ford will take the stage both nights after the rodeo to allow those who want to kick up their heels an opportunity to do so. Here’s a look at the schedule. For a full list of activities and events, go to www.eaglecountyfairandrodeo.com.

Friday

9 a.m. – 8 p.m. – 4-H and Open Class Exhibits

12 p.m. – Carve Wars Kids Academy with the chainsaw carving demo team

3 p.m. – Carnival and vendor booths open

4:30-8 p.m. – Petting zoo, pony rides, kids crafts, Carve Wars chainsaw demos

7 p.m.  – PRCA Rodeo (ticketed event)

9-11 p.m. – Free Buck Ford Concert

Saturday

9 a.m. – 8 p.m. – 4-H and Open Class Exhibits

10 a.m. – Pretty Baby contest

11 a.m. – 1 p.m.  – Cow Patty and Ba-Ba Bingo for the Eagle Valley Land Trust

12 p.m. – Carnival and vendor booths open, Carve Wars Kids Academy, Junior Livestock barbecue (ticketed event)

1 p.m. – Junior Livestock Auction

4 – 8 p.m. – Petting zoo, pony rides, kids crafts

7 p.m.  – PRCA Rodeo (ticketed event)

9-11 p.m. – Free Buck Ford Concert

Vail Dance Festival

The Vail Valley Foundation is excited to usher in the fourth decade of the Vail Dance Festival. Each year, the creativity and collaborations grow and allow audiences to connect with the beautiful and athletic styles of art that cross the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater stage and beyond. From ballet to modern, tap to hip-hop, the movement will move you.

New this year is the Malpaso Dance Company from Cuba and you won’t want to miss BalletX bringing the classic tale, “The Little Prince”, to life on stage. These new offerings, plus numerous world premieres and opportunities to get closer to dance fill this year’s festival, which runs through Aug. 10. Here’s the line up for this weekend:

Friday

Opening Night – Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater – 7:30 p.m.

Highlights include artist-in-residence and New York City Ballet ballerina Lauren Lovette, a preview appearance by Cuba’s Malpaso Dance Company and artists from American Ballet Theater.

Saturday

American Ballet Theater– Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater – 7:30 p.m.

American Ballet Theater returns for a second year after its sold-out performance in 2018. Highlights include the choreography of Twyla Tharp in “Sinatra Suite” and a world premiere by principal dancer and choreographer James Whiteside.

Dancing in the Streets – Bridge Street and Gore Creek Drive – 12 p.m.

Dancing in the Streets is one of many Fringe Festival Events that will be held throughout the Vail Dance Festival. Express yourself during this free event on Saturday and be led by members of Malpaso Dance Company.

Festival Forums – Manor Vail – 9:30 a.m.

Join Rebecca King Ferraro and Michael Sean Breeden from the popular podcast series “Conversations On Dance” as they host in-depth discussions with Vail Dance Festival artists. Tickets are available at www.vaildance.org.

For a full schedule of the entire festival, visit www.vaildance.org.   

Toots and the Maytals at the Vilar

Enjoy the sounds of legendary reggae music at the Vilar Performing Arts Center with Toots and the Maytals on Friday. The music is so legendary that this band is credited with giving the genre its name. “Do the Reggay” was the band’s 1968 hit and Toots and the Maytals were also featured in the 1972 film, “The Harder They Come,” reggae’s biggest breakthrough event that became an international sensation.

For the past five decades, the group has been led by the masterful vocals of Fred “Toots” Hibbert, who was ranked 71st on “Rolling Stone” magazine’s list of “100 Greatest Singers of All Time” in 2010. The group completed a 50th anniversary tour in 2018 and recently released the single “A Song Call Marley,” an ode to another one of Jamaica’s greatest reggae musicians. The group won the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album in 2004.

It’s interesting to see who has done collaborations with and covers of the band’s songs.

The Clash and the Specials have covered their tunes and legends like Eric Clapton, Keith Richards and Bonnie Raitt have shared a microphone with them. Toots and the Maytals have done a few cover songs themselves including “Take Me Home, Country Roads” by John Denver.

Celebrate five decades of reggae music that will fill the Vilar stage with this six-piece band and two backup singers. The show begins at 8 p.m. but arrive early for the pre-show Lower Lobby Bar Happy Hour starting at 6 p.m. featuring incredible drink specials and music by a local band, The Runaway Grooms (attendees must have valid show ticket to enter). Tickets are $52 and can be purchased by calling the box office at 970-845-8497 or by going to www.vilarPAC.org.

Bravo! Vail After Dark

Although Bravo! Vail Music Festival has wrapped up performances at the Ford Amphitheater, the music continues at other venues throughout the Vail Valley. Enjoy a different side of this Vail summer music tradition by venturing out to a few new venues and hear some great music before the festival comes to a close on Aug. 4.

On Saturday, enjoy the bold sounds of brass at the Edwards Interfaith Chapel. The Brass Project is part of the free concert series offered throughout the festival and will feature trumpet, horn, trombone and tuba all playing works by Bach, Franklin and more. The performance begins at 6 p.m.

Bravo! Vail also takes its sounds to the bars and nightclubs of Vail with Bravo! Vail After Dark. This series allows listeners to experience the expertise and talents of the artists in a different setting and in a different way. Sunday evening showcases new works by father and son duo, bassist Edgar Meyer and violinist George Meyer along with mandolin player Mike Marshall.

Bringing Bravo! Vail to the bars breaks down the stereotypes if you only think of these musicians in an orchestra setting. Here, be prepared to hear contemporary works and cutting edge premieres. The Meyers along with Marshall will premiere a new piece, co-written by the father-son duo and co-commissioned by Bravo! Vail.

Edgar Meyer has composed for and played with cellist Yo-Yo Ma and violinist Joshua Bell and has earned Grammys for his work. Marshall has collaborated with Joshua Bell, Bela Fleck and Sam Bush.

Tickets are $10 and a limited number of pre-sale tickets are available at www.bravovail.org or purchase tickets at the Shakedown Bar starting at 7:30 p.m. the night of the show and the performance begins at 8:30 p.m.

Star Party with Walking Mountains

Walking Mountains Science Center typically takes us on hikes where we are checking out the floral and fauna and things we find on the ground, but this Friday they invite you to look toward the sky and seek out the stars.

A Star Party will be hosted by longtime astronomy expert and astrophotographer Bryan R. White. White will lead the group in discovering the features of the night sky via computerized telescopes. A little background on White, who brings more than 60 years of astronomical experience to this topic, he’s an author and photographer whose works have been in museums, magazines and some of his images have even been used by NASA in their programs.

Should the weather not permit viewing through telescopes, astronomer Bryan will show us his 3D night sky photography program, with images of astronomical objects like Aurora Borealis and comets. Walking Mountains will contact all registrants by 5:00 p.m. on Friday if they anticipate too much cloud cover for the program. The “cloudy day” back-up date is Saturday, July 27 at the same time. 

Please arrive at the Walking Mountains campus just north of Avon and be parked and ready to go by 8:45 p.m. The event goes until 12 a.m. Dress for the cooler temperatures at night and bring along a lawn chair if you have one. Coffee, tea and snacks will be available or feel free to bring your own drinks and snacks. The cost is $20 per adult and $20 per child (8-16 years old). Registration is required for this program. Go to www.walkingmountains.org for more information.

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.

Friday

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.

Saturday

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.