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Veterans visit local schools

Do you have any medals? How hard was boot camp? What was the food like? What’s it like to blackout because of G-forces in a B-52 bomber?

Those are just a few of the many questions kids asked local veterans last week. The local Mount of the Holy Cross VFW post 10721 veterans visited 19 schools in Eagle County.

Leading up to Veteran’s Day, local vets from all branches of the military attend 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. The kids honored them with songs, messages of appreciation and an ear to listen to their stories.

We visited Brush Creek Elementary last Wednesday and sat in on one of the talks in Mr. Musser’s 5th-grade class. After the assemblies, one or two veterans go into the classrooms to discuss their experiences and bring in items from their time of service to show the kids. For over 45 minutes, the students were glued to every word the guest speakers were saying.

Guest speakers in this classroom were United States Marine Corps Captain Bill Welch who spoke about his service during wartime in Vietnam. Dana Whelan was in the United States Air Force as a Lieutenant Colonel and spoke of her service during peacetime. 

Welch wore his fatigues and talked about everything from how hot it was and how bad the bugs were to the Ho Chi Minh Trail and how the only way they could communicate with friends and family back home was through letters. He showed the kids where Vietnam was on the map and why they slept with their boots on.

“There was this one time I took off my boots, just for a little bit, but then I fell asleep. I woke up in the middle of the night and my legs were burning! I couldn’t turn on a flashlight in case the enemy was watching, but it didn’t take me long to realize that I had slept near a big red ant hill,” Welch said.

Whelan spoke about the amazing opportunities she had in furthering her education and how service members are highly trained and are able to take on a lot of different challenges. During her time in the military, she was able to work and earn several degrees in places such as Washington, D.C., Wyoming, Alabama, Texas and Ramstein, Germany where she was in charge of nutrition for all of the branches of the U.S. military stationed in Europe.

“I think the thing that’s most meaningful to me about the Veteran’s Day events is giving kids that may have no exposure to military service the opportunity to hear stories of veterans,” Whelan said. “Hopefully we’ll inspire them to go home and ask their families about family members who have served and provide a chance for them to really appreciate and have some gratitude for what so many people have done for our country.”

The kids paid attention and did bring that conversation home. Michelle Sanders, the mother of Wynn Sanders, a 5th-grader in Mr. Musser’s class at Brush Creek Elementary, said that Wynn came home full of enthusiasm about the talks. “He explained in great detail what the veterans said that day. We had an engaging dinner conversation and it was fun to hear his perspective on the veteran’s visit,” Sanders said.

As much as the kids benefit from the school visits, the veterans benefit as well. “I’ve only been doing these school visits for a couple of years now and when I first started I would get kind of emotional,” Welch said. “It’s good for us to talk about it.”

The Mount of the Holy Cross VFW post 10721 veterans will host a Veteran’s Day ceremony that is open to the public at Freedom Park in Edwards on Monday at 4 p.m.

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.

Walking Mountains Film Series starts Wednesday

Walking Mountains Science Center will host its eighth annual Sustainable Film Series on a new night and at a new venue. The Riverwalk Theater in Edwards will host films each month on Wednesday nights from now until April. Walking Mountains had been showing the same film upvalley and downvalley each month. With a centralized location, the series will now host one movie per month in an actual theater.

“When we were looking for a new venue, we reached out to Grant Smith from the Riverwalk Theater, and he was interested, said Melissa Kirr, senior programs director of sustainability for Walking Mountains. We decided that by moving to a centrally located spot in the valley, we could combine the two film nights into one. We are very excited to be able to have everyone in one place.”

Smith is excited to host. “This aligns with our mission to really have the Riverwalk Theater be involved with the community. We are happy to host locals and visitors and bring some great films to the big screen,” Smith said.

Kirr sources the films from all over the globe, reviewing flicks that are out on the festival circuit and checking in with film publishers and promoters.

“I try to find a variety of sustainability topics so that everyone can find an interest. I always take recommendations from community members, too,” Kirr said.

The topics center around energy, waste, natural resources, climate change, sustainable food, sustainable tourism and sustainable communities and lifestyles.

On Wednesday, Walking Mountains will kick off the series with “Paris to Pittsburgh.”

“This film focuses on how Americans are demanding and creating real solutions around climate change. This hits home as the community continues to meet goals created by the local climate action plan,” Kirr said.

She is also looking forward to “The Wild” film in March.

“This is the third film that we have shown since we started the film series on the Pebble Mine and Bristol Bay in Alaska. I had the chance to see this film at a festival recently, and it is really impactful,” Kirr said. “We always partner with Kaleb’s Katch to share these films, and he always ends up bringing some tasty salmon appetizers.”

Speaking of food, the Riverwalk Theater can take care of dinner for you right at the theater. They serve more than just popcorn. Try the pizzas from Village Bagel or gourmet hot dogs from Colorado Meat Co. Come early and enjoy happy hour specials on beer and wines by the glass from 3-6 p.m. (Yes, when Smith took over the Riverwalk Theater, he also brought in the adult beverages.)

In addition to a new night and new venue, Walking Mountains will also bring in a few directors from the films and outdoor apparel company Fjallraven will be giving away an item at each event. 

Walking Mountain’s goal for this series is to provoke thought and create action, so take part in the opportunity to learn at this free monthly film series. For dates and more on each film visit walkingmountains.org.

Alpine Arts Center hosts Pinots and Pumpkins

This past weekend was sure to get you into the Halloween spirit with Fright at the Museum, Spooktacular in Beaver Creek and Maya’s Day of the Dead party. But if you didn’t go to those events, you still have time to get in on some Halloween fun before the holiday on Thursday.

Alpine Arts Center had a busy weekend with Halloweens crafts and a pumpkin carving party last Friday but will host one more Halloween-themed event on Wednesday. Pinots and Pumpkins allows adults to release their creative side and paint a pumpkin while sipping on a Pinot Noir or other wine of their choice.

Pinots and Pumpkins is a twist on Alpine Arts Center’s regular Cocktails and Canvas series, where the group goes through a guided painting session. This time, instead of painting on a canvas, you are painting on a pumpkin.

Lauren Merrill, owner of the Alpine Arts Center, and her team of talented staff members will have patterns and all the paint and brushes you will need. You just bring any size and shape pumpkin you can find. Dress comfortably and Alpine Arts will have aprons to protect your clothing. The best part is, you can come here instead of getting your own house messy.

If you want to get a little messy, they will have one table available for pumpkin carving during their regularly scheduled drop-in sessions. Call the Alpine Arts Center for details. 

Halloween is the perfect time to revitalize your creativity.  Whether it’s in the form of a homemade costume or decorating a pumpkin, you are never too old to release your artistic side. The cost for the Pinots and Pumpkins class is $45 per person. Bring your own pumpkin and your first drink is free. There will also be wine and beer available for purchase for $6 per glass. Snacks and other non-alcoholic beverages are available, also. For more information, visit www.alpineartscenter.org. Advanced registration is required.

Ski swap, Halloween fun, Loveland opens and more: Tricia’s Weekend Picks 10/25/19

Ski & Snowboard Club Vail Ski Swap

For 50 years, outdoor enthusiasts have looked forward to the annual Ski & Snowboard Club Vail’s Swap held each fall in Vail. From Oct. 25 to 27, the Dobson Arena is converted into a department store-type of setting with gear like skis, snowboards, boots, poles, helmets, outwear and bindings taking over the entire place.

This is the spot to go if you just moved to town and need equipment in order to participate in outdoor activities this season. It’s also the place to go if your kids have outgrown their jackets and snow pants since last year. If you lost a pair of gloves at the end of the season those can be found here, too. Want to try a new sport? Get geared up at a discount while helping out a good cause.

A percentage of sales from the swap benefit Ski & Snowboard Club Vail, helping the organization fulfill its mission to inspire character growth and excellence in young athletes throughout the Vail community.

New and used gear is up for sale and you never know what you are going to find. There will be helpful and knowledgeable staff and volunteers on hand to answer questions about gear or accessories you are looking for.

Here’s how it works, on Friday there is a $15 admission fee for adults and teenagers from 5 to 7 p.m. Kids 12 and under are free. At 7 p.m. on Friday, the fee drops to $5. Shoppers can also get $5 off admission with a student ID. The venue will close at 10 p.m. The Swap will be open for business from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday. There is no entry fee on those days, but keep in mind that the best selection and sizes will be available on Friday. Visit www.vailskiswap.com for more information.

Halloween happenings for kids

Halloween isn’t until next Thursday, but there are many events and activities that will get kids into the spooky spirit this weekend. 

13th annual Halloween lock-in at Gypsum Rec Center

  • Kids get the whole facility for one night and also get a haunted house, costume contest, Halloween movie, swimming, gymnastics and more.
  • Drop off kids by 6 p.m. Friday and pick up by 11:30 p.m. Friday or 8 a.m. on Saturday
  • Kids should bring a sleeping bag, pillow, Halloween costume and swimsuit
  • Boys and girls 5 to 12 years old, tickets are $45
  • www.mountainrec.org

Village Market Pumpkin Fest for Mountain Youth–Riverwalk-Saturday 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

  • Trick-or-Treat Street at the various stores, face painting and $5 pumpkins courtesy of Village Market
  • Alpine Arts Center crafts and painting
  • www.mountainyouth.org

Fright at the Museum-Walking Mountains-Saturday 1 to 5 p.m.

  • Pumpkin chuckin’, petting zoo, pop-up corn maze
  • Apple cider demos and tastings, seasonal beer and wines for adults
  • Freaky farm haunted trail, pumpkin patch and carving
  • Learn about compost and freaky food and herbs
  • Snacks will be available
  • Please bring a reusable bottle for water and plan to carpool to the Elk Lot and take the free shuttle to Walking Mountains
  • Tickets are $15 and children 3-years-old and younger are free
  • www.walkingmountains.org

Alpine Arts Center-Halloween arts and crafts

  • Pumpkin carving event on Friday 4 to 7 p.m. Bring a pumpkin and snacks, stencils and tools to carve or paint a pumpkin will be available. The cost is $15 per person and all ages are welcome
  • Drop-in pumpkin carving during Pumpkin Fest on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Cocktails and Canvas guided painting event on Saturday from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
  • www.alpineartscenter.org

Beaver Creek Spooktacular – Sunday 4 to 8:30 p.m.

  • Spooky Stroll around Beaver Creek Village and the woods near the base area of Beaver Creek 4 to 6 p.m.
  • Trick or Treating in Beaver Creek Village, games and more 4 to 7 p.m.
  • “Hocus Pocus” movie showing outdoors in Beaver Creek Village 7 to 8:30 p.m.
  • www.beavercreek.com/events

Halloween fun for adults

Kids aren’t the only ones having fun, adults can take part in the Halloween-themed events as well. Here are a few parties going on this weekend:

Maya Day of the Dead – Friday 5 to 10 p.m. 

  • Tickets are $20 in advance and that includes the all-you-can-eat taco bar and one margarita or $25 at the door includes an all-you-can-eat taco bar
  • Costume contest
  • Grateful Dead cover band
  • Pumpkin painting, s’mores station and more
  • Call Maya for tickets: 970-790-5500

Tricks for Treats Parents Night Out–Friday 7 to 9 p.m.

  • Drop the kids off at the Vail Gymnastics Center and go out and enjoy a date night
  • Activities for kids include a haunted house, costume contest, games and movie
  • Pizza will be served to the kids
  • $20 per child, for ages 5 years and older
  • www.vailrec.com

Dramaween- Friday at Route 6 Cafe at 7 p.m. to close

Halloween at the MAC-Mountain Art Collective–Friday from 9 p.m. to close

  • Music by Austin Gavlak and Chris Calderon, visuals by Mtn Man Lasers
  • $10 tickets at the door, $5 drinks, free keg from 9 to 10 p.m.
  • Costume contest
  • Visit Mountain Art Collective’s Facebook page for more info

Minturn Saloon – Saturday 7 p.m. to 1 a.m.

  • Live music by Turntable Review
  • A free Coors Light to the first 100 people
  • $20 donation to the Minturn Community Fund
  • Theme: American horror story
  • Costume contest
  • www.minturncommunityfund.org

Opening day at Loveland Ski Area

We now have not one, not two, but three ski areas to choose from in Colorado. Loveland Ski Area announced earlier this week that opening day will be Friday. Other ski areas that are open include Arapahoe Basin, which opened last Friday and Keystone, which opened last Saturday.

The Chet’s Dream lift will start spinning at 9 a.m. on Friday and will offer access to one full top-to-bottom run. The trails Catwalk, Mambo and Home Run make up this run on opening day, which is over a mile in length and nearly 1,000 vertical feet.

“Our snowmaking team has been working around the clock to get the mountain ready and all of their hard work is about to pay off,” said COO Rob Goodell in a press release. “Mother Nature chipped in with almost a foot of snow during this last storm cycle and that was the boost we needed. Winter is officially here and we can’t wait to celebrate the start of another season.”

Loveland Ski Area will be open seven days a week until early May. Operating hours will be 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the week and from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the weekends and designated holidays. For more information, visit www.skiloveland.com.

Muscles for Mills fundraiser

Crosstraining Fitness of Vail is hosting an autumn fundraiser on Saturday and this year the proceeds will go toward Noah Mills, a 5-year-old who has been diagnosed with kidney cancer. Typically Crosstraining Fitness of Vail does Barbells for Boobs, a breast cancer fundraiser held annually during October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. They switched up the focus this year in order to help the Mills family as they go through this ordeal. Vail Brewing Company is also involved and will provide the beer for the after-party.

Muscles for Mills invites teams consisting of families and friends to come out to participate in the Fun Fitness Challenge. It’s geared toward all fitness levels and ages in order to welcome as many people as possible. Don’t have a team and want to participate? Don’t worry, they will be grouping people together that day to ensure that as many people who want to sweat for a cause can do so.

Noah Mills was recently diagnosed with late-stage bilateral renal (kidney) cancer, called Wilms tumor. The main goal of this fundraiser is to raise money for the Mills family as they go through this difficult time.

The big event happens on Saturday starting at 10:30 a.m. People can register teams for the Fun Fitness Challenge or donate items for the auction here: http://www.cfvcolorado.com/musclesformills2019.html

Kevin Clair of Sweet Basil received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Colorado Restaurant Association

Kevin Clair, owner of Sweet Basil and its sister restaurants, recently received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Colorado Restaurant Association.

Of the several honors that the CRA awards to restauranteurs in the Centennial State, the Lifetime Achievement Award is the most prestigious. Awards were presented at the Colorado Restaurant Association’s Board of Directors Inaugural Dinner on Oct. 15 at the Broadmoor Resort in Colorado Springs.

When Clair opened Sweet Basil in 1977, its center-of-Vail location was considered off-the-beaten-path. The restaurant quickly blazed its own trail, raising the caliber of the town’s whole dining industry in the process and today is a fan favorite for fine dining in town.

After graduating from the University of Denver’s School of Hotel and Restaurant Management, Clair spent a year in France as an apprentice cook at two different Michelin three-star restaurants. When he returned to the U.S., he fostered a culture of constant improvement to his own restaurant. Sweet Basil became of the first restaurants in Vail to serve varietal wine by the glass while the norm was to serve boxed wine. He also banned smoking in the dining room.

Kevin Clair (center) with KC Gallagher (left), CRA chairman of the board, and Sonia Riggs (right), CRA president and CEO.
Danielle Lirette | Special to the Daily

Clair’s tenacity is part of the reason Sweet Basil remains a contstant, and since, it’s spawned several siblings. Clair opened Montauk Seafood Grill with partner Gary Boris in 1988, Zino Ristorante in Edwards in 1997, and Mountain Standard with partners Matt Morgan and Paul Anders in 2012. All of the restaurants are still operating successfully.

Outside of his restaurants, Clair was the first president of the Vail Restaurant Association and was a founder of the Taste of Vail. He and his wife Sally spend their free time traveling, biking, and boating.

Others who received the Lifetime Achievement Award this year include Patricia Calhoun of Westword in Denver, Jeff Hermanson of Larimer Square in Denver, Jose Ramirez of Los Dos Potrillos in Centennial. Josh Wolkon of Secret Sauce F&B in Vesta won the Noel & Tammy Cunningham Humanitarian Award, and KC Gallagher of Little Pub Company received the Richard P. Ayers Distinguished Service Award.

Skiing, spa deals, free champagne and more: Tricia’s weekend picks 10/18/19

Skiing and snowboarding available in Colorado

It’s always been a race to see which resort can be the first to usher in the ski and snowboard season each fall. This year, Keystone thought they would be the first resort in North America to spin its lifts and welcome back skiers and riders on Oct. 12, but in a sneaky move, Arapahoe Basin opened to the public from 3:30 to 5:30 on Oct. 11.

Regardless of who was first, there were plenty of happy skiers and snowboarders enjoying some early season conditions with the help of some snowmaking equipment and cooler temperatures provided by Mother Nature.

With Keystone’s new state-of-the-art, automated snowmaking system, the resort was well-positioned to offer guests one of its earliest openings in more than 20 years. Keystone will continue to make snow at every opportunity as weather and conditions permit, and looks to expand terrain as soon as possible.

Keystone will be celebrating the start to the season with a Halloween costume contest, pancake breakfasts, live music, a bags tournament and more in upcoming weeks.

After closing this past Fourth of July, Arapahoe Basin didn’t have much of an off-season. In a surprise announcement at 1:45 p.m. last Friday, The Legend stated that it would be open less than two hours later, at 3:30 p.m. that afternoon.

Excited skiers and riders scrambled to find their gear, get off work or drive the distance to the base area to get in line and hold bragging rights for being present during opening day, well, maybe not a full day, but opening “afternoon.”

A-Basin will also have a few events to kick off the season including a Halloween concert and costume contest, so dress up your friends, family and even the dog in order to win prizes.

Before you go to either resort, check www.keystoneresorts.com and www.arapahoebasin.com for current conditions and terrain updates.

Underground Sound concert series

Save the best for last this weekend with a Sunday night show at the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek. The Small Glories take the stage at 7:30 p.m. and will treat the listeners to some bluegrass and folk music. This marks the third concert out of the seven-concert series dubbed “love for the locals” and the Underground Sound pass is still available.

The Small Glories consists of JD Edwards and Cara Luft (Luft was also part of the Wailin’ Jennys). This folk singer-songwriter duo met by accident on the Canadian prairie when they played an anniversary show together at Winnipeg’s West End Cultural Centre.

The wit and banter between Luft and Edwards are all part of the show, and sometimes the duo spends more time setting up the song than it takes to actually play the song. But the crowd loves it and the intimate setting of the Vilar will be a perfect place for the audience to feel like they are a part of the show.

Tickets are available for $28. You can still take advantage of the savings offered in the Underground Sound pass. For $125, the pass gives you entry to Sunday’s show and four more concerts in this series, which goes through Nov. 11. With the pass, you also get a drink at each show and it is transferable. I did the math and you still come out ahead financially if you purchase this pass. For more information, go to www.vilarpac.org.

Spa Deals

The change of seasons is upon us and your body may be craving a change as well. Spas are offering specials this time of year on all sorts of treatments. Take a look at these deals below. If you don’t see your spa of choice, give them a call and see if they are running any specials.

The Spa at the Vail Athletic Club

  • $99 for your choice of 50-minute massage, scrub or facial
  • $189 for your choice of two services: 50-minute massage, scrub or facial
  • 25% off all other services
  • www.vailathleticclub.com

The Sonnenalp Spa

  • 50-minute signature massage or facial for $99
  • 25% off all other treatments
  • Upgrade to an 80-minute treatment for an additional $85
  • www.sonnenalp.com/spa

The Allegria Spa at the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek

  • Signature spa pedicure plus a glass of prosecco for $69
  • 50-minute custom massage or 45-minute rose quartz facial for $105
  • 80- minute custom massage for $149
  • 75-minute oxygen facial for $165
  • www.allegriaspa.com

Simply Massage

Spa Anjali at the Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa

  • $99 for a 50-minute massage or facial
  • $149 for a 75-minute massage or facial
  • $179 for 100-minute massage or facial
  • www.spaanjali.com

The Spa at Four Seasons Vail

  • 20% off massages, facials and body treatments during the month of October
  • Bring your state-issued identification upon check-in for the discount to be valid
  • www.fourseasons.com/vail/spa

The Rock Resorts Spa at the Lodge at Vail

  • $99 for a choice of a 50-minute massage, facial or body treatment
  • $149 for a choice of an 80-minute body treatment (which includes a free gift)
  • Book two treatments in one day and get a glass of champagne
  • 20% off a full-price Float Tank session
  • 20% off of a spray tan
  • www.thevailcollections.com/spa

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and many businesses are honoring that with events and deals through the end of the month. The Sonnenalp Breast Center in Edwards reminds you that this is also a good time to schedule your mammogram if you need one. They are even open on Saturdays throughout the month of October to help you fit an appointment into your schedule.

Spa Anjali at the Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa in Avon is raffling off two spa prizes with 100% of the proceeds going to the Vail Breast Cancer Awareness Group. The prizes are:

  • One four-hour Alpen Rejuvenation package valued at $370
  • One spa gift basket valued at $500

The raffle is going on between now and the end of the month and raffle tickets are priced at one ticket for $10 and three tickets for $20. Visit Spa Anjali to purchase your tickets and they are asking for cash only. Two winners will randomly be selected on Nov. 1. For more information, go to Spa Anjali’s Facebook page.

Barre Forte in Edwards is also getting into the spirit of giving back and invites you to tuck, hold and burn your way through a day of barre classes to raise money for the Vail Breast Cancer Awareness Group. This Saturday, take one class, two classes or as many as your muscles can handle during the Barre-A-Thon. Barre Forte is asking for a $10 donation for each class. Classes start at 9 a.m. and will continue each hour with 4 p.m. being the last class. Pink drinks will follow to celebrate the sweat and success of this fun fundraiser. Sign up in advance to secure your spot.

Barre Forte will also be donating a portion of all punch cards and pink merchandise sold during the month of October to the Vail Breast Cancer Awareness Group. For more information check out Barre Forte’s Facebook page.

The SKEA clothing line, led by Vail local Diane Boyer, is going to donate 5% of all sales during the month of October to the Shaw Cancer Center at Vail Health in Edwards. Proceeds will directly benefit patients at Shaw through the Spirit of Survival program where they receive free emotional and physical services to help them fight their battle. If you need a cute ski jacket, new snow pants or some of their great base layers or accessories buy them this month and help give back. Learn more at www.skealimited.com.

Celebrate International Champagne Day

Cheers to the off-season! If you need an excuse to make a toast, the new Grand Hyatt Vail is offering a complimentary glass of Moët & Chandon Champagne and specials at the hotel, restaurant and spa all weekend.

The Grand Hyatt Vail has partnered up with Moët & Chandon Champagne and is taking celebrations to a new level. At 6 p.m. on Friday, celebrate International Champagne Day by witnessing a Champagne sabering in the hotel’s Fireside Lounge. Complimentary glasses of Moët Impérial will be served and additional glasses available for $20.19 throughout the evening. Moët & Chandon specialists will be on hand for the event to discuss champagne and make pairing suggestions.

Grand Hyatt Vail will also offer $129 rooms on Friday night. The room rate includes tokens for the state’s only champagne vending machine, located in the lobby, that is filled with Moët & Chandon Champagne.

A Champagne brunch will be served on Saturday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. in Gessner, Grand Hyatt Vail’s signature restaurant for $20.19. The special bubbly brunch menu will include decadent champagne pancakes, live entertainment and $20.19 glasses of Moët Ice with a unique celebratory twist. The Spa at the Grand Hyatt Vail will offer seasonal specials including a choice of a 50-minute classic massage or signature facial for $119 or upgrade to an 80-minute treatment for $190.

Lumberjack games, folk songs, pumpkin patches and more: Tricia’s weekend picks 10/11/19

Man of the Cliff

You’ve got to love an event with a tagline like this: “Gentlemen, start your beards!”

Flannel-clad folks will be flocking to Avon’s Nottingham Park on Saturday and Sunday to take part in the 11th annual Man of the Cliff. This event brings different types of competitions to the Vail Valley. Instead of mountain biking or trail running, participants get to show their skills at ax throwing, keg tossing, speed chopping, spear throwing and other lumberjack games.

Man of the Cliff isn’t just for the guys; ladies do pretty well during the competitions, also. Some of the tasks are more about finesse than pure strength.

New this year is the four-person team event. Get your plaid posse together and see if you can out-chop and out-toss the other teams. The winning team will be announced on Sunday along with the Man and Woman of the Cliff.  

This event started out as an idea hatched by Amanda Williams and her husband, Adam, while they were enjoying time with friends around a campfire in Red Cliff. The concept grew and became a reality hosted in Red Cliff for many years before moving to Avon. 

Every year, Man of the Cliff puts money toward a nonprofit. This year Can Do Multiple Sclerosis will receive the fundraising dollars.

Bonfire Brewing has been a supporter of Man of the Cliff for years and is the presenting sponsor of this year’s event. They will be serving up some of their classics along with seasonal brews.

To learn more about the event and to register a team, go to www.manofthecliff.com. Slots fill up fast, so register in advance. Participation costs $85, but you can also come and watch. Spectators pay $10 and the proceeds all go to Can Do MS.

Underground Sound Concert Series

If you like the sounds of Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash or Robert Earl Keen, then this week’s Underground Sound concert with Todd Snider is for you. Snider will be sharing the stage with special guest Ramblin’ Jack Elliott on Friday at the Vilar Performing Arts Center at 7:30 p.m. 

You may be thinking, ‘Todd Snider…how do I know that name?’ Well, in addition to touring solo, Snider is also known as the frontman of supergroup Hard Working Americans, a band made up of members of Widespread Panic and the Chris Robinson Brotherhood.

Snider has been called a troubadour and philosopher but he is truly a storyteller and tells those stories through folk music.

Joining Snider in all of this storytelling is Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, who is considered to be the foundation of the folk music scene. Bruce Springsteen, Tom Waits and even Johnny Cash have paid homage to Elliott because, even with all the trends the music industry sees, his songs are timeless. 

The intimate setting of the Vilar will lend itself to this type of show. Artists love to play at the Vilar not only for the acoustics, but also because they can interact with the crowd.

This Friday marks the second in a series of seven shows at the Vilar. The Underground Sound Pass is still available for $125 and that includes Friday’s show and the remaining five concerts, a drink at each concert and it is transferable. Individual tickets for the show are $35. For more information and a chance to listen to Snider and Elliott’s music, visit www.vilarpac.org.

Fall Fest Spooktacular

It’s time to test out those Halloween costumes! The Town of Gypsum is hosting its annual Fall Fest Spooktacular on Saturday from 5 to 8 p.m. Get the kids dressed up and bring them to the Lundgren Amphitheater. A pumpkin patch will set the scene on the lawn along with a haunted maze. The Town of Gypsum will host carnival games and prizes. Grab some free popcorn and hot dogs courtesy of Costco.

There is a pumpkin carving contest, but the entry forms were due Thursday. You can still enjoy the creativity since the pumpkins will be on display on Saturday.  Make a note of this deadline in case your kids really wanted to be a part of it and register earlier next year.

This event is free to the public. For more information, go to www.townofgypsum.com.

Vail Valley Fine Arts Show

View local art this Friday during the Vail Valley Fine Arts Show while enjoying a little jazz music and a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Colorado Mountain College campus in Edwards.

For the sixth year in a row, Colorado Mountain College and the Vail Valley Art Guild will join forces to present a unique look at work by local artists, sculptors, ceramic artists, photographers and woodworkers.

This year’s show was judged by the owners of Vail International Gallery and the Raitman Gallery and includes 2-D abstracts, portraits, figures, landscapes and still life in both painting and photography mediums as well as 3-D sculpture and functional pieces.

Many of the artists and photographers on exhibit participate in classes and workshops sponsored by Colorado Mountain College and the Vail Valley Art Guild. 

In addition to featuring more than 234 works by 59 artists in an array of mediums, the exhibit will feature refreshments – including nice cheese and smoked salmon – and jazz for patrons to enjoy while perusing the art. The Jeremiah Johnson Jazz Quartet will provide live music. Side note: besides playing tenor sax, Johnson is the assistant dean of the art department at the college.

Can’t make it on Friday night? The Vail Valley Fine Art Show is currently on exhibit and the artwork is available for purchase through November 15th at Colorado Mountain College. Visit www.coloradomtn.edu/campuses/vail-valley-edwards for more information.

Sing and tip for charity

A couple of charity events you won’t want to miss include the Tip a Cop event for Special Olympics and a Karaoke Cafe that benefits the Vail Performing Arts Academy.

Police officers “protect and serve” but they will be concentrating on the serving portion of that motto at the Blue Plate in Avon on Saturday.

Officers and deputies will serve patrons at the Blue Plate for tips. Tips received go to support Special Olympic athletes with intellectual disabilities. Dinner will be served between 5 and 9 p.m. Call for a reservation and help out Eagle County law enforcement teams who are raising money and awareness for the Special Olympics of Colorado. If you wish to donate online go to give.specialolympics.org.

Also on Saturday, the Vail Performing Arts Academy is inviting you to sing for your supper, sort of, with a Karaoke competition and a delicious dinner. Diners will enjoy a New York Little Italy-themed buffet for $25 (kids 10 years old and younger are $15).

The Vail Performing Arts Academy is dedicated to providing theatrical, educational and cultural experiences for the youth of Eagle County. Since 1995, the Vail Performing Arts Academy has done performances ranging from “Grease” in 1998 to “Frozen, Jr.” this past summer.

Hovey & Harrison will be the place to be if you want to let your talents shine, but do be aware that this IS the Vail Performing Arts Academy, so there may be some stiff competition with all the good singers in the house. All ages are welcome and there are prizes for the best performers. You can also just sit back and relax and enjoy the entertainment while supporting the Academy’s year-round programs. The event runs from 5:30 to 9 p.m. To buy tickets and learn more visit www.vpaa.org.

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.”

The limestone at Freedom Park’s 9/11 memorial is from the Pentagon’s west wall, and it almost didn’t make it to Edwards

If you are old enough to remember, you know exactly where you were when you learned about the Twin Towers being hit. September 11, 2001 went down as the deadliest attack on American soil since Pearl Harbor, killing nearly 3,000 people and injuring over 6,000 others.

As we approach the 18th anniversary of 9/11, many wonder what they can do or where they can go to honor those whose lives were lost. There are many service days planned at various schools and communities across the United States, but did you realize that we have a 9/11 Memorial here in Eagle County? 

Many refer to the large pond and land surrounding it between Colorado Mountain College and the Mountain Recreation building in Edwards as the dog park. On the west end of that pond sits a piece of limestone weighing in at 600 pounds from the Pentagon west wall. This fragment was part of the damage and rubble of the 9/11 attacks from American Airlines Flight 77. It is one of approximately 100 pieces of limestone that was saved for memorials across the United States.

The piece that made it to Edwards didn’t get here easily. In today’s video, retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Buddy Sims recounts the story from its genesis to fruition. Snowstorms, lack of equipment, security clearances and lots of red tape almost prevented this historical piece from being delivered to Eagle County. But with the help of active-duty officers, government contractors, military retirees and Congressional staffers, they braved the snowstorm and loaded it up in Washington, D.C.

That limestone became the centerpiece for the Freedom Park Memorial thanks to the Freedom Park Memorial Committee, the Minturn VFW Post 10721 and over a dozen local contractors who donated time and materials. It took some creativity and ingenuity to figure out how to display it. Most remarkable is the 22,000-pound concrete pyramid and metal arm designed by Tab Bonidy, of Tab Associates, Inc., that holds the limestone 10 feet in the air.

The Freedom Park Memorial not only commemorates 9/11 but also honors fallen veterans, police and emergency personnel from Eagle County. Last night, emergency service workers and others were recognized at an awards dinner at the Donovan pavilion and today 120 golfers will tee off in the annual 9/11 golf tournament at Eagle-Vail Golf Club. There will also be a ceremony held today at Freedom Park in Edwards from 2 to 3 p.m. Prior to the ceremony, there will be a procession of emergency vehicles departing from Ford Park in Vail at 1:30 p.m. and arriving at Freedom Park around 2 p.m. The ceremony is free and open to the public.