10 events, festivals returning to Vail Valley this summer: Tricia’s Summer Picks
After COVID-19 either canceled or altered the schedule of summer events last year, the valley will see a more robust in-person calendar this year
The ski and snowboard season may have just wrapped up, but we fortunately have a lot to look forward to this summer. After COVID-19 canceled many events last year, these festivals are a welcome sight. Here’s a look at what’s on the calendar.
Eagle Outside Festival
Mark your calendar for the first event of the summer with the Eagle Outside Festival coming June 5-6. The schedule is still under development for this event but watch for mountain, gravel and e-bike demos, SUP demos, whitewater rafting demos, fly-fishing clinics, biking clinics, races, live music, kids activities, bike-in movies and more. Stay tuned for more details which hopefully will include the Eagle’s Got Talent Contest and the Colorado Squirt Gun Championships.
GoPro Mountain Games
The GoPro Mountain Games returns June 10 through 13 after a year hiatus due to COVDI-19. The event that celebrates athletes, art, music and mountains will feature whitewater events, mountain and road biking races, trail running races, fishing competitions, DockDogs, disc golf, yoga, a photo competition and three nights of GoPro Mountains of Music, which will be open to limited in-person capacity and livestreamed.
Avon’s Nottingham Park and Pavilion will once again play host to live music this summer with Sunset Live kicking off on Sunday, May 30, and continuing most Sunday nights until Sept. 5. The Avon Live concerts will start on Wednesday, June 23, and continue on most Wednesday nights until Sept. 1. There will also be a special show on Saturday, July 17. The musical acts have not been announced and those details should be coming soon. The annual Salute to the U.S.A. is coming back on July 3. The annual day in the park with music and entertainment and the fireworks show has been a popular holiday event for the past 35 years, featuring one of the largest fireworks displays in the state celebrating Independence Day.
Beaver Creek events
Beaver Creek is bringing many family events back on a daily basis. Enjoy free outdoor yoga and other exercise classes, dinner and a movie, Fossil Posse Dinosaur Adventure talks, silent disco and live music on a daily basis. The weekly activities run from June 17 until Aug. 31. Zusammen returns with live music and food on the plaza on select Saturdays from June 17 through Sept. 18.
Vilar Performing Arts Center
The Vilar Center was the first venue in Colorado to host a live performance after the COVID-19 lock down with the Ghost Light Sessions this summer and then came up with the creative Residency program, which hosted small groups of musicians over several nights of performances to small crowds. Many of the shows were streamed as well. The Vilar Center proved that the arts are an important element of our lives and many people realized how much they missed live music. The Vilar Center has released the lineup for this summer and will host a variety of musical styles. Get your tickets in advance, as the Vilar Center will likely have limited capacity in its 530-seat theater. As of press time, here’s the lineup:
- June 27 – The Allman Betts Band
- July 2 – Randy Rogers Band
- July 16 – Leann Rimes Acoustic
- July 22 – Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder
- July 31 – A New World Record – A Tribute to the Music of Electric Light Orchestra
- Aug. 5 – Amy Grant
- Aug. 21 – Del McCoury Band
- Aug. 28 – Keb’ Mo’ Acoustic
Bravo! Vail is back this summer after an abbreviated season last year due to the pandemic. The festival proudly welcomes back four world-class orchestras — the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, The Philadelphia Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic — to perform live concerts held outdoors for in-person audiences, many for the first time in over a year. Performances will start on June 24 and go through Aug. 4
Vail Jazz will return this summer with an amazing lineup of world-class artists for the 27th annual Vail Jazz festival. Some details were still being finalized at press time, but Vail Jazz invites the community to join a staller cast of musicians on Thursday and Sunday evenings starting July 8 in the heart of Vail for the music we missed last year. The Vail Jazz Labor Day Party will return as well. More details regarding the venues, ticket on sale and show details will be coming soon. Sign up for Vail Jazz’s newsletter to stay up to date.
Gypsum Daze returns with live music and small town fun July 15-17. Don’t miss the youth talent show, fireman’s pancake breakfast, 5K run/walk, classic car show, parade and the famous jalapeno eating contest.
This year, there will be two nights of live music, including chart-topping artist Jimmie Allen on July 16 and the concert July 17 will open with three-time Grammy nominee Pat Green, followed by a performance by LOCASH.
Eagle County Fair and Rodeo
The cowboys and cowgirls will be riding again after the pandemic prevented last year’s fair and rodeo. Head down to Eagle for the fair and carnival activities and then stay for the rodeo action under the lights. Check out the 4-H exhibits and the Junior Livestock Auction as well. The Eagle County Fair and Rodeo comes to Eagle July 21 through 25.
Vail Dance Festival
After taking last year off due to COVID-19, The Vail Dance Festival was happy to announce that it will return with an in-person festival July 30 through Aug. 9. Calvin Royal III will be this year’s artist-in-residence and BalletX will be the Company-In-Residence. Many of your favorite dancers will make appearances including Tiler Peck, Lil’ Buck, Isabella Boylston, Herman Cornejo, Michelle Dorrance, Joseph Gordon, Lauren Lovette, Roman Mejia, Ron Myles, Dario Natarelli, Tiler Peck, Unity Phelan and Robbie Fairchild.
The Vail Dance Festival is planning for a lively festival of performances, free events for the community, and education activities including Celebrate the Beat for local children.