20 festivals, events in Vail this summer
April 13, 2018
There's a lot on the schedule between now and Vail's 2018-19 Opening Day of ski season.
From the inaugural Whistle Pig concert series to the 78th annual Eagle County Fair & Rodeo and all of the other returning events, there's something for everyone this summer.
Hot Summer Nights
Held every Tuesday evening throughout the summer at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in Vail, the free Hot Summer Nights concert series is perfect for a picnic on the lawn. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. and the concerts start at 6:30 p.m. each Tuesday starting in July.
Series tenure: Started in 1987.
More information: Visit http://www.vvf.org.
Vail Jazz Festival
This 12-week program brings the best talent in the jazz world to the Colorado Rockies. The annual Vail Jazz Festival consists of six distinctive series that run from June through September, including Vail Jazz at Vail Square; Vail Jazz at the Market; Vail Jazz Club Series; Vail Jazz at Remedy; Vail Jazz Party; and new this year, Vail Jazz at The Riverwalk. The Jazz Fest includes more than 70 performances with 200 artists, filling the streets of Vail with sounds of swing, salsa, blues, Latin, bebop and more.
Festival tenure: 24th annual event.
More information: Visit http://www.vail jazz.org.
Bravo! Vail Music Festival
Four of the world's greatest orchestra make their summer home at Bravo! Vail, returning June 21 to Aug. 2. These internationally renowned musicians and acclaimed soloists perform powerful classical masterworks and other programs in the Rocky Mountain setting. Also, intimate chamber music concerts will be performed by world-renowned soloists throughout the valley.
Festival tenure: 30th annual event.
More information: Visit http://www.bravovail.org.
Vail Summer Bluegrass Series
Get your fix of bluegrass at the Vail Summer Bluegrass Series, featuring headliners River Whyless (June 27); Horseshoes & Hand Grenades (July 4); Tyler Childers (July 11); and the Everyone Orchestra (July 18). In addition to headlining talent, the series also includes local and regional bands. Concerts take place in the tent outside of Arrabelle at Vail Square in Lionshead Village.
Series tenure: Fifth annual event.
More information: Visit http://www.vail bluegrass.com.
VPAC Summer Series
Enjoy summer nights in the comfort of the Vilar Performing Arts Center's 535-seat theater in Beaver Creek. The summer lineup at the VPAC includes Dwight Yoakam (July 26); Amos Lee (July 28); Tower of Power (Aug. 3); The Psychedelic Furs (Aug. 5); and Josh Turner (Aug. 17). Tickets start at $49.
More information: Visit http://www.vilar pac.org.
This two-day tribute festival is going All American in 2018. The theme this year is Made in the USA, bringing cover bands of the greatest American bands and songwriters of all time to Nottingham Park on June 22-23. Early-bird pricing is $59. Previous Cover Rock themes were Summer of Love and British Invasion.
Festival tenure: Third annual event.
More information: Visit http://www.cover rockfestival.com
This summer, the inaugural Whistle Pig concert series will fill the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in Vail with headlining talent. So far the series includes Dispatch (June 16) and Robert Plan & The Sensational Space Shifters (June 19). The full lineup is still being finalized. Whistle Pig is another name for a marmot, which have been sighted around the Ford Amphitheater grounds dating back to its earliest days of construction.
Series tenure: First year.
More information: Visit http://www.whistle pigvail.com.
Bonfire Block Party
Take the streets of Eagle for the annual Bonfire Block Party, happening Friday and Saturday, June 1-2. Headliners include Galactic and The Record Company. Five opening and supporting acts and two second-stage bands round out the two-day lineup. New this year is a Bloodies & Bloodys event on Sunday, June 3, with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band out of New Orleans.
Series tenure: Fourth annual event.
More information: Visit http://www.bonfire blockparty.com.
Get some local goods and produce at summer farmers markets across the valley. Vail's is Sundays June 17 through Sept. 30 on East Meadow Drive. Minturn has its markets on Saturdays June 16 through Sept. 8. Edwards Corner also has a farmers market on Saturdays during the summer.
More information: Follow the farmers markets on Facebook.
Vail Craft Beer Classic
Returning June 15-17, the Vail Craft Beer Classic pairs outdoor adventures, educational seminars as well as food and beer pairings. The four-day festival featuring about 50 breweries.
Festival tenure: Second annual event.
More information: Visit http://www.vail craftbeerclassic.com.
Gourmet On Gore
Gourmet on Gore is a culinary festival offering open-air tasting with world-class wine, beer and spirits paired with culinary delights from Vail's top restaurants. The event takes place over Labor Day weekend each year, Sept. 1-4, with events on Vail's Gore Creek Dive and Bridge Street. There is no cost for admission, just pay as you go.
Festival tenure: 11th annual event.
More information: Visit http://www.gourmetongore.com.
The best thing about Oktoberfest in the Vail Valley is that it starts in September. Across the valley, Oktoberfest celebrations are spaced out up through October, making more opportunities to get in on the Bavarian fun. There's usually some stein-holding competitions, keg bowling and more. Don't forget your dirndl.
Beaver Creek Wine & Spirits Festival
Celebrate the pleasures of the palate at Beaver Creek Wine & Spirits on Aug. 9-12. The festival combines Beaver Creek's very own culinary talent, exclusive wines and outdoor venues during the Colorado summer.
Festival tenure: 12th annual event.
More information: Visit http://www.beavercreek.com.
Blues, Brews & BBQ Festival
As the launch of summertime in Beaver Creek, the 15th annual Beaver Creek Blues, Brews & BBQ Festival returns May 26-27. The festival features top chefs from around the state serving up mouth-watering barbecue complemented by brews and blues music from around the country.
Festival tenure: 15th annual event.
More information: Visit http://www.beavercreek.com.
Vail Dance Festival
If you don't know much about the world of dance, then this is a big one. Festival organizer Damian Woetzel — who will be taking over as new president at the prestigious Juilliard School — brings together the world's best dancers from all types of dance styles and pairs them together for some unbelievably creative performances — usually world premiers. There's something for everyone at the Vail Dance Festival, and if you've never attended a dance performance before, then this is a great way to experience it in a comfortable setting.
Festival tenure: 30th annual event.
More information: Visit http://www.vaildance.org.
Fourth of July
Vail America Days is the annual Fourth of July celebration in Vail, featuring the ever-popular town parade through the streets of Vail, as well as fireworks. The parade starts at 10 a.m. on July Fourth, get your spot on the parade route early. Beaver Creek also host an Independence Day celebration, a great time to explore the mountain in the summertime. The largest fireworks show is in Avon at Nottingham Lake — one of the biggest in the state.
GoPro Mountain Games
With nine different sports, more than 25 events, live concerts and upwards of 70,000 spectators, the 2017 GoPro Mountain Games were the biggest yet — until this year. The Mountain Games return June 7-10, encapsulating everything we love about the mountain lifestyle. Sign up to participate or come out to spectate — at least see the Dock Dogs.
Event tenure: 18th annual event.
More information: Visit http://www.mountaingames.com.
Vail Arts Festival
The Vail Arts Festival is a three-day celebration featuring more than 80 artists showcasing everything from traditional art to digital art and jewelry to fashion. Artists come from 22 different states, and youth artists are also featured. The festival returns June 22-24 and has events in Lionshead Village.
Festival tenure: 34th annual event.
More information: Visit http://www.vailartsfestival.com.
Beaver Creek Arts Festival
Art lovers and collectors hit the Rockies for the Beaver Creek Art Festival, taking place Aug. 4-5. It's a chance to meet local and national artists from 30 different states who will be showcasing a variety of works. Admission is free, and prices of art will vary.
Festival tenure: 31st annual event.
More information: Visit http://www.artfestival.com.
Vail Rotary Duck Race
Adopt a duck and send it down Gore Creek in the annual Vail Rotary Club Duck Race, happening Labor Day weekend on Sunday, Sept. 2. The first duck across has a chance at a million dollars, and other prizes are awarded.
Event tenure: 20th annual event.
More information: Visit http://www.vailduck race.com.
Beaver Creek Rodeo Series
Dust off those cowboy boots and tack on some spurs for the Beaver Creek Rodeo Series, featuring fun for the whole family. The series takes place Thursdays June 21 through Aug. 9 (with July 26 off) starting at 5 p.m. at the scenic rodeo grounds in Avon, located just east of Chapel Square. Classic rodeo events include bronc riding, team roping, barrel racing and, of course, bull riding. Join the action by signing up for the calf scramble, mutton bustin' or burro racing.
Series tenure: 16th annual event.
More information: Visit http://www.beaver creek.com.
Eagle County Fair & Rodeo
This is Colorado, after all, and here in Eagle County, we know how to rodeo. The Eagle County Fair & Rodeo dates back to the 1940s and returns for the 78th year July 25-28. It's a celebration of our Western heritage complete with PRCA Rodeo, concerts, exhibits and a 4-H Club livestock auction. The county rodeo takes place at the Eagle County Fairgrounds.
*Event tenure: 78th annual event.
More information: Visit http://www.eagle county.us/fairrodeo.
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