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Local Winter Festival: Burton US Open

Dangermuffin kicked off the Burton US Open concert series on Wednesday night drawing large crowds at the Solaris. Photo by Rachael Zimmerman

1. Burton US Open
2. Birds of Prey World Cup races
3. Taste of Vail

The Burton US Open has become Vail’s favorite winter event, with its highly visible, easily accessible venue, and a five-day format that keeps fans invested throughout the week. It’s also quite a party.

The event builds on itself throughout the week. You get a taste of what to expect in finals by watching semifinals; you get to watch an athlete or two in semifinals who competed in the junior jam.

There are 32 men and 16 women competing in each semifinal, with one day dedicated to halfpipe and one day dedicated to semifinals. With all the legends of the sport who show up — and, sometimes, poach the halfpipe — that means more than 100 pro snowboarders in one place at one time.

The park crew gets Golden Peak in great shape, and the athletes love taking park runs between laps. Take a ride up Chair 6 any time throughout the week and you’ll probably catch quite a show.

— John LaConte