Ice sculptures, ice hockey games, visits with Santa, live music and more: Tricia’s Weekend Picks: 12/17/21 |

Ice sculptures, ice hockey games, visits with Santa, live music and more: Tricia’s Weekend Picks: 12/17/21

The weekend brings plenty of ways to get into the holiday spirit

15th annual Vail Winterfest

The 15th annual Vail Winterfest returns Sunday with large, illuminated ice sculptures, colorful lanterns and more.
Courtesy photo

Art in Public Places is once again hosting the 15th annual Vail Winterfest, which kicks off just before the holidays on Sunday. Come and enjoy the new ice sculptures from Paul Wertin of Alpine Ice and guest artist, Olive Moya. The banks of Gore Creek will be filled with all sorts of forms and icy figures ranging from 5-feet to 12-feet in height. At night, these sculptures will be lit up via colorful lighting.

Approximately 25,000 pounds of sculpted ice will transform the Gore Creek Promenade into a three-dimensional canvas by Moya, who most recently created artwork at the Vail Village Transportation Center. After the installation is complete on Sunday, you can enjoy the illumination daily from dusk until 10 p.m. until it melts later this winter.

Before the reveal of the ice sculptures, you can take part in a lantern-making class with Alpine Arts Center at the Vail Public Library. Sign up for various one-hour sessions at on Sunday afternoon. Space is limited per workshop and participants must be registered in advance.

If you can’t make it to a class, create your own lantern through a virtual demonstration on Alpine Arts Center’s website. There are also a limited supply of complimentary lantern kits available while supplies last at the Vail Welcome Centers.

However you make your lantern, bring it to the International Bridge and display them on designated shepherd hooks. The festive field of colorful lanterns will light up the night sky along with the illuminated ice sculptures. Olive Moya will also have painted lanterns in the International Bridge display. For more information, check out and

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Concerts at the Vilar

The Dallas String Quartet will bring its “Electric Christmas” to the stage at the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek at 7 p.m. on Friday.
Vilar Performing Arts Center/Courtesy photo

Get into the holiday spirit with the Dallas String Quartet this Friday with its “Electric Christmas” show on Friday at 7 p.m. Formed in 2007 by violinist Ion Zanca, the foursome blends contemporary classical and pop music. Think Vitamin String Quartet, Lindsey Stirling and 2Cellos. They will be joined by a drummer and guitarist for a full sound on stage. Expect to hear some holiday tunes along with some of their eclectic renditions of songs like “Seniorita” by Shawn Mendez and Camila Cabello, or a little Guns N’ Roses.

The Dallas String Quartet has played for both Presidents Bush and Obama and was most recently in the entertainment news for playing at Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani’s wedding.

Tickets are $48 for adults and $25 for children and a Family 4-Pack is $100. The show also qualifies for the Pay Your Age community arts access program where the VPAC invites 19-30 year-olds to pay your age on select performances. You must purchase tickets in person at the VPAC box office with valid proof of ID. For tickets and more information, go to

Saturday’s performance doesn’t fall into the holiday music category, but it still looks like a night of fantastic talent taking the stage. “Lacuna: Tom Hamilton & Holly Bowling” is the first recording the duo has done together. Tom Hamilton is a guitarist you may recognize from American Babies and Joe Russo’s Almost Dead band (it was just announced that Joe Russo’s Almost Dead will play at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater this summer). Holly Bowling is a pianist who has been on stage with everyone from Robert Randolph, Greensky Bluegrass, the Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir, Phil Lesh and Warren Haynes.

Expect an evening of improvisation as these two artists trained in the classical realm will offer a fresh spin on their craft. Tickets are $28 for general admission seating. Go to for more information.

Visits with Santa

Besides brunch classics like an omelet station, waffles, pancakes and seafood display, the Breakfast with Santa event at Maya at the Westin Riverfront will have a holiday dessert bar featuring Christmas cookies and assorted mini desserts.
Maya at Westin Riverfront/Courtesy photo

With Christmas a week away, time is limited to make sure Santa is in the know about what’s on everyone’s wish list. Get a direct visit with the man in red this Saturday at the Bookworm of Edwards. There will be caroling and free hot chocolate courtesy of Mountain Life Calvary Chapel in Riverwalk. Enjoy story time with Santa at 6 p.m. followed by photo opportunities until 8 p.m.

On Sunday, Santa will stop by Maya at the Westin Riverfront in Avon for visits during brunch. Breakfast will take place from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Santa will be available between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Bring the camera for photo ops with Santa, and you may want to take a photo or two of the fabulous dishes being served up as well. Maya will have brunch classics like the omelet station, prime rib, honey roasted ham and a seafood display with snow crab claws, poached jumbo shrimp and oysters.

Waffles and pancakes more your style? Enjoy a waffle station with fresh berries and chocolate chips or blueberry pancakes. Meat eaters will enjoy chorizo and polenta benedicts, smoked bacon, pork sausage and more. Calories don’t count during the holidays, right? You can even eat dessert first at Maya this Sunday. The holiday dessert bar will feature Christmas cookies and assorted mini desserts.

Tickets are $59 for adults and $19 for kids under age 12. Reservations are required, so visit to make your date with Santa.

Yeti Hockey Game

Vail Yeti Hockey takes to the rink at Dobson Ice Arena on Saturday night. The team will play rival Breckenridge Vipers.
Courtesy photo

The Vail Yeti Hockey team takes on its rivals, the Breckenridge Vipers, this weekend with a night in Breck on Friday and at Dobson Ice Arena in Lionshead on Saturday.

Vail Yeti Hockey has been around for over 8 years and consists of former Division 1 NCAA college hockey, semi-pro and pro players who have moved on from that level of competition. In its short history, the Yeti have developed quite a following of local fans and those in town who simply want to check out the excitement of a hockey game.

The Turtle Bus will be taking groups over to Breckenridge on Friday night. General admission tickets for the home ice showdown at Dobson are $10 and kids 5 years old and under are free.

The Yeti hockey schedule spans well into springtime. The Yeti will host teams from around Colorado, St. Louis and Chicago. The New York Fire Department even has a team that travels halfway across the country to play the Yeti. For more information, go to

Rewind at The Lodge at Vail

Local 80s cover band, Rewind, will play après ski music from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Lodge at Vail on Saturday.
Rewind/Courtesy photo

There’s a new place to après ski this season. Head over to the Lodge at Vail’s Cucina Rustica on Wednesdays and Saturdays and enjoy live music from a variety of local bands from 3 to 6 p.m. This Saturday is extra special, as the Lodge is bringing in crowd favorite, Rewind, an 80s cover band. The Lodge is calling it Retro and Rewind at the Grand Après.

Cucina Rustica has been reconfigured to allow for lounge seating in one half of the restaurant and table seating in the other half. Pick which seating is right for you based on your group. Reservations aren’t available so get there at 3 p.m. if you want a seat close to the band, but seats may not be necessary if you are up and dancing to the tunes. Food and drink specials will be available and don’t forget to try the s’mores.

Schedule of upcoming bands:

  • Dec. 18 – Rewind
  • Dec. 22 – Nathan Showalter
  • Dec. 25 – Nathan Showalter and special guest
  • Dec. 29 – Lucas Parker with Jessica Paige
  • Jan. 1 – Lucas Parker with Jessica Paige

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