Oktoberfest, jazz and gourmet food in Vail: Tricia's Weekend picks 8/30/19 | VailDaily.com

Vail Jazz, Oktoberfest, Gourmet on Gore and more: Tricia’s weekend picks 8/30/19

Oktoberfest at Beaver Creek                      

You could say it’s Oktoberfest season around the valley with several weekends throughout the fall celebrating the Bavarian tradition. This weekend, Oktoberfest kicks off a day earlier than usual at Beaver Creek. On Friday, beer gardens, a pretzel toss, stein-holding competitions and live music will be just a few of the activities and events to celebrate 20 years of this lively event that closes down summer in Beaver Creek.

A few things to note, the music during the day will feature Trachtenkapelle from Beaver Creek’s sister city of Lech-Zurs, Austria and local entertainer, Helmut Fricker will have his authentic oom-pah band on Saturday and Sunday. The last musical act each day will feature cover bands Space Oddity: The David Bowie Experience on Saturday and Fleetwood Mask on Sunday, playing all your favorites from David Bowie and Fleetwood Mac, respectively.

In addition to participating in the chicken dance, there are other events that allow the crowd to get involved. Wear your best dirndl or lederhosen for the costume contest, but be aware that the judges this year will be from sister city, Lech-Zurs, so you may want to up your game a bit. If eating bratwurst is your thing, see how many you can eat to earn the “Best of the Wurst” award. There is also a 5k, 10k and family fun 1k on Sunday and the first 200 paid and registered participants will receive a commemorative Oktoberfest item. Check out http://www.beavercreek.com for a full schedule of activities.

Gourmet on Gore

Gourmet on Gore presented by Audi has become Vail’s signature Labor Day weekend event that celebrates summer and gourmet goodies. For the past 14 years, the streets of Vail and even some trails up on the mountain have provided the backdrop for wines and bites to be shared and savored with friends.

Brand new this year, Gourmet on Gore presents Food Trucks al Fresco, an urban offering with several curated food trucks lining East Meadow Drive on Friday from 4 to 8 p.m. The dishes will be paired with creative cocktails, beer, and handpicked wines and music featuring the all-female electric quartet, Spinphony.

On Saturday and Sunday enjoy the open-air tastings from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Gore Creek Drive and Willow Bridge Road in Vail Village. Admission is free and it’s pay-as-you-go for bites and pours of fine wines, beers and spirits. Bring the kids to the Kids Zone for culinary activities and crafts from 12 to 5 p.m. both days.

To burn off some calories, take part in the Gourmet Let’s Go programs. Most excursions begin with breakfast goodies and end with bites or lunch paired with a libation. Do some yoga, hiking or biking to earn that next beer, a taste of wine or sweet treat. Visit the website for the full schedule and ticket information: http://www.gourmetongore.com.

Vail Jazz Fest

The sounds of jazz have been percolating throughout the valley since early summer. From Friday night concerts at the Riverwalk in Edwards and Jazz at the Market on Sundays to the party carrying on into the late-night hours at Remedy Bar, the music just won’t stop. Jazz fever has struck and it’s here to stay.

After 25 years, this event is more like a family reunion than a music festival, with the likes of John and Jeff Clayton, Bill Cunliffe and Wycliffe Gordon returning year after year. The fans have built up a convivial atmosphere as well, getting to know these Grammy-award winning and Grammy-nominated artists on more of a personal level after all these years.

Education meets entertainment with multimedia tributes sprinkled throughout the festival, enabling jazz enthusiasts to learn more about legends of the past. This year see the multi-media presentation, “Jazz & the Struggle for Freedom” by Byron Stripling.

The music kicks off on Thursday night with the Vail Jazz Party Opening Session and goes all the way through Labor Day, with the Vail Jazz Party Afternoon Session. View the entire schedule for this iconic event at http://www.vailjazz.org.

The 22nd annual Rubber Duck Race

On Sunday, Gore Creek will turn into a sea of yellow when an estimated 12,000 ducks make their way downstream. The Vail Rotary Rubber Duck Race is a Labor Day weekend tradition that brings more than smiles to the spectators, it brings well-needed programs and assistance to kids locally and globally.

You can still purchase ducks online or the day of the event. You don’t actually buy a duck, but merely adopt one with hopes of it crossing the finish line first. This year, first place receives $5,000 and a chance to win one million dollars. But even if your duck doesn’t come out on top there are several great prizes like dinner gift certificates and hotels stays for ducks that come in ahead of the pack. 

The annual fundraiser for the Vail Rotary supports many activities such as scholarships, early childhood development and leadership training for youth. 

The children’s race is at 2 p.m. and the main event kicks off at 3 p.m. A single duck sells for $10, $20 gets you three ducks or you can buy a “Platinum Fleet” which is 20 ducks for $100. The Vail Rotary Club has been supporting community service projects in the Vail Valley for 49 years. Visit http://www.vailduckrace.com for more information.

Lift Operations at Vail and Beaver Creek

Labor Day weekend also marks the end of daily lift service at Vail and Beaver Creek. Take advantage of the activities at Epic Discovery and Adventure Ridge along with hiking and biking trails for various ability levels.

After Labor Day, Gondola One in Vail Village will be open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. September 6 through 29. The Eagle Bahn Gondola in Lionshead will be open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. September 6 through 29. Epic Discovery activities will be open on those same dates from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Beaver Creek will have the Centennial Lift open Saturdays and Sundays only starting September 7 through 29 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The views from either mountain during the fall foliage season offer great photo opportunities, so make a point to do some on-mountain activities while the leaves are at their peak. For more information, visit http://www.vail.com and http://www.beavercreek.com. And speaking of lift access, don’t forget to buy your Epic Pass for the upcoming winter season at the lowest price. After Labor Day, the price of the Epic Pass will increase. View all the Epic Pass products at http://www.epicpass.com.