10 events happening around Vail before Opening Day; Man of the Cliff, Italian family circus & more
There’s a lot on the schedule between now and Vail’s 2018-19 Opening Day of the ski season. From the inaugural Whistle Pig Vail concert series to the Vail Jazz Party and all of the other returning events, the valley’s summer schedule continues to keep people entertained before the snow starts to fall.
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 into September.
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 @ Vail Square; Vail Jazz @ the Market; Vail Jazz Club Series; Vail Jazz @ Remedy; Vail Jazz Party; and new this year, Vail Jazz @ The Riverwalk. The jazz fest runs through Sept. 3 and 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.vailjazz.org.
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 market on Saturdays during the summer. Avon and Gypsum are also in the farmers market scene.
More information: Follow the farmers markets on Facebook.
Gourmet On Gore
Gourmet on Gore is a culinary festival offering open-air tasting with world-class wine, beer and spirits paired with delights from Vail’s top restaurants. The event takes place over Labor Day weekend each year, Aug 31 to Sept. 3, 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 www. gourmetongore.com.
Man of the Cliff
Man of The Cliff is the 10th annual nonprofit event comprised of outdoor, rugged activities that are modified to fit all strength and ability levels, male and female. Historically held in Red Cliff, this year’s event will take place at Nottingham Lake in Avon Oct. 13-14, with 100 percent of all funds raised benefiting local charity First Descents. Events include ax throw, hammer toss, archery, keg toss and more.
Festival tenure: 10th annual event.
More information: Visit http://www.manofthecliff.com.
The best thing about Oktoberfest in the Vail Valley is that it starts in September. 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 culinary talent with exclusive wines and outdoor venues.
Festival tenure: 12th annual event.
More information: Visit http://www.beavercreek.com.
Vail Rotary Duck Race
Adopt a duck and send it down Gore Creek in the annual Vail Rotary Club Duck Race 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.vailduckrace.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 has brought Dispatch (June 16) and Robert Plan & The Sensational Space Shifters (June 19) to town. The Jerry Garcia Birthday Band performs Aug. 17-18, and 311 performs Sept. 13. 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.whistlepigvail.com.
Zoppe Italian Family Circus
The Zoppe Family Circus welcomes guests into the intimate 500-seat tent for a one-ring circus that honors the best history of the Old World Italian tradition. Starring Nino the clown, the circus is propelled by a story (as opposed to individual acts) that features acrobatics, equestrian showmanship, cainine capers, clowning and plenty of audience participation. The circus returns to Avon Sept. 7-9.
Series tenure: The Zoppe Italian Family Circus has been performing since 1842, but returns to Avon for its second year.
More information: http://www.avon.org.
Nadia Guerriero never dreamed of working in the ski industry, but it’s no surprise to anyone that she’s now in charge of Beaver Creek.