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Athletes go to the prom

Cassie Pence

Muscle-backed paddle handlers, women scaling rocks, adventure racers and mud-clad bikers are about to invade the valley Thursday, competing for cash prizes and bragging rights at the Teva Mountain Games. But after the sweat has evaporated and the sun exits stage west, night life begins – a whole different kind of adrenaline rush.Sounds of the gamesThe weekend kicks off Thursday at 7 p.m. with a free street concert in Vail Village featuring the Hackensaw Boys and Brad Bryd. Virginia-rooted Hackensaw Boys, solid with eight members, combines four banjo players, one mouth harp, one mandolin and a charismu – a device of percussion and spoons – to resonate a blend of old time music and blue grass beats.”Brad Bryd will be of Jack Johnson fame in a couple of years. He’s got that singer-surfer thing going on. It’s going to be awesome,” Joel Heath, president of Untraditional Marketing, said.Crafty lyricists Jurassic 5 and soulful Gov’t Mule perform Friday and Sunday, respectively. Jurassic 5 members MCs Chali 2na, Zaakir (Soup), Akil, Marc 7 and DJs Cut Chemist and Nu-Mark conjure an energy that recalls throwback era in hip-hop, when the only thing that seemed to matter was the music and having fun. Heath said he kept the young guns in mind when booking J5, whose show begins at 7 p.m. Friday at the Ford Amphitheater.”The unique thing about outdoor people is you could be a mountain biker one day and an adventure racer the next. There isn’t one genre that is going to appeal to all,” Heath said. “Jurassic Five is a fit for the young, and Gov’t Mule a fit for the older school. It’s hip-hop to hillbilly.”Gov’t Mule musicians Warren Haynes from the Allman Brothers (lead guitarist and vocalist), Matt Abts (drummer), Danny Louis (keys) and Andy Hess (bassist) rock upbeat yet soulful lyrics with a touch of jazzy-based blues. Loyal followers can dive into the “deepest end” of their music at 6 p.m. Sunday at the Ford Amphitheater. Tickets are sold at Mojo Music in Avon, Vail and Lionshead information booths, Resort Entertainment or call 845-TIXS.Film premiersTwo extreme-sport films make their world debut Thursday and Friday during the games. “Project Happi,” a Trow Vision Production, hunts for the perfect wave kiting conditions in waters of the Caribbean and Pacific islands, deep into Baja and along the West Coast. The 16mm film captures the skills of wave kiters reaping oceans’ rewards and fulfilling their happiness. 8150 in Vail Village presents the film at 10 p.m. Thursday. Filmmakers Rush Sturges, Brooks Baldwin and Marlo Long shoot a new school of radical young rippers romping through currents of the world on their kayaks in “New Reign.” The film premiers at 10 p.m. Friday at 8150 in Vail Village.Mountain Life Photography CompetitionA panel of judges, comprised of artists and athletes, sort through hundreds of photos depicting mountain lifestyle to select submissions that will compete in the Mountain Life Photography Competition. Selected entries will be unveiled and displayed at the DeMott Gallery in Vail.”It has become my favorite part of the games,” Heath said. “It is amazing the different aspects of mountain life.”One controversial photograph promises to raise some eyebrows. Although the context remains a bit hush, hush until its official unveiling Thursday during a VIP party, one vegetarian juror said, “I want to hate this picture, but I can’t.” The competition was open to amateur and professional photographers. The winner takes home $5,000.Teva Mountain BallThe games invites outdoor enthusiastes to the Tap Room and Sanctuary in Vail Village for the Teva Mountain Ball, free and open to the public. Last year, athletes and spectators danced the night into day wearing their best mountain formalwear. Mountain formalwear? Anything from jeans to dresses to, as Heath will be sporting, baby blue ruffled tuxedoes with flip flops.”We’ve changed the schedule this year to accommodate the mountain ball. We took all the serious races out of Sunday, so people can be hung over,” Heath said.Heath said that the day after last year’s ball, athletes were already planning their wardrobe.”It is the prom of the outdoor industry,” Heath said.


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