Free events hit Vail this summer |

Free events hit Vail this summer

Melanie Wong
Vail, CO Colorado
Kristin Anderson/Vail Daily file photoKayakers do battle in the 8-ball competition at the Teva Mountain Games in Vail, Colorado last year. This year's competition is June 4-7.

VAIL, Colorado ” While many other communities are seeing cut backs in summer events and festivals and some event sponsors are pulling back their budgets, Vail, Colorado’s list is full as ever.

“We should really consider ourselves fortunate,” said Sybill Navas, an organizer for the town’s Commission for Special Events. “Most communities are seeing festivals and other events really shorten because of losing sponsors. I know our event organizers are trying to cut costs, but it doesn’t appear we’re losing events. We expect to have a lot of vitality this summer.”

Major festivals such as the Vail Dance Festival, Teva Mountain Games and the Bravo! concert series are expected to run as usual.

“All the sponsors were pretty secure, and both Bravo! and the dance festival are truly iconic festivals with an established group of volunteers and supporters,” Navas said.

Not only will the major events go on as planned, but new festivals are expected to hit the village this summer, including an Irish hurling festival, a Mexican fiesta and a dessert festival. There will also be a slew of free events, including a series of demonstrations and classes at the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens.

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.

The gardens will feature an “art in the gardens” event on Wednesdays beginning at the end of May. Local outdoor photographer Jon Sheppard will lead free photography workshops and demos throughout the summer. The workshops are for amateur and experienced photographers wanting to improve their nature photography skills.

Sheppard will instruct the classes, critique work, and select photos from the class to be displayed in the Vail Public Library next winter.

The gardens are also launching a new series of demos called Chefs in the Gardens, which will bring in chefs from different local restaurants to give live cooking demonstrations. The first will be from the Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa’s Avondale restaurant in Avon on May 27. Larkspur and Lord Gore restaurants from Vail are also scheduled for demonstrations.

There are new recreation events, too. The town of Vail and Alpine Quest Sports in Edwards will hold free whitewater kayaking demonstrations in Vail Village’s whitewater park beginning next Tuesday at 5 p.m. for five weeks.

Instructors will be on hand to give tips, and gear will be available for rent, said Cory Glackin, owner of Alpine Quest.

For full schedule of events in Vail, see and click on “activities and events.”

For more on events at the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens, see

Staff Writer Melanie Wong can be reached at 970-748-2928 or

Support Local Journalism