Games, fun and – yes – clams |

Games, fun and – yes – clams

Veronica Whitney
NWS Beano's Cabin Clam Bake 7-4 PU Vail Daily/Preston Utley Marisa Ammaturo, 11 enjoys mussels at Beano's Cabin Clam Bake on Sunday.

When you are in Hawaii, you might not eat buffalo burgers. But why not celebrate the Fourth of July with clams?Sunday’s annual Fourth of July clambake at Beano’s Cabin showed that a clambake in the middle of the Rocky Mountains might be one of the best-kept secrets in the valley for Independence Day.This isn’t your regular clambake by the beach. Clams were just one among dozens of things to eat during the celebration on Sunday afternoon on Beaver Creek Mountain.”I’m pacing myself,” said Diana Hunter, 19, of Denver while she started humbly with a Caesar salad. “I want to spread it out.”For $50 a person, the menu included mussels, crab legs, oysters, roast beef, chicken, burgers and sausages, potato salad, fruit salad, cole slaw, corn, brownies, apple strudel (with real whipped cream), popsicles and cookies. Adults also got several tickets for drinks.”I like the community spirit,” said Pierre Hernandez, 51, of Tampa, Fla. “Everyone is in a good mood.”

The crowd included singles, couples and lots of families, which enjoyed several lawn games and the summer views of Grouse Mountain and wildflowers. Though the majority arrived in shuttles that ran frequently from Beaver Creek Village, the 70-degree, mostly sunny weather encouraged several people to hike up to the restaurant.”Last year we had so much fun that we decided to come back again,” said Jamie Swift, a second home owner from Wasau, Wis.”My favorite food was the Caesar salad … and the Bloody Marys,” Pierre Hernandez said.”The corn was perfect,” said his wife, Regina Hernandez.Unlike the adults, kids seemed to be more interested in the games than in the food.”I like pizza but I had a corn dog, which was very good,” said 7-year-old Anneliese Swift, who was playing volleyball barefoot with her sisters Olivia, 9, and Evelyn, 5.The slip ‘n’ slide was also very popular among the Swift sisters, who got their clothes all wet while several trips down the slide. Entertainment for the little ones even included a kiddy pool.

This was the first year that Drew Dusebout of Santa Barbara, Calif., brought his family to the clambake.”We usually come in winter,” said Dusebout, who recently bought a place in the valley. “This is great for families. The kids can run around and you don’t have to worry.”In between food breaks, some people ventured into playing badminton and playing horseshoe, while others mingled on the deck where a band played “Margaritaville.””It’s a lot of fun, the summertime is different than the winter – very laid back,” said Ray Lawrence, 33, of Minturn, who was in charge of the barbecue. “And this is a large crowd,” added Lawrence, who has worked at Beano’s Cabin since 1998.The turnout at Sunday’s clambake was one of the strongest in the past years, said Christina Schleicher, spokeswoman for Beaver Creek.

“This has been a hit for several years,” Schleicher said. “It’s a fantastic thing for families.”Such an event took some preparation, said Kelly Anders, 26, a cook from Eagle-Vail who works at Beano’s Cabin. “We started preparing food on Saturday,” said Anders, who was among five working at the restaurant’s kitchen this weekend. “This is pretty fun compared to regular service. It wasn’t too stressful.”The only stress that Dorathea and Clem Haudron seemed to have Sunday was making a decision on what to eat.”We loved the roast beef and the clams,” said Clem Haudron, 73, of Greenville, N.C., who was enjoying the views sitting on the lawn. “We don’t want to go home. And those fireworks in Avon last night were incredible.”Veronica Whitney can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 454 or at

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