GoPro Mountain Games, Jurassic Park, outdoor movies, live music and more: Tricia’s Weekend Picks
The Mountain GAmes celebrates 20 years, "Jurassic Park: Dominion" and a dinosaur talk at Riverwalk and art and music round out the weekend
GoPro Mountain Games
The GoPro Mountain Games celebrates 20 years this week. Look for all your favorite event categories like fly fishing, whitewater, climbing, biking, running, disc golf and of course the canine events returning to Vail Village, Lionshead, Golden Peak and even Minturn.
The GoPro Mountain Games’ history spans beyond 2002, the Jeep Whitewater Festival helped launch the kick off to summer in the Vail Valley. Originally held on Memorial Day Weekend, the Jeep Whitewater Festival focused on the kayaking and rafting events. I remember participating in a raft race for media outlets and the winner took home a paddle engraved with the Jeep Whitewater Festival logo and bragging rights. The winners and losers all warmed up at The Platz’l (which is now Loaded Joe’s in Vail Village) because, typical for Memorial Day, it was a chilly weekend, especially after rafting down Gore Creek.
I remember when Joel Heath and Untraditional Marketing took over the event and the title sponsor became Teva and we all had to learn how to pronounce the shoe company’s name correctly. Throughout the years it’s been fun to watch sports like stand-up paddle boarding and slacklining become of part of it and watch the canine events grow. Friendships were fostered and each year felt more like a reunion than a competition. The phrase “hugs not handshakes” was often used to describe this celebration of athletes, art, mountains and music that has become so dear to so many.
What’s new for the 20th anniversary? The event expanded to six days for the first time and included a new GoPro Dual Slalom event at the Minturn Bike Park, which took place on Tuesday and Wednesday. To mark the two decades, there’s the Adidas Terrex 20K Anniversary Run on Sunday morning. Also new this year is the Take a Hike for YouthPower365, on Sunday afternoon. The Vail Valley Foundation is the nonprofit organization that puts on the GoPro Mountain Games and YouthPower365 is the VVF’s educational arm. YouthPower365 helps kids from cradle to career reach their true potential through many different programs offered year-round.
Beyond competitions, there are many ways to enjoy the GoPro Mountain Games. The Mountain House Gear Town will have the latest gear and gadgets you’ll want out on the trail or river and lots of S.W.A.G. (Stuff We All Get) will be given out throughout the weekend. Live music can be found at The Amp, Vail Village, Lionshead, and the new Hangout at Golden Peak. Yoga, fun runs, happy hours and more will fill your days.
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Parking is free during the day at the Lionshead and Vail Village parking garages, but there is a fee to park overnight. Do keep in mind that this is a very popular and busy weekend in Vail and parking may fill up. Consider carpooling, taking the bus or riding your bike into town to enjoy the festivities. The full schedule can be found at MountainGames.com.
Fossil Posse and Jurassic Park premiere
With “Jurassic Park: Dominion” opening this weekend, it seems fitting that Fossil Posse Adventures and The Museum at Dinosaur Junction be involved to kick off this summer blockbuster. After all, Billy Doran, the founder and creator of this nonprofit that celebrates the prehistoric nature of our valley, has found items from the Jurassic Era right here in Eagle County.
Doran leads Fossil Posse Adventures, a one-of-a-kind dinosaur experience that brings adventure education to kids in a day camp setting where participants learn about the amazing world of dinosaurs and the prehistoric world of ancient Colorado.
The Museum at Dinosaur Junction is Doran’s latest endeavor. At press time, Doran was “waiting for a shipment of dinosaur skeletons” that he will be assembling at the museum space in Edward which he hopes to open later this month.
“Jurassic Park: Dominion” is the sixth movie in the “Jurassic Park” franchise. As a refresher, “Jurassic Park” was released in 1993, followed by “The Lost World: Jurassic Park” in 1997, “Jurassic Park III” in 2001, “Jurassic World” in 2015, and “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” in 2018.
Come to the Riverwalk Theater early on Friday for a cocktail hour and fundraiser where Doran will speak about some of his finds, like a 150 million year old Jurassic turtle he discovered last summer and bones and teeth from a giant sauropod long neck dinosaur that he found last fall. He’ll also give you a preview of what you can expect at The Museum at Dinosaur Junction and how your kids can get involved with Fossil Posse.
“A good number of dinosaurs seen in the movie roamed the prehistoric Eagle County Landscape,” Doran said.
The event starts at 5:30 p.m., followed by the movie. Get your tickets for the “Jurassic Park: Dominion” online in advance to ensure you get a ticket. Go to RiverwalkTheater.com for tickets. For information about The Museum at Dinosaur Junction, go to DinosaurJunction.org.
There are also several movies you can go to outdoors this weekend. The town of Gypsum is hosting Double Feature Movie Night on Friday at the Lundgren Amphitheater. Bring your camp chairs or a blanket, pack some popcorn, snacks or a picnic and enjoy the grassy lawn and the starlit skies.
“Encanto” will play at 6 p.m. followed by “Knives Out” at 8:15 p.m. The event is free, gates open at 5:30 p.m. and parking is available next to the Lundgren Amphitheater. If you miss the movies this Friday, the town of Gypsum is hosting another Double Feature Movie Night on Aug. 12 and will be showing “Cars” and “Real Steel.” Go to TownOfGypsum.com for more details.
Mountain Recreation and Mountain Youth are hosting an outdoor movie night as well. This is the third year for the Outdoor Movie Series and there will be a movie each month during June, July and Aug. This week’s movie is “Pitch Perfect,” “Encanto” will be shown in July and “Back to the Future” will be shown in August.
Bring your blankets and chairs and anything else that will keep you comfortable. The movie starts at 9 p.m. at Freedom Park in Edwards. The Outdoor Movie Series is free, but it’s requested that you RSVP at MountainRec.org.
Art Around Avon
You see a lot of artwork when you drive through Avon, whether it’s in the roundabouts or on the sidewalks throughout town, but why not slow down a little and take a closer look at these works by going on the Art Around Avon self-guided walking tour this Friday.
Art Around Avon started in 2021 and has grown quite a bit since that time. On the self-guided walking tour, you will view 19 sculptures that will be on display until next May. The town of Avon has a community-based volunteer jury panel that worked hard to curate the right pieces for Avon.
The tour will begin at the Avon Town Hall at 6 p.m. and go until 7:30 p.m. The artists will be available during the walking tour so feel free to ask them about their inspirations and information about their works.
See something you like? All the pieces of art are for sale. For more information, go to Avon.org.
Saturday Sunset in Minturn
Head to Minturn to hear some live music with local favorite, Dave Tucker at the Saturday Sunset with Dave Tucker and Friends. Sunrise Minturn, the popular breakfast on lunch spot, will keep its doors open later to sell drinks and to-go snacks. Sunrise Minturn is right next to Agora, the community space on Main Street in Minturn that has become a popular gathering spot, a place to do a little work or have a meeting or enjoy live music.
Dave Tucker and Friends will play acoustic sets from 6 to 8 p.m. every Saturday until Sept. 4. Sunrise Minturn will stay open until 9 p.m.