Learning Palooza looks at Colorado | VailDaily.com

Learning Palooza looks at Colorado

Charlie Owen
Special to the Daily
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the Daily

There was no way for the 10th Mountain Division soldiers who trained for World War II at Camp Hale to know what would eventually become of the Vail Valley. Many of those soldiers came back to America after the war and started building ski resorts, which became a cornerstone of the American ski industry. According to Vail Mayor Dick Cleveland, they made a huge impact on the shape of Vail and are as much a part of Colorado’s unique history as the mountains themselves.

“The 10th Mountain Division (soldiers) really were the impetus for Vail,” Cleveland said. “They saw the potential in the Colorado mountains – Vail especially – and it led to what we have today.”

Mayor Dick Cleveland and wife Kathy Langenwalter will host the Vail Symposium’s second annual Learning Palooza event Wednesday at Donovan Pavilion in Vail to honor the state’s past and look ahead to the future. The 10th Mountain Division will be awarded the Vail Symposium’s Explorer Award during a special ceremony. Earl Clark, chairman of the 10th Mountain Division Foundation board and veteran of the elite unit will be on hand to accept the award, along with fellow veterans Dick Dirkes and John Tripp.

“I’m delighted. I’m happy to participate,” said Clark, who fought with the 10th Mountain Division during WWII.

Clark said he is proud of the way Vail has grown up.

“I watched it grow literally from a nothing to the empire that it is now and to watch its growth throughout the years is quite remarkable,” Clark said.

A tour of historic Camp Hale will be offered by the Symposium and the Colorado Ski and Snowboard Museum Thursday for those interested in learning more about the area.

Colorado: A key to our nations future?

There will be plenty to see and do at Learning Palooza Wednesday, promised Deb Luginbuhl, the vice chairman of the Vail Symposium. Fun learning booths presenting Colorado-focused educational topics will be stationed throughout the pavilion. Attendees can learn about everything from Colorado foods and wines to mountaineering.

Colorado State Senator and Vail native Michael Johnston will speak about Colorado’s future.

Johnston represents the 33rd district in Denver and is an adjunct professor of education law at the University of Denver and serves as an education advisor to political campaigns and education summits around the country. A Vail Mountain School graduate, Johnston holds degrees from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Yale Law School.

“Just like Colorado’s diverse landscapes and population, our state is very unique and plays a crucial role in these uncertain times – from healthcare and education to energy production,” said Vail Symposium executive director Carrie Marsh. “The Symposium felt it important to celebrate Colorado this summer with a variety of topics that highlight its importance and diverse nature.”

In concert with the event’s theme, a ‘Locavore Luncheon’ will feature local chefs cooking with locally grown products. The menu includes heirloom tomato and Haystack goat cheese salad, Osage garden basil, range-fed Colorado beef and Colorado potato puree.

Charlie Owen is the summer press liasion for the Vail Symposium.

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