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More than mud and sweat

Cassie Pence
Special to the Daily
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VAIL – In life there must be balance. Organizers of the Teva Mountain Games know this, which is precisely why they’ve planned five days of music, art and parties to complement the event’s athletic competitions. Entertainment starts Wednesday at 3 p.m. as local alternative-country band The Laughing Bones will play for the official opening party at The Saloon in Minturn.

Three teams of filmmakers who were invited to compete in the Filmmaker Shootout also embark on their artistic adventure today starting at 5 p.m. The moviemakers have 72 hours to shoot, edit and produce a film that seeks to capture the mountain spirit. The finished films will screen at The Teva Mountain Ball Saturday, and cell phone text-message voting will determine the shootout winner, who wins $2,500 and the High Side of Good Award.”This award is in honor of our good friend Daniel DeLarVergne, an accomplished adventure photographer,” Untraditional Marketing’s Joel Heath said. Untraditional Marketing organizes the Mountain Games. “His family will present the award at the Mountain Ball.” Photography has secured an important role at the Mountain Games with the popular Mountain Life Photography Competition. A record 58 photographers submitted 325 outdoor shots, up from 185 images last year, for judging, which took seven hours. Winners are announced Thursday at Demott Gallery in Vail Village during an intimate soiree. “Initially, the competition was just for the professionals,” Heath said. “But a lot of amateurs have won with that cool click they’ve gotten on vacation or while out on a hike.”Heath said more and more athletes are also entering the contest.”Sometimes people get lucky,” Heath said.Also on Thursday is the Coors Light Poker Night pub crawl in Vail Village. Each pub provides one card toward a poker hand. A hand is completed by picking up a card at each participating club from 8-11 p.m. Complete poker hands will be eligible to win a Trek bicycle at the “Dynasty” film premier at 8150 at 11 p.m.

Hailing from the country roads of Bowling Green, Ky., Nappy Roots performs its Southern, urban beats Friday at the Dobson Arena in Lionshead. Three pioneers from the rap/hip-hop industry will open the evening with a freestyle session. DJ Nu-Stylez (Digital Underground), DJ Evil E (Ice-T) and DJ Cut Creator (LL Cool J) will all perform as mountain-bike athletes simultaneously do a little freestylin’ of their own during the big-air competition. “It’s a highly entertaining, interactive experience,” Heath said, who also points out it’s an all-ages event. “The free-ride element adds a little bit more action to the concert. All the senses are met.”DJs will spin as some of the world’s best mountain bikers attempt to tackle obstacles, and large jumps on the Dobson floor.”It’s incomprehensible what they can get themselves over,” Heath said.

On Saturday, the Dobson Arena hosts the Everest Awards, a black-tie ceremony that honors top male and female athletes in trail running, mountain biking, whitewater sports, adventure racing, climbing and expedition of the year. Heath said the award is given to people whose skill and innovation have pushed their sport to new heights, and winners aren’t always athletes. It could be people who have done amazing things with kids in sports, Heath said.”It’s essentially the Grammys of outdoor adventure,” he said.Proceeds from the evening benefit the Outdoor Industry Foundation’s effort to combat childhood obesity.”Ten percent of preschoolers are considered over weight,” Heath said.Heath said OIF helps to get kids – who otherwise might sit inside all day – into the outdoors, helping to change the cycle of obesity affecting America’s youth.After the Everest Awards, the Teva Mountain Ball kicks into gear – this year in full-blown retro style. Heath said in the beginning, Untraditional Marketing tried to make it a more formal event with tuxes and Teva sandals as the recommended dress code, but athletes and their supporters prefer to break out the best in retro digs.”These guys (athletes) can’t be serious 2 percent of the time,” Heath said. “We’ve decided to fully embrace it. Eight girls called and asked, ‘Can I wear my biggest afro?’ You bet, I said.”Disco cover band Boogie Machine will perform.

Animal Liberation Orchestra closes out the games Sunday with a concert at 8150 in Vail Village. Heath said the Mountain Games captured these rising stars just in the nick of time as the group – sure to hit it big soon – will open for Dave Matthews this summer.”It’s the type of band that you’ll say, ‘I heard them at the Mountain Games at this really small venue,” Heath said.Also on Sunday, organizers will announce the winner of the Mountain Dog of the Year competition at the International Bridge around 4 p.m. With more than 1,300 votes already cast on http://www.vaildaily.com, Mountain Dog of the Year could easily become the games most popular event of the week.Arts and Entertainment Editor Cassie Pence can be reached at 748-2938 or cpence@vaildaily.com.Vail, Colorado


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