Off the Hill with Tricia Swenson: Town of Vail turns 50
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Balloons, cupcakes and games all signify one thing — a birthday party — and the town of Vail turned the big 5-0 on Tuesday. On Aug. 23, 1966, the town of Vail became incorporated, just a few years after Vail became a ski area in 1962.
Area school kids performed birthday tunes including the Beatles “Birthday” song to kick off the event. This was not only a celebration for the town, it also honored those who shaped the vision and helped to make Vail the celebrated place it is today.
The crowd could hardly be hushed because there was so much congratulating and catching up going on. But soon the attention turned to the recognition of many long-standing town of Vail employees of 20 years or more.
Mayor Dave Chapin presented Dr. Tom Steinberg, Vail’s original doctor and council member for 19 years, with the Trailblazer Award. Former Mayor Peggy Osterfoss and Dr. Jack Eck, who was hired by Steinberg in 1971, spoke about Steinberg’s unwavering dedication to the town and his contributions and efforts toward open space and environmental stewardship.
Although there weren’t any gifts exchanged at this birthday party, two lucky winners went home with raffle prizes. The town of Vail had a trivia contest in the form of a crossword puzzle and all the entries were submitted for a chance to win either a 2016-17 Blue Parking Pass or a fun family activity package put together by the Vail Recreation District. Birthday cake was replaced by 1,000 cupcakes served up on a tiered tower built by the town of Vail’s Public Works Department.
In its short yet impressive history, it is remarkable how far the town has come and how much joy it brings to those who make the Eagle Valley their home year-round and to those who visit this idyllic little town that could.
It would be really hard to spark a wildfire anywhere near Vail Mountain or Beaver Creek right now. Still, unattended campfires will always draw attention.