Oktoberfest in Lionshead, Avalanche alumni play Vail Yeti hockey, Eagle River Cleanup and more: Tricia’s Weekend Picks 9/8/23
Oktoberfest in Lionshead
It’s officially Oktoberfest season in the Vail Valley. Last week Beaver Creek kicked it off in grand style with oom-pah bands bringing out the crowds – and the lederhosen and dirndls – for some Bavarian fun. The beer, pretzels, brats and more will move east to Lionshead Village for three more days before the event wraps up in Vail Village on the following weekend.
You’ll feel like you are in Bavaria with the architecture surrounding Vail Square and the glockenspiel clock and maypole. Spaten beer, brats, pretzels and strudel will be served along with plenty of authentic music from The Average German Band, Helmut Fricker and the Rhinelanders, and the PolkaNauts all three days. On Saturday night, the accordion takes a break and makes way for the 80s and classic rock sounds of Rewind band.
Those bands will all be on the Bavarian Stage but new this year is a stage called the Rocktoberfest Stage that will be just down the block on the lawn near the Eagle Bahn Gondola (No. 19). Here you’ll find valley favorites like Turntable Review, Brendan McKinney and the 99 Brown Dogs and the Shakedown Family Band playing a Tom Petty Tribute.
Look for the Denver Kickers Schuhplatters who will bring traditional Bavarian folk and platter dances to Vail Square. This group formed in Denver in 1960 and travels throughout the state and region.
The traditional Oktoberfest contests like brat eating, best costume and stein holding contests will be held as well as keg bowling, which is harder than it looks. Kids will be occupied with the Kid-toberfest kids’ zone, so bring the whole family.
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Hours are noon to 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and noon to 6:30 p.m. on Sunday. Get your ceramic or glass beer steins in advance and your first pour is free in your new drinking vessel. For a schedule of the bands, contests and more go to OktoberfestVail.com.
Avalanche Alumni in Vail
Ski season is around the corner and so is hockey season. The Colorado Avalanche start playing in just a few weeks and if you are an Avalanche fan or just love hockey in general, head to Dobson Arena on Saturday night. Some members of the Colorado Avalanche Alumni Association will be in town this weekend for the 5th annual Avalanche Alumni Weekend, a benefit for the Vail Mountaineer Hockey Club that serves youth hockey programs in the Vail Valley.
The event gives attendees a chance to rub elbows with Colorado’s most beloved hockey players. There are events centered around the ice arena and golf course. On Saturday, Vail Mountaineers coaches and Avalanche Alumni players will run youth hockey clinics at Dobson Ice Arena. There will also be a meet and greet event at Grey Salt in Vail Village that is free to the public. Word has it that Milan Hejduk, Darren Helm, Pierre Turgeon, Peter Budaj and Vail local John-Michael Liles will face off against the Vail Yeti.
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Come early for the pre-game fun including a bagel shootout with some of the Vail Mountaineer players and coaches. During the first intermission, young skaters from the Vail Mountaineer program will have some relay race fun and during the second intermission, the spectators get a chance to win some cash in the Chuck-a-Puck competition. Visit VailMountaineers.com for more information.
Eagle River Cleanup
After of long summer of folks enjoying the rivers and banks along Eagle County’s waterways, it’s time to clean up those areas before the snow flies during the 29th annual Eagle River Cleanup. Much like its counterpart, the Community Pride Highway Cleanup along Interstate -70 and other surrounding roadways which happens each spring, the Eagle River Cleanup asks volunteers to come out and do their part to keep our waters and banks looking pristine.
Volunteer groups are assigned to different stretches of the Eagle River, Gore Creek and other popular public banks to pick up trash and debris. According to the Eagle River Watershed Council, river use rates by locals and visitors has increased as more people are enjoying world-class recreation activities. That increased use inevitably contributes to more trash in those areas.
Hundreds of volunteers will be out on Saturday morning covering approximately 75 miles of Eagle County waterways. Volunteers will be rewarded by a barbecue held at the Broken Arrow Café at the base of Arrowhead Mountain. Joining the Eagle River Cleanup volunteers will be the Community Pride Highway Cleanup, restoration or planting day volunteers and anyone who helped this past year. The clean up goes from 9 a.m. until noon and the volunteer party goes from noon until 3 p.m. Besides lunch, you’ll get to listen to live music and drink some beer. To learn more and to volunteer, go to ERWC.org/event.
Eagle Music Festival
The Eagle Music Festival returns to The Boneyard in Eagle Ranch on Saturday. This annual fundraiser benefits the Red Ribbon Project. As always, the slogan is “We are all in this together,” and the Red Ribbon Project invites anyone to come out and enjoy live music, door prizes and a silent auction.
Red Ribbon Project was established in 1996 as a nonprofit organization in response to the growing need for HIV/AIDS awareness, prevention, education and support.
As the organization evolved it now offers a curriculum of 16 classes on a variety of subjects; including puberty, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), interpersonal relationships, gender bias in the media and bullying.
After years of being the Red Ribbon Project, listen up for a new name of the organization which will be announced on Saturday.
Throughout the years, several talented local musicians have played this event. On Saturday you’ll find Sam Bee and Michelle Cohn Levy on stage. The event runs from 5 until 8:30 p.m.
The silent auction will include items like restaurant gift cards, lodging deals, services and more. Go to the event page on Facebook to learn more.
Meadowgold 10K & 5K
It’s the final race in the Vail Recreation District’s seven-race series this weekend. The Dynafit Meadowgold 5K and 10K Trail Run takes place north of Minturn at Meadow Mountain. Test your skills after a summer’s worth of running or try the shorter version to see if trail running competitions are for you.
The 10K course will have runners going up a technical singletrack on the West Grouse Trail. Look for some wildflowers still holding on to summer as you cross the stream a few times. The 10K course climbs about 1,450 feet before descending on a double track to the bottom of the course, but that elevation gain will earn you some great views of the Gore Range. The 5K course will take runners on a double track through the meadows and remnants of old cabins before heading back down the same way after gaining around 560 feet in elevation.
After the races, head to Vail Mountain Coffee & Tea Company for awards for this race and series awards for those who came out on top after the entire race season. All participants are entered into a raffle from the sponsors. And don’t forget that you get a custom t-shirt as well.
The 10K starts at 9 a.m. and the 5K starts at 9:15 a.m. Register ahead of time and pick up your race numbers at Vail Mountain Coffee & Tea Company on Friday from 4 to 6 p.m.
After this, no time to rest, the Vail Recreation District hosts uphill and Skimo races and a snowshoe event this winter, so stay in shape all year long training for these events. For more information, go to VailRec.com.