What to do in and around Vail this weekend: Oktoberfest, classic cars and more

Oktoberfest in Vail, mariachi in Beaver Creek, classic cars and more

Oktoberfest in Vail

This could be it for a while … I think this will be the last Oktoberfest event until next year. The oom-pah music has gone from Beaver Creek to Lionshead the past two weekends and now it travels to Vail Village for more fall fun Friday through Sunday.

Keg Bowling will be back, along with the bratwurst eating contests, stein-holding contests and costume contest. Kid-toberfest activities like face painting, caricatures, balloon artists and more will be hosted on the lawn along Gore Creek

New this year at Vail Oktoberfest is the Rocktoberfest stage. It debuted last week in Lionshead and it brings in rock and roll bands to add to the traditional music found on the Bavarian Stage.

This week’s musical lineup includes Helmut Fricker and the Rhinelanders and the Average German Band. Traditional Bavarian entertainment will also be provided by the Alpen Auerhahn Dancers at the Bavarian stage at Checkpoint Charlie. The Rocktoberfest stage will host local favorites like Tenth Mountain Division and Shakedown Family Band featuring Jessica Jones and more, rocking everyone at the new stage located at Solaris well into the evenings.

Brats, pretzels, Bavarian desserts and other delicious bites can be found along with Spaten beer. The official Vail Oktoberfest stein is available to purchase in glass and in ceramic in advance of the event.

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Oktoberfest runs from noon until 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and from noon until 6 p.m. on Sunday. The event is free to attend and you pay as you go for food and drinks. For more information, go to

Underground Sound

The Underground Sound concerts series kicks off at the Vilar this Friday with Mariachi Los Camperos.
Vilar Performing Arts Center/Courtesy photo

Many events like Bravo! Vail Music Festival, Vail Jazz and the Hot Summer Nights concert series have wrapped up for the summer, but, the music never stops here in the Vail Valley. The Vilar Performing Arts Center is bringing back Underground Sound, a popular multi-week series that brings in up-and-coming acts and some better-known acts from a variety of musical genres.

The unique thing about this is the concert series pass. One pass can get you all seven shows and a drink at each show for $150. The pass is transferable as well, so share it with friends, co-workers and neighbors. Use it for a date night, girls’ night out, or treat an employee for a job well done. Those are all great excuses to get this pass. It’s an affordable way to see quality shows in a world-class venue.

You can also purchase the VIP Access Pass for $250. In addition to all seven shows, it includes access to the May Gallery Patrons Lounge where you can hang out before the show and through intermission. It also gives you early entrance to the theater for priority seating, one complimentary premium drink (beer, wine, mixed drink), complimentary appetizers and non-alcoholic beverages and warm cookies. The VIP Pass is also fully transferable.

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This Friday, check out Mariachi Los Camperos, an ensemble that enlists the finest musicians from Mexico and the United States. Based out of Los Angeles, the band has been around for 60 years and has played some of the great musical venues like the Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center and Walt Disney Concert Hall. This concert coincides with the start of National Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15) so sit back and take in the culture.

The concerts go through Oct. 21. For a full list of bands and details on the passes, go to You can also buy individual tickets for the shows if you aren’t up for getting the full pass.

Mountain Rats Festival

The 7th annual Mountain Rats Festival returns to Eagle Ranch this weekend with races and family fun.
Courtesy photo

Back for its seventh year, the Mountain Rats Festival is focused on family, fall and fitness. Sure, they will still host a 25-mile mountain bike race, a heavy half marathon, a full marathon and a 50K running race, but they want to instill fun into the event and bring out the families this year, too. All events will be hosted out of Eagle Ranch.

For the less serious, there are shorter races that are focused on fun. The Amazing Race is back for groups of two to eight people who can travel via walking, running, biking, wagons, anything that is human-powered. The course is 5 miles and is almost entirely on paved bike paths, with eight pit stops and seven clues to solve. It should take between one to two hours to complete by bike and a little longer on foot, so plan accordingly with water and snacks for your crew.

Kids can also take part in the 5-Senses Scavenger Hunt, Strider races and sprint races. Face painting will be offered and new this year is “Touch-A-Truck”, where kids (and adults) can be mesmerized by huge vehicles like police cars, fire trucks, emergency medical vehicles and machinery like backhoes, and snowcats may be there as well.

Endophin will offer its popular Boot Camp class at 8:30 a.m. on Capitol Street. Vendor tents will be open all day with sample sales and look for food trucks like the Mountain Minis Donuts at the event.

On Friday there will be a kickoff event at Color Coffee with and performance by a brand-new group, Dwende Flamenco at 5:30 p.m. and an opening night party. Racer packets can be picked up at Color Coffee as well. Live music will be featured on Saturday night starting at 6 p.m. to cap off the event.

“With all the action in the heart of Eagle Ranch, it’s a great way to connect with friends and family and experience what Eagle is all about,” said Clark Gundlach, co-founder of the festival.

Mick Daly, co-founder with Gundlach, added: “Mountain Rats Festival offers something for families and kids, as well as our more serious athletes. All day long, Capitol Street will be packed vendors offering sample sales, local businesses and nonprofits will be featured, including our wonderful sponsors. It’s going to be a blast!” For more information, go to

Car shows

The Vail Concours returns this weekend with cars from the 1930s to present day.
Vail Concours/Courtesy photo

If you love classic cars, muscle cars, luxury sports cars, motorcycles and more, you’ll love the two separate car events coming to Vail this weekend.

On Friday, you’ll likely be able to hear the cars before you see them at the 34th annual Colorado Grand Concours de Non-Elegance. Around 85 cars will be rolling into Lionshead Village after traveling 1,000 miles on some of Colorado’s most scenic byways the past five days. The cars are pre-1960 and include makes like Mercedes-Benz, Ferrari, Bugatti, Porsche and exotic names like Amilcar, Squire and Talbot-Lago.

This annual event starts and ends in Vail and has raised $8.3 million for Colorado charities to date.

The Vail Concours is headed up by local car enthusiasts and hosts a couple of events this weekend that are open to the public. On Saturday, check out Cars and Coffee at Mountain Plaza in Vail Village near Gondola One (No. 1). The public is welcome to view the vehicles from 8:30 a.m. until noon.

On Sunday, the Vail Concours will have more cars on display in Lionshead Village with a majority of the cars on the lawn near the Eagle Bahn Gondola (No. 19). The show opens to the public at 8:30 a.m. and goes until 2:30 p.m. Approximately 70 cars will be shown and will be from the 1930s to 2023.

Throughout the weekend you may see anything from a WW II Willys Army Jeep to models from BMW, Audi, Jaguar, Aston Martin, Lamborghini, Shelby, Maserati and Corvette. To learn more about the event visit

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