Party like a world-class athlete | VailDaily.com

Party like a world-class athlete

Andrew Harley

Special to the DailyThe Flying Ace All-Star Aerialists are set to perform their entertaining brand of big-air acrobatics Saturday during the "Party at the Speed of Sound" in Beaver Creek.

As most of the world’s finest skiers roll into town – trailed tardily by their racing equipment – the folks at Beaver Creek are gearing up not only for the competitions, but a slew of celebrations.

Over the course of these four days, the 2003 Birds of Prey North America Downhill at Beaver Creek features two parties, a ball, free equipment trials and a pancake breakfast.

Today: Demo Days

This is an opportunity for anyone looking to buy new equipment this year, to try out some Salomon skis, snowboards and snowboard boots.

The rentals are free for two hours at a time between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Rentals are located at the Salomon On-Mountain Demo Center.

Also, there will be new equipment from Atlas available for free for four-hour demos at a time at the Beaver Creek Nordic Center.

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Friday: Black Diamond Ball

The Vail Valley Foundation presents the fourth annual Black Diamond Ball Friday at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch – tickets have been sold out for a while.

“The Black Diamond Ball brings together the community to celebrate the programs and events of the Vail Valley Foundation,” said Tina Vardaman, director of membership programs at the Vail Valley Foundation. “It is our kickoff to the winter season, our signature social event and compliments the World Cup competition and festivities.”

The Black Diamond Ball debuted in 2000, and it blends the traditional elements of dinner and dancing with games, raffles and auctions.

“Many of the elements of this event are traditional – a silent and live auction, an outstanding band, as well as honoring our Vail Valley Citizens of the Year and Volunteer of the Year,” said Vardaman. “To keep the event exciting each year we bring in new interactive “contests’ where our guests can test their skills while raising funds for the Vail Valley Foundation.” This year, the ball features basketball, skeeball and Whack-A-Gator, all while dressed in the best from toes past chest.

“This is what makes the Black Diamond Ball “the most fun you can have in black tie,'” said Vardaman.

Saturday: Party at the Speed of Sound

Before Saturday’s race, festivities begin at 9 a.m. with free Krispy Kreme doughnuts for all early-arriving race fans.

Then, the party moves to Beaver Creek Village at 4:30 p.m. for the “Party at the Speed of Sound.”

“This year, we’ve created a public celebration with a circus-type atmosphere, moved it to early in the evening and geared it toward all ages,” said Cara Herron, director of marketing for the Vail Valley Foundation.

The party features performances by the Flying Aces All-Star Aerialists, $2,000 in cash raffles, free ice skating and the introduction of the top 15 World Cup Super-G competitors.

The party ends at 7 p.m.

Saturday: World Cup Party

The Coyote hosts an after party from 7-9 p.m. in Beaver Creek.

The party features prize giveaways, music and dancing.

Sunday: Pancake Breakfast

When all the partying from Saturday night leaves everyone hungry on Sunday morning, there is a pancake breakfast at McCoy’s in Beaver Creek.

The breakfast, which benefits the Buddy Werner Youth Ski League, begins at 7:30 a.m., and pancakes will be served until 10:30 a.m. The price is $6 per person.

Andrew Harley can be reached via e-mail at aharley@vaildaily.com or phone at 949-0555, ext. 610.