Regional things to do: Bluegrass in Telluride; Food & Wine in Aspen; and more | VailDaily.com

Regional things to do: Bluegrass in Telluride; Food & Wine in Aspen; and more

Daily staff report
newsroom@vaildaily.com
A woman cheers on Yonder Mountain String Band after its set at the 42nd Telluride Bluegrass Festival on June 20. Beginning in 1974 the Bluegrass Festival had over 1,000 participants and now the festival has to be capped at 12,000 people each year. People travel from all over the world to see the top Bluegrass musicians perform.
Nina Riggio | Vail Daily |

TELLURIDE — The 44th Telluride Bluegrass Festival takes place through Sunday.

This year’s festival includes performances by Jason Mraz, Norah Jones, Dierks Bentley with The Travelin’ McCourys, Brandi Carlile and many more.

The four-day festival takes place in Telluride, nestled in the San Juan Mountains about four to five hours away from Vail.

ASPEN

Food & Wine Classic features top chefs

While the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen might attract the world’s top chefs, sommeliers and foodies, the annual festival also has some strong local ties.

Among the “talent” at the 35th Classic are a few names — and faces — Aspenites are sure to recognize from the daily grind in our mountain town: Carlton McCoy, Bobby Stuckey and Laura Werlin, among others. There also will be Colorado food and drink at parties, in the tent, at one appropriately named seminar and during exclusive taping of a “Top Chef Denver” elimination challenge.

“Colorado has long been known for our natural beauty and outdoor adventure, and we are thrilled to know ‘Top Chef’ will be showcasing our equally stunning culinary scene during their next season,” said Cathy Ritter, director of the Colorado Tourism Office. “Right here in the Roaring Fork Valley, there is a bounty of farmers, producers and makers offering farm tours, seasonal produce and visitor experiences. Some of the state’s top producers are providing seasonal ingredients for Gail Simmons’ ‘Rocky Mountain Flavor’ cooking experience at Aspen Food & Wine with the intention to whet the attendee appetites for more Colorado culinary experiences.”

Leading the charge on Colorado culinary experiences is Stuckey, whom locals know from his time at The Little Nell.

Stuckey came to The Nell in 1995 and with single-minded determination began pursuing the rigorous path to become a certified master sommelier, a goal he achieved in 2004. His early motivation and education came from tasting with a local group that included master sommeliers Damon Ornowski, Jay Fletcher and restaurateur Walt Harris.

“I learned so much coming up with those guys,” he told The Aspen Times as his began to plot his next career move. “I was so lucky to have them as peers and mentors, and most of all as friends.”

Jeanne McGovern, The Aspen Times

GLENWOOD SPRINGS

Strawberry Days celebrate nearly 120 years

“Colorado can claim the palm for the inauguration of a new class of annual fete or festival days,” the Glenwood Post reported in June 1898.

Communities throughout the state had introduced celebrations of local produce: Grand Junction’s Peach Day, Rocky Ford’s Melon Day, Loveland’s Corn Roast. Glenwood Springs within days held its first Strawberry Days.

“(Glenwood’s) natural attractions are as varied as they are delightful and the visitor to this place is always loth to depart. Our natural advantages, together with the delicious feast of strawberries and cream, render attendance upon Strawberry Day doubly desirable,” the Post reported.

The 120th annual Strawberry Days takes place through Sunday in Glenwood Springs.

“When I started at the chamber, it was a much smaller festival,” said Glenwood Chamber Resort Association President Marianne Virgili, who has worked at the organization for 30 years.

“But the essence of Strawberry Days hasn’t changed at all,” she said. “So many people come back for this event. The feeling of community, it’s a big homecoming. There’s a lot of community pride.”

The event includes a number of beloved features, such as concerts and Saturday’s parade. After the latter, visitors can enjoy free ice cream and strawberries at Sayre Park.

The event is well defined after 120 years, but organizers always look for opportunities to refine.

“Every year we learn something and improve it,” said chamber Executive Vice President Angie Anderson.

— Carla Jean Whitley, Glenwood Post Independent

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS

Reality TV: Steamboat tiny home on HGTV

Heather Suchyta and her 295-square-foot tiny home will be featured on the HGTV show “Tiny House Hunters” on Monday at 6 p.m.

Suchyta and her parents bought the tiny home for $112,000.

COPPER MOUNTAIN

New festival combines beer, grilled cheese and movies

On June 24-25, the inaugural Attack of the Big Beers Festival takes over Copper Mountain.

The two-day festival brings together craft beer, artisan grilled cheese sandwiches and a series of films by Rocky Mountain filmmakers.

“Our goal was to create an event that offers a weekend full of activities for the entire family,” said event coordinator Stephanie Carson. “Attack of the Big Beers offers an array of gourmet sandwiches intentionally paired with higher gravity beers.”

The sampling event takes place Saturday and Sunday, June 24-25, from noon until 5 p.m. with the movies following. Tasting tickets are $1 each, with most samples ranging in cost from two to four tickets. The film festival is free.

Visit http://www.CopperColorado.com for more information.