Summer Activities |

Summer Activities

Daily Staff Report

Farmers’ Markets

Most weekends at both the Minturn and Vail Farmers’ Markets, Mercury 7 austronaut Scott Carpenter and Vail founder Dick Hauserman will be signing copies of their respective books.


The famed Minturn Market in historic downtown Minturn kicks off Saturday, June 17, with live entertainment, culinary demonstrations, seasonal produce, fresh-cut flowers, local arts and crafts from around the world. The Saturday affair from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. runs through Sept. 9.


Farmers from all over Colorado arrive early every Sunday morning in refrigerated trucks loaded with freshly picked vegetables, fruits and herbs for the Vail Farmers’ Market, starting June 18 and ending Sept. 17, from 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Specialty vendors sell their freshly made pestos, pies, pastries, bread, cheeses and roasted chilies from colorful tents, as well as pastas, honey, jams, jellies and coffee. Listen to live jazz and classical music as food vendors tickle your palate with crepes, ice cream and sandwiches too good to pass up. New this year is an Eagle County artists area. For more information visit


The Edwards Farmers’ Market, held every Saturday from 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. June 17 to Sept. 23 in Edwards Corner, touts an old-time farmers’ market feel with lots of fresh-picked fruits and veggies, fresh bread and baked goods, Colorado beef, Colorado artisan cheeses, eggs, wild Alaska salmon, halibut, crabs and shrimp, delightful snacks like jerky, fresh-cut flowers and even dog treats.

State Bridge Lodge

Around 5 o’clock, as the afternoon sun begins to cast a warm glow, paddlers star drifting in from the river, campers return from their day hikes, and cabin guests dangle their feet from the front porch hammocks.

They’re all there to experience State Bridge Lodge in Bond, the music venue 30 miles west of Vail off Highway 131, where the Eagle and Colorado rivers meet and the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad runs.

This summer, look out for reggae great “King” Yellowman who gets his groove on July 1. The always rockin’ Radiators play a two-day show July 7 and 8. Papa Grows Funk July 16. Col. Bruce and the Codetalkers Aug. 26. For more information about the lodge, tickets and a complete schedule, visit

Show Down Town

Geared for families, the ShowDown Town in Eagle Town Park includes children’s activities as well as free concerts. From June 22 through July 27, the festivities get underway Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. in the park. Picnics are encouraged. Don’t miss beautiful soul rocker Liza July 13.

Bravo! Vail Valley

Music Festival

Whether it’s listening to the booming resonance of the New York Philharmonic at the Ford Amphitheater, or standing three feet away from a violinist in somebody’s living room, the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival has become a highlight of the summer for tourists, locals and part-time valley residents. Last year, more than 60,000 people attended various events during the summertime concert series. Rain or shine, the show must go on.

Bravo! kicks off its 19th season Wednesday, June 28, with Maestro Christopher Seaman leading the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra featuring pianist California native Jon Makamatsu.

The festival will also host the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and the famed New York Philharmonic.

Bravo!, which runs through Thursday, Aug. 3, is abundant with performances at the Vilar Center for the Arts in Beaver Creek and at Vail Interfaith Chapel, as well as performances at private homes in the valley for the Soiree series. For more information, visit

Independence Day

Independence Day is such a big deal in the Vail Valley, it’s celebrated for three days. Minturn kicks off the festivities Sunday, July 2, with a parade at 6 p.m. The fun continues in the town center at 6:30 p.m., with fireworks booming in the skies at 9:15 p.m. Monday, July 3, the Town of Avon celebrates all things patriotic with the largest fireworks display in the Colorado Rockies. Gather in Nottingham park for an evening-long affair of entertainment, food stalls and family picnics culminating with fireworks at 9:45 p.m.

On the day itself, The Vail America Days Parade travels down Bridge Street from Vail Village to Lionshead. The fun starts at 10 a.m. Get there early to get a good spot, and don’t forget your sunscreen. Those staying in Vail should head over to Ford Amphitheater for a free patriotic concert. Easily the most popular concert of the Bravo! season, the Rochester Philharmonic performs. It fills up quickly. Gate opens at noon, and music at 2 p.m. Fireworks will be shot off over Golden Peak after dark.

For those in Beaver Creek on the fourth, Beano’s is hosting its 13th annual clam bake from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Live music begins at 7 p.m., and the evening culminates in fireworks.

Vail International Festival of Dance

The Vail International Festival of Dance, which enters its 17th season this coming summer, opens Sunday, July 30, and runs through Aug. 13, with performances hosted at both the Ford Amphitheater in Vail Village and the Vilar Center for the Arts in Beaver Creek. Headlining the 2006 Festival will be a musical spectacular July 30 as legendary opera star Jessye Norman joins forces with choreographer Trey McIntyre for an evening titled “The Diva, The Duke and The Dance,” featuring music from Duke Ellington in song and dance, along with the world premiere of McIntyre’s “Go Out” set to bluegrass spirituals by Ralph Stanley, John Hartford and Nina Simone.

Don’t miss the National Ballet of China, renowned for its masterful productions of elegance and beauty, Friday, Aug. 11 at 7:30 p.m. The company is creating new languages of dance, blending Chinese culture and folk dance with Western techniques, resulting in a dynamic fusion revered the world over.

Footworks Percussive Dance Company will bring down the final curtain Sunday, Aug. 13, at 3 p.m. with everything from the clogging of Southern Appalachia and the step dances of Ireland to the hoofin’ of early jazz tap. Visit for more information.

Vail Symposium

The Vail Symposium is dedicated to dynamic learning in the valley. Whether it’s touring an artist’s studio or discussing the racial divide, the Vail Symposium concentrates on cultural arts, political hot spots, foreign films and backyard adventures.

Dr. Rahmat Shoureshi makes his technology forecast for the 21st Century on July 20. The Beaver Creek Film Series kicks off Aug. 23 with “Tampopo,” a Japanese film. The Green Homes Tour Aug. 26 will include stops at several local homes with eco-friendly aspects. Painter Erika Ammann teaches the art of furniture folk painting September 11. Visit for a complete schedule and more information.

Arts Festivals

Found exhibiting exclusively in Colorado, Arizona and California, the Thunderbird Artists Festival showcases paintings, batiks, clay works and more. The Avon festival runs July 14-16 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. in Nottingham Park.

The 18th annual Beaver Creek Arts Festival, from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. July 29-30 and Aug. 5-6, features paintings, mosaics, woodworking, ceramics, life-size sculptures, leather furniture, jewelry, and photography with more than 150 creators on-site to display, sell and discuss their pieces with festival attendees.

Later in the month the three-day Vail Arts Festival in Lionshead Aug. 11-13 features more than 120 artists exhibiting their works of passion, perfect for coloring that empty wall you’ve been wanting to fill. There are 11 mediums represented at the festival. Visual and performing arts are featured throughout the weekend in Lionshead Village.

Beaver Creek Concert Series

Sit back, relax and listen as the sounds of the Beaver Creek Concert Series return to the Beaver Creek Plaza. The music kicks off Sunday, July 2, with America. Visit for more information.

Vilar Center

The Valley’s premier theater venue, the Vilar Center for the Arts in Beaver Creek entertains summer concert-goers with the likes of Spanish spitfire and guitar virtuoso Charo on July 16, Mexican folk rock group Los Lobos on July 26, singer/songwriter Bruce Cockburn on Aug. 16, Southern rocker Dickey Betts and Great Southern and the undeniably talented Bruce Hornsby on Sept. 14. In addition to the live performances, the Vilar Center hosts free family movies on Friday nights: “Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit” on June 30, “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” on July 14, “Madagascar” on July 21 and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” on July 28. For a complete schedule and more information, visit

Vail Jazz Festival

The 11th annual Vail Jazz Festival presents the famed Labor Day Weekend Party, Sept. 1-4 at the Vail Cascade Resort and Spa. The intimate, cabaret-style setting provides jazz lovers the chance to get up close to see these talented jazz musicians work their magic. Visit for more information.


The Beaver Creek Oktoberfest from noon-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, September 2-3, is a true brat-eating beer-guzzling, pretzel-munching festival. Enjoy authentic German dishes prepared by Beaver Creek chefs and the Bavarian stylings of the Lech Band and Helmut Fricker in the village. The fabulous Neil Diamond tribute band Super Diamond performs from 4:30-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Visit

The sounds of live oom-pah-pahs from Vail Oktoberfest follows, and is a tell-tale sign of summer’s end. Beer and cheer fill the streets of Vail Sept. 9-11 and 16-18, where patrons can sample traditional German cuisine from many of the valley’s restaurants, complimented by the finest German refreshments. Visit

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