Summer of Love |

Summer of Love

Laura Ball
Special to the Daily Sonya Kitchell brings some soul to the Ford Amphitheater in Vail Tuesday, Aug. 15, for Hot Summer Nights.

VAIL VALLEY – It’s hard not to fall in love with Vail in the summertime, blessed by infinite beauty and endless fun. As if the world-class mountain biking, hiking, golfing and river rafting weren’t enough, the valley offers premiere music, festivals and performing arts all summer long.

Summer is still the Vail Valley’s best kept secret. Ssssshhh. Don’t tell winter.Hot Summer Nights makes Tuesday everyone’s favorite day of the week. The free concert series, which runs weekly from June 13 through Aug. 29 heats up the night with the hottest names in rock, blues, bluegrass and funk music at the Ford Amphitheater in Vail Village. The outdoor venue with a view of the Gore Range provides the perfect summer spot to spend an evening outdoors socializing, dancing and listening to live music.San Francisco-based jam band Ten Mile Tide rocks Hot Summer Nights Tuesday, June 20 6:30 p.m. with their smooth blend of feel good acoustic rock, foot stompin’ folk, old school bluegrass and a little bit of groove. The lineup also includes the likes of Fraga, Soulive, Jay Nash Band, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Groovaloos and Tony G. Allstars, Sonya Kitchell, Asleep at the Wheel and Honeytribe featuring Devon Allman. For more information and a complete schedule, visit the weekend outdoors in some of the most beautiful scenery nature has to offer sampling some of the finest creations the culinary world has to offer. The Beaver Creek Culinary Festival returns Saturday and Sunday, June 24-25, with food and wine booths in the Beaver Creek Plaza from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. The festival offers an interactive weekend for culinary lovers with seminars on the wines of New Zealand and Partida tequila, Bon Appetit culinary demonstrations, children’s activities, and of course, delicious food through Sunday.Confirmed participating guest chefs include Cesare Casella of Maremma, New York; Waldy Malouf of Beacon, New York; Eric Klein, SW Steakhouse, Wynn Las Vegas; Adam Perry Lang of Daisy Mays BBQ, New York; Grant MacPherson, Wynn Las Vegas; and David Walzog, Country Club*A New American Steakhouse, Wynn Las Vegas.

Saturday and Sunday feature live music with performances The Harry Baxter Band from noon-2 p.m. followed by The Spins from 2:30-4 p.m. and Mark Wood and the Parrot Head Band performs from 4:30-6 p.m. Admission to the festival is free. Guests can purchase food and beverages for a nominal price. Wine and spirit seminars are available from $35-50 per person. Culinary demonstrations are $20 per person. Space is limited.For more a complete schedule and to purchase tickets for the Beaver Creek and Bon Appetit Outdoor Culinary Festival, call (800) 404-3535 or 845-9090, or visit 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. In 2004 the Vail Farmers’ Market grew to almost 60 tents each week and drew over 50,000 visitors. Visit 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.The famed Minturn Market in historic downtown Minturn kicks off Saturday, June 17, with live entertainment, demonstrations, seasonal produce, fresh-cut flowers, local arts and crafts from around the world. The Saturday affair from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. has something for everyone including live entertainment each week and runs through Sept. 9. More than 40,000 visitors attend annually.

Eagle Town Park will once again be the downvalley place to be on Thursday evenings this coming summer as the ShowDown Town free concert series heats up from June 22 through July 27. The shows get underway at 6:30 p.m. in the park with plenty of activities for the kids. Picnics are encouraged. Don’t miss country swingers Interstate Cowboy or beautiful soul rocker Liza July 13.Around 5 o’clock, as the afternoon sun begins to cast a warm glow, paddlers start drifting in from the river, campers return from their day hikes, cabin guests dangle their feet from the front porch hammocks and cars pull in the parking lot from nearby mountain towns to the Front Range.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. 26For more information about the lodge, tickets and a complete schedule, visit

Whether it’s listening to the booming resonance of the New York Philharmonic as the sky darkens with lightning looming over the Gore Range 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 throughout the summer.Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival 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, August 3, also features chamber music 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 vailmusicfestival.orgVote for Vail Idol. That’s this year’s theme for the Vail Daily float for Vail America Days Parade July 4. The spectacle travels down Bridge Street from Vail Village to Lionshead to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday. The fun starts at 10 a.m. Get there early to get a good spot, and don’t forget your sunscreen.

Beano’s in Beaver Creek will host its annual Fourth of July Clambake July 4 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. followed by live music from the Tommy Dorsey Band from 7- p.m. and a fireworks display.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 love entertainment, food stalls and family picnics culminating with fireworks at 9:45 p.m.The Vail International Festival of Dance, which enters its 17th season this coming summer, opens Sunday, July 30, and runs through Sunday, 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 2005 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, creating 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 clogging of Southern Appalachia and the stepdances of Ireland to the hoofin’ of early jazz tap.Visit for more information.

The 18th annual Beaver Creek Arts Festival, from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, 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.Do you have a staunch white wall begging for adornment? Or a corner that needs some sculpture-attention? 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 special space. There are 11 different mediums represented at the festival. Visual and performing arts are featured throughout the weekend in Lionshead Village.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, with other performances Saturday, July 22, by Hot Apple Pie, Saturday July 29, by Boogie Machine, Saturday, Aug. 12, by Marcia Ball and more.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 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. The festival also hosts Free Jammin’ Jazz Nights concerts in Sundial Plaza in Lionshead throughout the summer.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, Colorado

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