Top five Vail Labor Day weekend picks |

Top five Vail Labor Day weekend picks

Lauren Glendenning
Vail, CO Colorado
Daily file photo/Preston Utley

In its 17th year, the Vail Jazz Party, part of the summer Vail Jazz Festival, continues in Lionshead. This Labor Day weekend Vail tradition showcases musicians that represent a wide range of musical talent, offering a little something for everyone, said founder Howard Stone.

The Vail Jazz Party began as a one-time thing, but has grown and evolved over the years. This season is turning out to be one of the most successful seasons yet, based on early ticket sales.

The Labor Day weekend evening shows will be in the grand ballroom at the Vail Marriott, but many afternoon performances will take place at the jazz tent at Vail Square in Lionshead. There are two free performances on Saturday and Sunday, both at noon at Vail Square.

For more information or for tickets, visit, or call 888-VAILJAM (824-5526).

Complete with a Bavarian costume contest, Beaver Creek’s Oktoberfest gets under way Saturday and continues through Sunday afternoon. The annual event features live music, including the Helmut Fricker Bank and Queen Nation, a Queen tribute band, and Trachtenkappelle, a band from Beaver Creek’s sister resort, Lech Zurs, in Austria.

Participate in The Longevity Project

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Sunday morning’s Oktoberfest Shuffle, a non-competitive 5K or 10K walk, hike or run, goes through a course on Beaver Creek trails. Children 12 and under can participate for free. Adults are $35 to pre-register, or $40 on race day. Proceeds benefit the Vail Valley Charitable Fund.

There’s a children’s alpenhorn contest on Sunday at 2 p.m., where kids can test out their musical talents.

For more information, visit

This Vail Village festival offers visitors tastings of food, wine, beer and spirits. Live music will play during the festival and admission is free. Tastings, however, will be affordably priced.

Many local Vail restaurants will serve up specialty dishes in smaller portions to be paired with wine, beer and spirits. Local sommeliers and winemakers will offer educational tastings, as well.

The event begins at 11 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday, and 10 a.m. on Monday. Last call for alcohol is at 5:45 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. The weekend concludes Monday at 2 p.m.

Vail and Beaver Creek Mountains’ summer chairlifts and gondolas are only open daily through Monday. The lifts will then be open on the weekends only for the last two weekends in September, closing on Sept. 25 until the winter season.

Experience Vail Mountain’s newest mountain bike trail, Big Mamba, or the brand new Gore Range Pump Track at Eagle’s Nest, which is designed for all mountain biking abilities.

Kid-friendly activities like Dino Dig, rock climbing wall and trampoline are also available.

Hiking and mountain biking are available at both resorts, as are four-by-four motorized tours and horseback rides.

Visit or for more information.

Take advantage of stand-up paddle clinics, tours and rentals this weekend in State Bridge. Live music featuring Andrew McConathy, Katlyn Dawn and Boneless on Saturday and Whitewater Ramble will perform on Saturday and Sunday nights.

Stand-up paddling, which originated in Hawaii, has taken off on Colorado rivers in recent summers. The Colorado River near State Bridge offers a calm setting for beginners looking to try the sport. Stand on a surfboard-like board and balance while paddling your way down the river. This sport is a great core workout and fairly easy to learn for anyone with decent balance.

State Bridge venue promoter Scotty Stoughton said he has become addicted to the sport, and State Bridge is a “mellow, great place to learn.”

Folk artist Andrew McConathy takes the stage around 8 p.m. Saturday, along with Katlyn Dawn and Boneless, an electric ensemble made up by the guys from Laughing Bones.

Whitewater Ramble, self-described as “high-octane Rocky Mountain dancegrass,” takes the stage around 7 p.m. Sunday. The cost for the music is $5 per day. Stand-up paddle rentals are $35 for 3 hours, or $15 for a 1-hour clinic and rental.

Visit for details.

Community Editor Lauren Glendenning can be reached at 970-748-2983 or

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