Vail Summer Sports Fest a big hit |

Vail Summer Sports Fest a big hit

David L'Heureux

VAIL – Mountain culture took center stage Saturday in Vail as the 5th annual Vail Summer Sports Fest got under way. The event, which is part of a weekend of action and adventure sports, music and some definite partying, attracted large crowds and competitors from all over the country.

The exhibition included mountain-bike trials and stunts demonstrations, B.M.X. flatland demonstrations, shows by the Colorado Disc Dogs Club, and the Cuervo Nation Celebration Qualifier, a light-hearted competition consisting of musical chairs and human Foosball to determine who would win an all-expenses-paid trip for two to the British Virgin Islands.

“We’ve been doing the Summer Sports Fest for four years now,” said Jeff Lenosky, of Sparta, N.J., part of the Giant Trials Demo Team and former three-time National Trials Champion. “It’s alot of fun. It’s beautiful in Vail in the summer. We always look forward to coming here.”

Lenosky, and fellow New Jersey trials-rider Chris Clark, displayed their high-wire skills on the Slifer Fountain next to the covered bridge, and on a man-made obstacle course in Lionshead. The two maneuvered their bikes with ease all over the Slifer Fountain. The show culminated with both riders nailing impossibly-hard jumps on the highest rocks in the fountain.

“These rocks are legendary.” said Clark. “All of the old-school videos have footage from these rocks.”

Keith King and teammate Shawn Kacar, from North and South Carolina, respectively, threw down flatland tricks to the amazement of the Bridge Street crowd, gathered on Vail’s most-famous thoroughfare.

King and Kacar ride for the King Bikes’ Flatland Demo Team and are regular demonstrators at NASCAR and Indy Racing League events up and down the Eastern seaboard.

Canine competitors put on a show in Lionshead as the Colorado Disc Dogs wowed onlookers with their speed, agility and obedience. This year marks the first year that man’s best friend has been a part of the exhibition.

“The Colorado Disc Dogs are new to the competition,” said James Deighan, a partner in Highline Sports and Entertainment, the company responsible for organizing the Vail Summer Sports Fest. “If you walk through Vail on any given day you see a lot of dogs. Everyone here loves dogs and it makes for a great spectator sport.”

Five dogs and their trainers used about 100 Frisbees and every inch of the area laid out for them in Lionshead to show spectators what hours of training and years of companionship can produce between dog and owner.

“We love playing with the dogs out here,” said Chris Sexton, who, along with dog Lyka, was part-emcee and part-exhibitioner for the event. “The dogs are always pumped up, they’ll play anywhere anytime. But, when you throw in the crowds and the noise, it just makes it extra fun.”

Sexton, who is a member of the Colorado Disc Dogs Club, tours with the club and does exhibitions all over the state and country.

“We are a social club that tries to promote our sport,” said Sexton. “We try to get people involved and get them outside doing something fun with their dogs.”

Saturday’s activities wrapped up Saturday night with a free performance by Hazel Miller and the Subdudes.

The Vail Summer Sports Fest continues today with a lineup similar to yesterday, as well as a 5K and 10K run at 8 A.M., and a street-skateboarding competition at the Lionshead parking structure at 10 A.M. The event is free and open to the public.

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