For the past 18 years, the Beaver Creek Rodeo has been a summertime rite of passage, with crowds of visitors and locals packing the grandstands behind Avon's Chapel Square on Thursday nights. Now there's an upscale alternative to those full-sun bleacher seats: The Golden Spur Club, an exclusive VIP viewing area with bar service (those $100 VIP tickets include two complimentary drinks), a tapas buffet, and tented tables and seating, one of the few shady refuges on the rodeo grounds. On two special nights this summer, country music fans also can bundle the VIP treatment with a post-rodeo concert at the Vilar, starring Shenandoah (July 11, $85) and Asleep at the Wheel (Aug 15, $65). And during Beaver Creek's Wine & Spirits Festival in August, gourmands can sup on barbecue paired with fine whiskeys at the rodeo's Whiskey Wranglers VIP tasting area (Aug 8, $100).


Thursday nights: July 11 & 18; Aug 1, 8, & 15; 970-790-2313,

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Eagle County Rodeo & Fair

Rodeo purists head to Eagle County Fairgrounds, where the Eagle County Rodeo & Fair will celebrate its 80th year with four nights of professional rodeo events (July 24-27, $20). And on July 19 & Aug 2 ($5), the Cowboys Forever Foundation will stage a rodeo series at the county fairgrounds benefitting Speak Up Reach Out, a local nonprofit dedicated to suicide prevention. 






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