Vail-Beaver Creek Weekend Agenda: Labor Day Edition

Want to make the most of summer's extended weekend finale?

By Katie Coakley August 28, 2019

Gourmet on Gore: Aug 30–Sept 1


Vail Jazz Party

Aug 29–Sept 2, Vail Square, Vail Marriott, Ford Amphitheater

Say goodbye to summer in style with the Vail Jazz Party. This grand finale of the Vail Jazz Festival features a jam-packed lineup with more than 35 headliners mixing and matching to play group performances, multi-artist jam sessions, and tributes to jazz legends; there’s no sweeter sound echoing in the mountains. The schedule of the Vail Jazz Party offers up more than 35 hours of jazz music in 13 sessions from Thursday to Monday in various locations in Vail—it’s sure to satisfy even the most selective of jazz aficionados. (From $55; festival passes from $375)


Billy Strings

Aug 30, 8 p.m., Vilar Performing Arts Center, Beaver Creek

Rolling Stone calls Billy Strings “the bluegrass star you don’t want to miss.” His dad schooled him in bluegrass at a young age but as a teen, Billy Strings ditched “old-timey” music for a heavy metal band. When he returned to bluegrass as an adult, he brought his own sensibilities, imbuing his style of Americana with distinctive bursts of psychedelic virtuosity you’ll see—and hear—at the Vilar on Friday night. (From $36)


Gourmet on Gore: Food Trucks Al Fresco

Aug 30–Sept 1, Vail Village

Labor Day Weekend in Vail is an event to be sipped, sampled, and enjoyed. Gourmet on Gore brings world-class wine, beer, spirits, and culinary delights from some of the Vail Valley’s favorite restaurants to the cobblestone streets of the Village. The event kicks off with the new Food Trucks Al Fresco. This open-air dining experience features food trucks serving a variety of cuisines, from wood-fired pizza and barbecue to sushi and vegetarian fare.


Beaver Creek Oktoberfest

Aug 30–Sept 1, Beaver Creek Village

Rooted in its relationship with sister resort Lech Zürs, Austria, Beaver Creek’s Oktoberfest is a popular way to celebrate the Labor Day weekend with traditional live music, food, and family-friendly fun in the heart of the Bavarian-inspired Village. The weekend kicks off with a keg-tapping at 4 p.m. on Friday and continues with pretzel toss contests, stein-lifting competitions, a best-dressed contest, music from the Helmut Fricker Band and Trachtenkapelle (Lech’s traditional oompah band), and more.


Trail to Table Hike

Aug 31, 9 a.m.–12:30 p.m., Vail Village

Work for your wine on the Gourmet, Let’s Go! Trail to Table Hike. Starting at the Express Lift at the base of Vail Mountain, you’ll enjoy the fresh air on a morning hike before sitting down to a gourmet lunch featuring cocktails and tastings by Ketel One botanical vodka. (From $40)


Gourmet on Gore Open Air Tasting

Aug 31, 11 a.m.6 p.m., Vail Village

Walk, sip, and sample eats and treats from some of the Vail Valley’s favorite restaurants, like Matsuhisa, Sweet Basil, and Mountain Standard. More than 30 wines will be proffered, in addition to beer and spirits.


Diego Figueiredo Duos: A Live Recording Session

Aug 31, 9 p.m., Vail Marriott Mountain Resort

This special performance will go down in history—literally, as it’s also a live recording session. Don’t miss guitar star Diego Figueiredo (pronounced fig-a-ray-doe), John Clayton, Jeff Clayton, Terell Stafford, Wycliffe Gordon, Adrian Cunningham, Julien Labro, Ken Peplowski, and Olli Soikkeli in this unforgettable show. (From $75; festival passes from $375)


Brothers Keeper with Bill McKay

Aug 31, 9:30 p.m., Shakedown Bar, Vail

John Michel (drums/vocals) and Michael Jude (bass/vocals)—20-year veterans of the John Oates Band—join Scott Rednor (vocals/guitar) and Rob Eaton Jr. (vocals/guitar) to form Brothers Keeper, a truly exceptional musical experience. This show also features Bill McKay (Derek Trucks Band, Leftover Salmon) on keyboards and vocals. Shakedown Bar’s killer sound system and state-of-the-art stage lighting ensure that the experience is as world-class as the artists who play there.



Oktoberfest Shuffle

Sept 1, 7:30–11:15 a.m., Beaver Creek Mountain

Work off the weekend’s bratwurst by participating in the Oktoberfest Shuffle. This 5, 10, and 1K race supports the Vail Charitable Fund. All proceeds go to the fund, which helps those living in the Vail Valley experiencing financial hardship due to medical crisis. ($40 adults; $30 kids 6 to 18; kids under 6 free)


Gospel Prayer Meetin’

Sept 1, 9 a.m., Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, Vail Village

In one of the Vail Jazz Party’s most popular programs, Niki Harris showcases the continuing contribution gospel makes to jazz in this incredibly popular performance. The Ford Amphitheater is the perfect place for this uplifting show. (From $55; festival passes from $375)


Culinary Cruisers

Sept 1, 9 a.m.1 p.m., Vail Village

The second installment in the Gourmet, Let’s Go! lineup takes guests to the streets with the Culinary Cruisers event, a bicycle tour of Vail that culminates with Don Julio cocktails and gourmet Mexican-inspired entrées. (From $40; plus $24 bike rental)


Gourmet on Gore Open Air Tasting

Sept 1, 11 a.m.–6 p.m., Vail Village

The noshing on Meadow Drive continues on Sunday with one last opportunity to indulge before the weekend’s festivities conclude.


Vail Rotary Duck Race

Sept 1, 2 p.m., Vail Village

Each year, Gore Creek is a seething mass of yellow as more than 12,000 rubber ducks race down the creek starting at the Covered Bridge and finishing at International Bridge for the Vail Rotary Duck Race. The first duck into the chute will win $5,000 for its adoptive owner and could win them $1,000,000. The kids’ race begins at 2 p.m., and the main duck race is at 3 p.m. The largest fundraiser for the Vail Rotary each year, the funds raised are used to support local nonprofit programs. (Adopt a duck for $10, 3 for $20, 5 for $30, 9 for $50, or 20 for $100.)


Pop Up Concert

Sept 1, 5:30–7 p.m., Avon Performance Pavilion Event Terrace, Avon

Enjoy one last summer evening with a 90-minute Pop Up Concert on the great lawn of Avon’s Nottingham Park, featuring classical string quartets  from Colorado’s most respected symphonies and philharmonics playing both traditional and contemporary music. Light snacks and beverages are available for purchase; rain showers will chase these concerts into the Avon Town Hall if necessary.



Bon Iver

Sept 2, 7:30 p.m., Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, Vail Village

As a send-off to summer, the Vail Valley Foundation underscores the “Amp” in the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater with the penultimate concert of the nonprofit’s Whistle Pig series, an exciting partnership with AEG Presents that has been luring top-tier alt-rock talent to Vail (and shaking the classical dust off the rafters of Ford Park’s center stage). On this night that’s Bon Iver, a double-Grammy Award winner (Best New Artist, Best Alternative Album) from Wisconsin with a stage name (derived from the French phrase bon hiver, “good winter”) that bodes well for the 2019–20 ski season. ($89.50–$115.50)

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