The Ultimate Vail Valley Datebook

18 can't-miss summer events in Vail and Beaver Creek

By Vail-Beaver Creek Staff June 7, 2019 Published in the Summer/Fall 2019 issue of Vail-Beaver Creek Magazine

Whistle Pig Vail, July 14–Sept 18

Recurring/Ongoing Events

June 15–Sept 7  

Minturn Market 

For more than 20 years, the Vail Valley’s original farmers market has been a locals’ favorite. Located in funky downtown Minturn, this artisan-oriented market features vendors (from Austin Family Farm to Zehr Goats) in more than 90 booths hawking an assortment of items from farm-fresh and organic produce to great breakfast and lunch treats to gourmet foods, handmade crafts, fine art, and cooking demos hosted by local chefs. Saturdays, 9 a.m.–2 p.m.

June 16–Oct 6    

Vail Farmers Market & Art Show

The valley’s biggest (and certainly most crowded) farmers market floods Vail Village’s East Meadow Drive with a sea of humanity mobbing 135 tented stalls selling everything from doughnuts hot out of the fryer to doodles (as in caricatures) to elk antlers for your labradoodle. Don’t miss: the market’s family-style farm-to-table dinner series (July 12, July 26, and Aug 16; see p. 116). Sundays, 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m.

June 18–Aug 27

Hot Summer Nights

Zion Godchaux (the son of two Grateful Dead musicians—his middle name literally is “Rock”) kicks off the valley’s signature summer music festival on June 18 with his one-man band, BoomBox,  followed by The Wailers, June 25; Jackie Greene Band, July 2; Big Something, July 16; The California Honeydrops, Aug 20; Bone Diggers: A Star-Studded Exploration of the Paul Simon Songbook, Aug 27). Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, Vail Village. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., and shows start at 6:30 p.m. 970-777-2015,

June 20–Aug 4  

Bravo! Vail Music Festival 

This summer, the North American debut of the Chamber Orchestra Vienna-Berlin (June 20–23) upstages the usual lineup of classical powerhouses—the Dallas Symphony Orchestra (June 28–July 4), the Philadelphia Orchestra (July 5–13), and the New York Philharmonic (July 17–24)—at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater. Can’t-miss performance: The Philadelphia Orchestra’s Bravo! Vail premiere of Puccini’s Tosca (July 11 & 13, 6 p.m.). Reserved seating starts at $44. There’s no finer summer experience than taking in a concert with a picnic on the great lawn ($29, $5 for kids). 877-812-5700,

June 20–Aug 15    

Beaver Creek Rodeo

The rodeo grounds behind Avon’s Chapel Square come alive with team roping, barrel racing, bull riding, mutton bustin’, great BBQ, and upscale offerings—including Whiskey & Wranglers, a VIP tasting area pairing sips of fine whiskey with BBQ (Aug 8, 5–8 p.m., $100) and a VIP rodeo/country music experience with access to the arena’s preferred viewing area and cash bar, followed by a concert at the Vilar Performing Arts Center (Shenandoah, July 11, $85; Asleep at the Wheel, Aug 15, $65). Thursdays; gates open at 5 p.m. $12–$22. 970-754-4636,

June 26, July 3, 10 & 17    

Vail Summer Bluegrass Series

On Wednesdays at 6 p.m., nationally known performers Trout Steak Revival (June 26), the Infamous Stringdusters’ Jeremy Garret (joined by local bluegrass sensation Meadow Mountain, July 3), Hackensaw Boys (July 10), and The Lonesome Days (July 17) mix bluegrass with craft beer at the festival’s new location at Solaris Plaza. Insider tip: Don’t miss the weekly 1 p.m. taproom series at Vail Brewing Company on the Solaris upper deck. Free.

June 28–Aug 3

Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-in

Austin, Texas, is hot in the summer, but it’s also very cool. And again this summer, even on the hottest nights from June through August, Minturn will be cool, too. Because Austin-based Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-In will be bringing its trademarked retro-chic boutique outdoor theater (complete with digital projector, 30-foot-tall pop-up screen, vintage window speakers, and a concession stand with a campfire that sells s’mores kits along with Kirby Cosmos barbecue, Northside doughnuts, and Vail Brewing Company ale) back to Little Beach Park. Screenings include (but are not limited to) Star Wars: A New Hope (July 5, 25), Back to the Future (July 7 and Aug 3), Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (July 12, 27), The Shining (July 13, 20, 27, and Aug 3), The Big Lebowski (July 17, sponsored by Native Roots, natch), The Princess Bride (July 20, 26), and Jurassic Park (Aug 2). Billed as “the highest drive-in in the country!” and not because it’s just down the road from Eagle-Vail’s Green Mile. Most shows screen at 8:30 p.m. $27 per vehicle (includes two occupants; $10 per additional passenger.

July 2–Aug 13  

Movies Under the Stars 

Every Tuesday night (weather permitting), Beaver Creek Resort hosts a free, family-friendly movie in Centennial Park starting as soon as the sun dips behind the peaks (Miracle, July 2; Smallfoot, July 9; Ratatouille, July 16; Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse, July 23; The Goonies, July 30; Inside Out, Aug 6; Monsters, Inc., Aug 13). Pack a picnic basket and blankets, and don’t forget the popcorn.

July 2–Aug 30    

VPAC Summer Concert Series

Country music artist Craig Morgan debuts Beaver Creek’s summer concert series at 8 p.m. on July 2, followed by the Mavericks (July 7), playing an eclectic mix of Tex-Mex/Cuban bolero/R&B/rock originals. Other performers in the series include Shenandoah (July 11), Michael McDonald (July 17), Buddy Guy (July 30), José González (Aug 24), and Billy Strings (Aug 30). Vilar Performing Arts Center, $48–$190.

July 10–Aug 28    

Avon Live! Summer Concert Series 

The Town of Avon’s Wednesday evening summer concert series returns to Nottingham Park. 5:30 p.m. Free.

July 14–Sept 18

Whistle Pig Vail

The Vail Valley Foundation’s more exclusive (and not free) companion to Hot Summer Nights draws top-tier entertainment—including Steve Martin and Martin Short (July 14, 7:30 p.m., $65–$300); the Steve Miller Band (Aug 14, 7:30 p.m., $65–$200); and Bon Iver (Sept 2, 7:30 p.m., $75–$120)—to the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater. 970-777-2015,

July 26–Aug 10  

Vail International Dance Festival

This hip festival enters its 31st season with a two-week celebration of swivel-hip artistry. The most anticipated performance? Now: Premieres on Aug 5, featuring new works and collaborations by some of the nation’s top performers, including a world premiere by Alonzo King (accompanied by dancers from King’s LINES Ballet, and the New York City Ballet), with an original score by Jason Moran. On Aug 6, guest artists will attract bargain hunters with “Dance for $20.19” wherein tickets for reserved seats can be had for just $20.19 and $10.19 for lawn tickets. Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater (Vail Village) and Vilar Performing Arts Center (Beaver Creek). 970-777-2015,

Five to Try

1. Beaver Creek Wine & Spirits Festival

Mix with sommeliers, vintners, and distillers from across the country and around the world in this refined but not bacchanalian celebration of tastings, seminars, and pairings. Don’t miss: the Port & Cheese Adventure 4x4 Tour (Aug 11, 1–4 p.m. & 2–5 p.m., $175), a guided Jeep excursion to two scenic spots that will satisfy both your stomach and your sense of adventure. Aug 8–11; 970-754-4636,

2. Eagle County Fair & Rodeo

Watch local kids show off their livestock and their rural skills—from dog training to sewing—then retire to the grandstand to watch professional cowpokes bust broncos and rassle steers. July 24–27 (rodeo events begin nightly at 7 p.m.), Eagle County Fairgrounds, Eagle. 970-328-3646,

3. Fourth of July Festivals 

Avon: The main event: Salute to the USA, a spectacular fireworks display, a fusillade of 10,000 shells cascading over Nottingham Lake, that’s one of the largest in Colorado. On July 3, the masses begin to gather at 5 p.m. and partake in a festival of food, drink, musicians, and jugglers, followed by much oohing and aahing as darkness descends and the skyrockets ascend. It’s all over by 10:30 p.m. 970-748-4000, Beaver Creek: Red-white-and-blue hoo-ha for all ages with food, drinks, and a free outdoor concert. On July 4, the big day starts at the noontime opening of Stars, Stripes, and Slides, a playground of bouncy houses and waterslides for the kids, followed by an afternoon and evening of live music for the whole family. Fireworks begin at 9:30 p.m. 970-754-4636, Vail: The highlight of Vail America Days? The region’s largest Fourth of July parade, which snakes its way through Vail Village before arriving at noon in Lionshead. After sunset, pyrotechnics animate the sky over our valley’s namesake mountain.

4. Gourmet on Gore

The valley’s Labor Day Weekend foodie festival offers an open-air tasting fueled by wine, beer, and spirits paired with culinary delights from Vail’s top restaurants. Main event: the opening-night progressive dinner (Aug 30, 6 p.m.), a three-hour tasting tour of culinary hot spots benefiting the Vail Veterans Program. Aug 30–Sept 2; 970-476-6797,

5. Oktoberfest 

Beaver Creek: Yodel with resident Bavarian Helmut Fricker and dance to Trachtenkapelle, an oompah band from Beaver Creek’s Austrian sister resort, Lech Zurs; don your most fetching pair of lederhosen (and win the Saturday costume contest); and run or walk off all that pils at the Oktoberfest Shuffle, a noncompetitive amble along the trails of Beaver Creek Mountain. Aug 30–Sept 1; 970-754-4636, Lionshead/Vail Village: Toast autumn in Lionshead (Sept 6–8) and Vail Village (Sept 13–15) by hoisting steins and chowing bratwurst (there’s a daily contest for both) at one of the top 10 Oktoberfest celebrations in the United States, according to USA Today.


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