With Labor Day approaching rapidly and all the kiddies going back to school it seems summer is winding down. But it isn’t over yet! The valley is still rockin’ with fun and festivities for all.

Gourmet on Gore is open to the public and features an array of culinary talent. The event runs Friday September 4th – gourmet on the goreMonday September 7th.  Featured events include the Open Air Tasting on Saturday and Sunday from 11-6 on Gore Creek Drive in Vail. The finale will be the Brunch on Bridge Street on Labor Day Monday, September 7th.

The annual Vail Jazz Party is not just about music, but about having fun! It is also the grand finale of the Vail Jazz Festival that has enchanted our valley all summvail jazzer. Vail Spa Condominiums and Vail Jazz have teamed up to offer our best summer rates and a complimentary bottle of wine when you stay two or more nights in a 2 or 3 bedroom residence, just be sure to mention the Vail Jazz Party when completing your reservation

Vail Jazz strives to promote jazz by reaching out to young musicians and young audiences in an effort to keep this American genre alive.  The Vail Jazz Party creates a unique ambiance with a fusion of multi-artist jam sessions and tributes to jazz legends. With over 35 hours of jazz music, The Vail Jazz Party is a shindig you don’t want to miss.

The Annual Vail Rotary Duck Race is also held in Vail Village on Sunday, September 6th. Rotary members sell “duck adoption Sunsetpapers” prior to the race. Adopt your duck online for a chance to win a million dollars! The yellow rubber ducks will race down Gore Creek to the finish line under International Bridge. Prizes are awarded for those holding the “adoption papers” for the winning ducks. The event funds local scholarships for young adults in the Vail Valley. You may also buy your ducks at the Vail Farmers Market  and Art show.

Don’t fret summer is still hanging on in the High Country.

Get your Hike on


The Walking Mountain Science Center offers many free activities that continue through the beginning of September. Listed below are some of these free events. Events are also offered at their Avon location. Enjoy these last few weeks of Summer with some fresh air and beautiful views.

013Nature Hikes

7 Days a Week, 11am-12pm & 2-3pm.  Most ages and abilities, FREE.

Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays, 7-8pm.  Most ages and abilities, FREE.

Nature Discovery Center

Top of Eagle Bahn Gondola. Vail, Co (970) 754.4675

Meadow Mountain Hikes

Mondays & Fridays, 10am-12pm.  Ages 10 and up, FREE.

Holy Cross Ranger Station

24747 US-24. Minturn, Co (970) 827.5715

Nature at Night: Campground Programs

Saturdays, 7-8pm.  All ages, FREE.

Gore Creek, Teoman Park & Sylvan Lake Campgrounds

Creekside Nature Tours

Sundays, 11am-12pm.  All ages, Donations accepted.

Meet at Walking Mountains Farmers Market Booth.

Vail Mountain Evening Hikes

Enjoy an evening hike on Vail Mountain as the sun starts to set and wildlife become more active. Learn about the habits of the crepuscular and nocturnal animals who make the mountains their home. Take in beautiful mountain views of the Gore and Sawatch Ranges at dusk. Most ages and abilities, FREE. No reservation required, just show up!

Nature Discovery Center 

Located at the top of the Eagle Bahn Gondola on Vail Mountains

Schedule: Thursdays. Fridays & Saturdays | 7:00pm-8:00pm | June 25th through September 5th

Gore Lake July 2015

Trail Treasures

There are many things people seek when embarking on an adventure in nature.

As John Muir said,” In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.”

Gore Lake July 2015

Gore Lake July 2015

Most of us seek simple things; vivid memories of expansive views, beautiful wildflowers, unique vegetation and the privilege to catch a of glimpse of wildlife. And that is really what it is all about, the simple things.

What if we as humans experience something more on a hike? What if you became smarter after spending a certain amount of time in nature? All the distractions of modern life can really add up and lead to a number of undesirable side effects, such as stress and fatigue.

Most people are aware that adventures in nature leave you feeling refreshed, less stressed and much happier. Backpacker magazine published an article by Elizabeth Kwak-Hefferan based on research conducted by Dr. David Strayer that supports this theory.  Hikers had an increase in mental abilities of up to 45 percent after being on the trail for three days.”This is a way of showing that interacting with nature has real, measurable benefits to creative problem-solving that really hadn’t been formally demonstrated before,” says David Strayer, co-author of the study and psychology professor.  Basically what it come down to is simplified thoughts and removal of toadstoolwildflowertechnological distraction, It’s no secret that society at large has become addicted to technology and electronics. So do yourself a favor and get outside and unplug. Connect with your natural surroundings and you will surely become more connected with yourself.

Upcoming Events for Sept. 1 to Sept. 8

Summer is still lingering for a couple more weeks. And despite cooling temperatures, Labor Day Weekend in Vail promises to be spectacular.

The 17th Annual Jazz Party features world-renown acts in two intimate Lionshead locations (Vail Square and the Marriott Grand Ballroom) as well as late night jam sessions! See the schedule below. The festival begins Thursday with a free show by the Clayton Brothers Quintet at Vail Square.

Frogs Gone Fishing will play the final Friday Afternoon Club of the season on September 2.

Also slotted for the holiday is the ever-growing Gourmet on Gore. Sponsored by Stella Artois, Moet & Chandon, and Pellegrino, this town-wide collection of Vail’s best restaurants will showcase delicious pairings of food, wine, beer or spirits. Admission is free; food is not. The event starts at 11am on Saturday and Sunday. Last call is at 5:45pm, with the event officially closing at 6pm. Monday’s hours of operation are abbreviated, 10am to 2pm. There will be live music throughout the village as well as executive chefs, sommeliers and spirit masters discussing their products.

On Sunday, September 4, Vail hosts its annual Rotary Duck Race down Gore Creek. It’s $5 per duck—the winner gets a yet-to-be-disclosed grand prize.

On Thursday, September 8, Dr. Coen Wijdicks, Dr. David Karli and Dr. Rick Cunningham will lecture on recent breakthroughs in sports medicine, part of the Vail Symposium Program’s Health and Wellness Series. Doors open at 5:30pm. Admission is $37; for Vail Symposium donors, it’s $27. The title of this week’s program is “Keeping the Body Healthy for Life.”

Thursday, Sept. 1

Jazz at Vail Square

Cost: FREE

6pm                       Clayton Brothers Quintet and the VJF All-Starts


Friday, Sept. 2

Friday Evening Session

Vail Marriott Grand Ballroom

Cost: $65

7:30pm                 Dena DeRose Trio

8:40pm                 Salute to the Modern Jazz Quarter: Bill Cunliffe, John Clayton, Lewis Nash, Jay Hoggard

10:10pm               Bobby Floyd, Graham Dechter, Jeff Hamilton, Tim Warfield, Byron Stripling

12:15am               Late Night Jam Session (Wing’s Place, Second Floor of Vail Marriott): Bill Cunliffe, Bruce Barth, Martin Wind, Dave Tull, Matt Wilson, Jerry Weldon, Tim Warfield


Saturday, Sept. 3

Saturday Afternoon Session

Vail Jazz Tent at Vail Square, Arrabelle

Cost: $55

12pm                     Vail Jazz All-Stars

1:10pm                 Jerry Weldon, Shelly Berg, Peter Washington, Jeff Hamilton

2:20pm                 Clayton Brothers Quintet

3:30pm                 Dave Tull, Bill Cunliffe, Martin Wind, Tim Warfield

Saturday Evening Session

Vail Marriott Grand Ballroom

Cost: $65

8:30pm                 Terell Stafford Quintet

9:40pm                 Salute to Louis Armstrong: Byron Stripling, Shelly Berg, Tom Kennedy, Ernie Adams, Wycliffe Gordon, Jeff Clayton

11:10pm               Graham Dechter, Bill Cunliffe, John Clayton, Jeff Hamilton

12:15am               Late Night Jam Session (Wing’s Place, Second Floor of Vail Marriott): Dena DeRose, Tom Kennedy, Dana Hall, Ernie Adams, Jeff Clayton, Jerry Weldon, Wycliffe Gorden


Sunday, Sept. 4

Sunday Morning Session

Vail Jazz Tent at Vail Square, Arrabelle

Cost: $55

9:30am                 Gospel Prayer Meetin’: Niki Haris, Bobby Floyd, Ernie Adams, Graham Dechter, Jeff Clayton, Wycliffe Gordon, Byron Stripling

12pm                     Afternoon Session: Vail Jazz All-Stars

1:10pm                 Dena DeRose Trio

2:20pm                 Jay Hoggard, Shelly Berg, Tom Kennedy, Dana Hall

3:30pm                 Byron Stripling, Bruce Barth, Peter Washington and Ernie Adams with guests Tim Warfield and Jerry Weldon

Sunday Evening Session

Vail Marriott Grand Ballroom

Cost: $65

7:30pm                 Monty Alexander, John Clayton, Jeff Hamilton

8:40pm                 Wycliffe Gordon, Bobby Floyd, Tom Kennedy, Ernie Adams, Byron Stripling

9:50pm                 Clayton Brothers Quintet

10:50pm               Late Night Jam Session (Wing’s Place, Second Floor of Vail Marriott): Shelly Berg, Peter Washington, Jeff Hamilton, Lewis Nash, Jay Hoggard, James Morrison, Terell Stafford

Monday, Sept. 5

Monday Afternoon Session

Vail Jazz Tent at Vail Square

Cost: $55

12pm                     Bill Cunliffe, John Clayton, Jeff Hamilton, Martin Wind, Matt Wilson, James Morrison, Terell Stafford

1:05pm                 Dena DeRose Trio

2:10pm                 Terell Stafford Quintet

3:15pm                 Monty Alexander, John Clayton, Jeff Hamilton

4:20pm                 Bobby Floyd, Lewis Nash, Graham Dechter, Wycliffe Gordon, Jeff Clayton, Tim Warfield, Jerry Weldon,  James Morrison, Byron Stripling, Terell Stafford

More Event Information 

Tickets: Tickets are available for purchase at the door of each concert. Costs are $55 for morning and afternoon events; $65 for evening events. Patron Passes cost $350 and include preferred seating at all performances, a Friday cocktail party, and Saturday dinner with the artists. Presold ticket holders must check in at the Vail Jazz registration table at the show venue, which will be open one hour before each show. All ticket sales are final. To purchase 10 tickets or more, contact 888-824-5526.

Venue: All evening performances will be held in the Marriott Grand Ballroom. Daytime performances will be held in the tent at Vail Square in the Arrabelle. Late night jam sessions will be held on the second floor of the Marriott in Wing’s Place.

Transportation: Contact the Vail Jazz Foundation directly at (888) 824-5526 or use the link (>Vail Jazz Festival>Labor Day Weeken) to get 10% off CME shuttle service. The Marriott is offering $8 valet parking.