Vail Signature Events: 8 Fun Ways to Celebrate Culture in Colorado
In winter, visitors flock to Vail for skiing and snowboarding. However, the city also hosts major events throughout the year that draw thousands who not only enjoy the outdoors, but also love music, food and good vibes. And there’s plenty of good vibes in Vail — from the spring skiing to famous holiday celebrations. If looking for a way to mingle with locals and learn about Colorado culture, attend one of these Vail signature events.
Top 8 Vail Signature Events: Celebrate Through Fun, Music and Food
Spring Back to Vail
In March and April, guests can attend Spring Back to Vail. This annual event bids farewell to winter and welcomes spring, including the spring skiing season.
A favorite among Vail signature events, this festival offers three days of family-friendly fun and ski-loving culture. Top things to do at Spring Back to Vail include world pond-skimming championships, free concerts, on-mountain luau, apres parties and more. Those who want to experience spring skiing mixed with local adventure can’t miss this event.
Taste of Vail
Spring also welcomes Taste of Vail, a five-day food festival in Vail. Held in April, Taste of Vail has earned accolades as one of the best spring food and wine festivals by USA Today and the Travel Channel. The event showcases local flavor and strives to celebrate the area’s mountain lifestyle through culinary treats.
Find over 30 chefs and restaurants in Vail paired with owners and winemakers from all 50 states. Restaurants serve everything from barbecue to French cuisine, while wine lovers can sample flavors all over the world. Individual tickets are available as well as access to other food festivals in Vail.
Vail American Days
Celebrate America’s Independence at Vail American Days™, a summer tradition. The event features a July Fourth parade in the morning with over 60 participants, and winds its way through local villages and streets. At night, visitors enjoy a vibrant fireworks show suited for all ages.
In addition to the July Fourth celebration, Vail American Days runs for five days. Other fun things to do include lacrosse competitions, yoga classes, Vail Family Fun Fest, live music and opportunities to shop local vendors. The parade and fireworks show are free and open to the public, and visitors can also buy tickets to see special concerts by Bravo! Vail symphony orchestra.
Music lovers can’t get enough of Bravo! Vail Music Festival, which runs from late-June to early August. The event brings together four orchestras from London, Dallas, Philadelphia and New York. In addition to these concerts, attendees can also see musicians in classical, jazz and pop.
Guests can purchase tickets for the orchestra concerts, or attend small ensembles and concerts for kids in Vail. For example, the free family concerts aim to engage young ones while entertaining them with a petting zoo, instruments to play and special shows.
Vail Jazz Festival
Running June to September, Vail Jazz Festival offers a 12-week program that welcomes jazz performers from around the world. Concerts occur in several different locations in Vail, showcasing over 70 performances and 200 musicians. Top genres include swing, salsa, blues, Latin, bebop and many more.
Vail Jazz Party – held over Labor Day weekend – lasts five days and features over 35 hours of live music. Visitors can purchase individual passes or a full-access pass and attend all shows. Looking for free concerts during the Vail Jazz Festival? Head to Vail Jazz at the Market and Vail Jazz at the Riverwalk. Both events have top performers as well as local vendors on-site, perfect for souvenir shopping.
Vail Dance Festival
For over 30 years, Vail Dance Festival has welcomed the community to see artists express their talents through dance. Hosted late July through mid-August, this two-week festival features over 170 dancers in different styles such as ballet, street dancing, and contemporary works. Tickets are available per performance, and guests find a range of show options and pricing.
Join thousands who gather in Vail to celebrate great beer, food and culture at Vail Oktoberfest™. For two weekends in September, the free event is open to the public. Visitors love it so much, it’s even earned a spot among the top 10 best Oktoberfests in the U.S.
For three days, Vail Oktoberfest guests sample beers from all over the world and region. They also enjoy games like keg bowling, bratwurst-eating contests, live music, costume contests and family-friendly activities. Children have their own family zone, where they see entertainers, make arts and crafts, and create items to take home. Vail Oktoberfest is held one weekend in Lionshead Village and another in Vail Village.
What better way to get into the holiday spirit than playing outside in the snow? Visitors can do just that at Vail Holidaze, an event full of outdoor activities for the family, shopping, lighting ceremonies and live seasonal shows.
Both Vail Village and Lionshead Village come alive with strings of lights, ice skating rinks and free concerts. Kids especially love Vail Holidaze because there’s so much for them to do. For example, they can visit with Santa, decorate holiday cookies, create and paint paper lanterns, and explore the outdoor ice theater.
Anytime is a good time to attend these Vail signature events! Plan a trip and browse vacation rentals in Vail.