Archive for May, 2011

Gunnison-Crested Butte see best rafting season ever for Gunnison River Festival

May 27, 2011

The community raft race at the Gunnison River Festival. This year's event takes place June 23 – 26.

Just as what goes up, must come down, Colorado rivers are rushing with whitewater after record snowfalls this past winter and local outfitters in Gunnison-Crested Butte are expecting one of the best rafting seasons ever due to snow pack in the Taylor River Drainage that is approximately 150 percent of normal levels.

Not only is there great rafting and kayaking, ranging from Class I to IV for guided trips on the Gunnison and Taylor Rivers, but you’ll see amazing tricks at the Gunnison Whitewater Park, the annual Gunnison River Festival which takes place this year June 23 – 26. Some of the toughest kayaking in the United States is on the Crystal River in Marble, ranging from Class II to V+.

“We’re really excited about the water levels and should have great levels all year long. It also opens up some routes for the Upper Upper Taylor in an area we call Lottis Creek, with Class III and IV water that hasn’t been doable for the last couple of seasons,” says Matt Brown, co-owner of Scenic River Tours with offices in Gunnison and seven miles up the Taylor Canyon, www.scenicrivertours.com.

“We are now offering raft trips every day.  The Taylor River is running higher right now than all of last year and summer flows may be at the highest level we’ve seen in 14 years.  Some think this is scary, but it actually makes the river less technical and smoother to navigate since the rocks are under water and it’s more fun because of the bigger waves,” adds Mark Schumacher, owner of Three Rivers Resort & Outfitting in Almont, www.3riversresort.com.

Gunnison River Festival, June 23 – 26
For a unique blend of hardcore and lighthearted outdoor recreation for all ages, don’t miss the ninth annual Gunnison River Festival.  Where else can you find a mix of USA Freestyle kayaking, a costume river parade, downriver raft race, hooligan race, kayak enduro, raft rodeo, foam boat and Strider Cup bike races for kids?

Gunnison Whitewater Park, redesigned in 2007 and 2008 and with a new feature and footbridge added in 2010, serves as home base for the festival at the corner of Highway 50 West and County Road 38.  Add in Taylor River near Almont and Oh-Be-Joyful Creek near Crested Butte and there is serious fun to be had on area waters.

The USA Freestyle Kayak (USAFK) tour returns to the festival in 2011 with a national point series. Classes include cadet (youth), open men/women and pro classes.  Also, National Whitewater Rafting paddlers will join the North Bridge Paddle Race.  “This brings a new element of great kayaking and rafting to our event as we are now part of the pro tour.  Freestyle kayaking is making an effort to become an Olympic sport by 2020,” says event organizer Angie Mauldin.

For costs, information, and registration forms, visit www.gunnisonriverfestival.com or call (970) 596-7094.

The following schedule is subject to change.

Thursday, June 23
• Go With The Flow Yoga on the River, 6:45 p.m. – Whitewater Park
• Event registration and live music by “Red Lady String Quartet,” 5 – 7 p.m. – IOOF Park

Friday, June 24
• Vendor’s Arena/Demo Expo, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. – Whitewater Park
• Sunset Concert with live music by “Better Late Than Never,” 6 – 8 p.m. – Whitewater Park
• Go With The Flow Yoga on the River, 6:45 p.m. – Whitewater Park

Saturday, June 25
• Registration Booth, Opens at 8 a.m. – Whitewater Park
• Community River Parade, 9 a.m. – Northbridge to Whitewater Park
• Downriver Raft Race, 9:30 a.m. – Northbridge to Whitewater Park
• Opening Ceremony, 10 a.m. – Whitewater Park
• SUP Downriver Race, 11 a.m. – Whitewater Park
• USA Freestyle Kayak Races, all day – Whitewater Park
• River City Fun Zone for kids featuring interactive and educational activities to understand watersheds and underwater life, foam boat races and a Strider Cup bike race. Opens at 11 a.m. – Whitewater Park
• SUP Surf Comp, 2 p.m. – Whitewater Park
• Raft Rodeo, 2 p.m. – Whitewater Park
• Hooligan Race (competitors race in boats made from non-boat materials such as inner tubes, kegs, barrels, etc.), 3:30 p.m. – Whitewater Park
• Live Music by “Simpler Times,” 4 – 6 p.m. – Whitewater Park
• Raft Sprint Race, 5 p.m. – Whitewater Park

Sunday, June 26
• Registration, Opens at 8 a.m. – Almont
• Taylor Canyon Endure, 10 a.m. – Whitewater Put-In to Confluence
• Upper Taylor Downriver Race, 10:30 a.m. – Whitewater Put-In to South Bank
• Lower Taylor Family Float, Noon – 5-Mile Put-in
• Barbeque and live music, 4 p.m. – Almont Resort, Almont

Adventure Packages
Dinner Float Trip
Enjoy the area’s only dinner cruise, Rocky Mountain style!  Start out at Three Rivers Resort in Almont by 4 p.m. and enjoy a 10-mile scenic float trip on the Gunnison River to Garlic Mike’s Restaurant for a delicious Italian dinner. You will receive the float trip, vehicle shuttle and a voucher for Garlic Mike’s (tip is extra). The total time required is approximately three hours.  The trip is available seven nights a week with at least 24 hours notice and a minimum of four people.  For prices and reservations, call Three Rivers Resort at (888) 761-3474.

Lodging & Rafting Deal
Save on lodging and rafting when staying two nights or more at Three Rivers Resort in Almont from May 1 – June 10 and Aug. 15 – Sept. 30.  For only $100 per person, receive two night’s lodging in a lodge room or small, one-room cabin and one Upper Taylor whitewater raft trip each.  Price is based on two-person occupancy and does not include lodging taxes.  This offer is not valid with any other offers or existing reservations and can be booked by calling (888) 761-3474.  Other lodging options and custom packages can be arranged.  Visit www.3riversresort.com.

Rock & Raft Package
Scenic River Tours is offering a new Rock & Raft Package, featuring a full day of adventure that includes lunch by the river.  Participants will whitewater raft the Taylor River until noon, stop for lunch, and raft some more before stopping to rock climbing in a new area being developed by Scenic River Tours.  Wrap up the day with more time on the water.  For more information and the cost, call (970) 641-3131 or visit www.scenicrivertours.com.

Visitor Information & Personalized Vacation Packages
To find out more about Gunnison-Crested Butte’s calendar of events and personalized vacation packages, call the Gunnison-Crested Butte Tourism Association’s toll-free number (800) 814-8893 or visit www.GunnisonCrestedButte.com.  Find the Tourism Association on Facebook at www.facebook.com/gcbta or follow us on www.twitter.com/gcbta.  The Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport is served year-round by United Airlines with flights from Denver.

About Gunnison-Crested Butte, Colorado
Gunnison-Crested Butte is nestled among almost two million acres of pristine wilderness in southwest Colorado.  Winter sports enthusiasts know the area for its world-class alpine skiing and snowboarding at Crested Butte Mountain Resort, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and ice fishing.  Gunnison-Crested Butte is also a haven for outdoor summer activities.  In the warmer months, visitors can choose from recreational activities such as hiking, climbing, mountain biking, boating, whitewater rafting, kayaking, fly-fishing, camping and horseback riding.  Year-round visitors enjoy distinctive restaurants, unique shops and stimulating cultural opportunities, and have a wide range of lodging options — from rustic inns to guest cabins and bed-and-breakfasts to full-service resort hotels.

Gunnison, county seat and a real western town, is home to the Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport, Gunnison Whitewater Park, Gunnison Valley Observatory, Pioneer Museum and Western State College, which offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in liberal arts and sciences and pre-professional fields.  Both Crested Butte and Gunnison have thriving historic central business districts packed with shopping and dining opportunities.

Recognized as the “Official Wildflower Capital of Colorado” by the Colorado Legislature and one of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s “Dozen Distinctive Destinations” in 2008, Crested Butte is 28 miles from Gunnison and the site of rich mining, ranching and skiing heritage and home to the Crested Butte Mountain Heritage Museum and Mountain Bike Hall of Fame.  Only three miles up the road is the resort village of Mt. Crested Butte, home to the ski area, an active base area, the area’s conference center, and outstanding hiking and biking trails.

Marble is located in the Upper Crystal River Valley along the Elk Mountains and is the gateway to nearby Crystal, home to one of the most photographed mill sites in the country. Marble has seven sites on the National Register of Historic Places and is the location of the Yule Marble Quarry.

In Gunnison County, visitors will find the Curecanti National Recreation Area, where dinosaur fossils were recently discovered; the Blue Mesa Reservoir, Colorado’s largest body of water and home to the largest Kokanee salmon fishery in the United States; and The Black Canyon of the Gunnison, one of our country’s newest national parks.  Gunnison County includes the quaint and historic towns of Pitkin, Gothic, Tin Cup, Marble, Powderhorn, Almont and Crystal, plus the better-known communities of Gunnison, Crested Butte and Mt. Crested Butte.  Gunnison County is part of the West Elk Loop and Silver Thread Scenic & Historic Byways.

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‘Time and Place’ at Kunsthalle Detroit Museum, Detroit’s newest museum

May 27, 2011

Detroit, Michigan’s newest museum, the Kunsthalle Detroit Museum of Multi-Media and Light-Based Arts, led by former Russian ballerina and PhD, Tate Osten, announces its inaugural exhibition titled “Time and Place” opening June 10, 2011 and showing through September 10, 2011.

The Kunsthalle Detroit Museum, founded by Tate Osten, a Russian born ballerina and PhD with 15 years professional experience working in the field of film and multi-media projects, is the first U.S. museum of light-based arts and the second of its kind in the world. Opening its’ doors as a U.S. non-profit organization, the Kunsthalle Detroit showcases an expansive array of light-based artworks from around the globe while providing resources and support for artists of light-based mediums.

“Time and Place”, the Kunsthalle Detroit’s inaugural exhibition, launching June 10, 2011 and showing through September 10, 2011, will feature the work of twelve international artists who invoke film, video and light-based multi-media structuring as their primary medium. “Time and Place” addresses the ongoing dialogue between reality and illusion, formation and deconstruction and the concrete and the ephemeral.

Viewers of “Time and Place” will be presented with an array of urban images that are re-mapped and re-presented within an illusionary environment. By introducing virtual reality into the real world, “Time and Place” attempts to capture a state of total recourse, juxtaposing images that shift between real and mythical places, between the screen and the actual sophistication of the city of Detroit. Significant to the “Time and Place” exhibition is the number “twelve” arrived from the historic and cultural significance throughout time. This inaugural exhibition is articulation of the time for change, in the city of Detroit and in the world; from past to present, into the future.

Selected to exhibit in the Kunsthalle Detroit museum’s inaugural exhibition are Rodney Graham, Jonathan Monk, Isaac Julien, Joan Jonas, William Kentridge, Ange Leccia, Sebastian Diaz Morales, Hans Op de Beeck, Diana Thater, Bill Viola, Tim White-Sobieski, with participation of Barnaby Hosking, Cristina Lucas and Bettina Pousttchi.

“One of our main tasks is to facilitate the improvement and dissemination of the Detroit’s arts,” states Osten. “We believe that the art of the United States is a dynamic and powerful expression of the nation’s identity. To accomplish this mission the Kunsthalle Detroit’s created an institution where light-based artists can create and exhibit their work and learn skills that strengthen their careers and expose thousands of people from around the world to renowned light-based art without curatorial bias or commercial constraint.”

Detroit is a city that had abandoned conventional coordinates of time and place and that bases itself on fragmentation and decomposition,” states Osten of her inaugural curatorial accomplishment. “Experimenting with metaphors of time and place and bringing different stories into proximity to one another, the participating artists go beyond the experience of place, time and the self, with disintegration of real city in virtuality, postmodern time and place were transformed by new cultural practices and influenced artistic expression of identity and spatiality,” continues Osten.  “In postmodern society, signs and images collide and create a trans-national imagery. The idea of boundless and undefined locality has led Detroit to a loss of sense of place. With growth of new media, and with the materialization of cyberspace, the experience of time and place in the city has changed. Detroit is a city that is recreating its political and social life and reforming its significant cultural identity.”

Significant to the elaborate architecture of Detroit’s city-scape is the word “kunsthalle”, which derives its meaning from the introduction of a new museum and dates back to the roots of the French and Dutch who established the city of Detroit and built some of its most magnificent architectural structures.

About the Kunsthalle Detroit Museum

Central to the Kunsthalle Detroit Museum’s mission is the encouragement of an ever-deeper understanding and appreciation of multi-media and light-based arts within the diverse local, national and international audiences that it serves. Founded in 2010 as a U.S. non-profit organization and educational institution for the development and support of light-based artists, the Kunsthalle Detroit museum is dedicated to being the foremost museum of multi-media and light-based arts in the world. For more information, please visit www.kunsthalle-detroit.org.

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American Ballet Theatre, InterContinental New York Barclay Pair Up on Magical Getaway Package

May 27, 2011

The InterContinental New York Barclay and American Ballet Theatre have teamed up to offer a glamorous and artistic New York getaway based on ABT’s upcoming production of “Cinderella.”

The package features suite accommodations, a welcome “Cinderella” Cocktail, a Glass Slipper amenity, Prime Orchestra Seats to American Ballet Theatre’s eye-popping production of Cinderella and chauffeured town car to and from Lincoln Center.

The package is priced at $695 double occupancy, based on a one- or two-night stay. Add $149 for each additional person up to four people in suite.  Additional room nights are available.  The getaway weekend, includes a choice of evening performances offered on June 21, 22, 23, 24 at 7:30 p.m. or on June 25 at 8 p.m., or matinee performances on June 22 and 25 at 2 p.m. Package is based on availability and can be booked by calling 212-906-3254 or email: tamara.betances@ihg.com.

A portion of each package will benefit ABT’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School for Dance. For further information visit; www.intercontinentalnybarclay.com.

This InterContinental New York Barclay and American Ballet Theatre pas de deux is punctuated by a two-month photographic exhibition in the hotel’s lobby, which is open to the public 24hrs a day.  Digital portraits of ABT’s productions and famed Principal Dancers and lavish costumes will be on exhibit from May 9 through June 25.

Cinderella, one of the world’s favorite fairy tales, is performed by American Ballet Theatre with a delicious combination of humor and romance, dazzling Erte-inspired Art Deco designs and above all, the brilliant coupling of James Kudelka’s inventive choreography and Prokofiev’s remarkable score.  For more information on American Ballet Theatre, please visit www.abt.org.

About American Ballet Theatre

Recognized as one of the premier dance companies in the world, American Ballet Theatre brings the highest quality dance and dancers to audiences across the globe.  Celebrating its role as America’s National Ballet Company® ABT tours nationally and internationally, performing for over 600,000 people annually.  Since its founding in 1940, ABT developed a repertoire, under the direction of Lucia Chase and Oliver Smith, that honored the past while encouraging the development of the art form through the creation of new works.  Classics from the 19th century like Swan Lake, Giselle and The Sleeping Beauty live side by side with seminal works of the early 20th century such as Apollo, Les Sylphides, Jardin aux Lilas and Rodeo, as well as such contemporary masterpieces as Push Comes to Shove and Airs. In acquiring such an extraordinary repertoire, ABT has commissioned works by the great choreographic geniuses of the 20th century: George Balanchine, Antony Tudor, Jerome Robbins, Agnes de Mille and Twyla Tharp, among others.  Today, under the artistic direction of former ABT Principal Dancer Kevin McKenzie, the Company remains steadfast in its vision as “American” and continues to bring the art of dance theater to the great stages of the world.

About InterContinental New York Barclay

Built in 1926 neo-Federal style, the classic, contemporary InterContinental New York Barclay, a Historic Hotels of America member, welcomes guests with a heightened level of personalized service, residential warmth and luxury and a vigorous Sustainable Hospitality program. The 100% wind energy-powered Barclay is located off fashionable Park Avenue in the heart of midtown Manhattan’s east side near the city’s most exclusive Fifth Avenue shopping, dining, Broadway theaters, museums, Rockefeller Center, Times Square, Central Park and the United Nations headquarters.  

InterContinental New York Barclay, 111 East 48th Street, New York, NY  10017 Tel. (212) 755-5900. www.intercontinentalnybarclay.com ; Facebook: www.facebook.com/NYBarclay ; Twitter: http://twitter.com/IC_NYBarclay ; http://foursquare.com/venue/85741

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Vail Mountain Blooms with Activities, Events in Summer

May 27, 2011

Take a guided horseback trail ride during your summer stay at Vail Mountain, Colorado © 2011 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

When the snow melts, Vail blooms with activities, events, including many that are free. This summer, Vail’s guests can expect thrilling activities like the Top-of-the-Mountain Tour, classic events like Friday Afternoon Club, dining at its finest at Game Creek Restaurant and beautiful blue sky days with temperatures in the high 70’s.

 Activities for All Ages at New Heights

 Eagle Bahn Gondola

Enjoy a scenic summer ride on the Eagle Bahn Gondola (#19) from Lionshead to Eagle’s Nest where you’ll find views of magnificent peaks and an array of affordable dining and adventurous activities for all ages and abilities at your fingertipsWeekend operations begin June 3 and daily operations begin June 23-Sept. 5. *See Vail Mountain summer operation dates and hours listed below.

NEW 9-Hole Mini Golf

Family-friendly putting comes to the Lionshead base area this year with the debut of Vail Mountain’s new 9-hole mini golf course. Children and adults of all ages will be able to practice putting their hole-in-ones underneath the Colorado sun when the new course debuts early this summer. With a location set in front of the Lionshead summer ticket office, the 9-hole course will feature a unique interpretive animal theme that spotlights a different local animal species at each hole. More information will be available soon at www.vail.com.

Top-of-the-Mountain Tour

After its introduction late last summer, the Top-of-the-Mountain Tour returns for summer 2011. Combining affordable, accessible adventure for all ages with incredible views of Vail’s legendary Back Bowls, the Gore Range and Mount of the Holy Cross, the new motorized mountain tour starts its 11-mile loop at Eagle’s Nest, passing Two Elk and Patrol Headquarters with a final destination of the Orient Express Lift (#21) at the top of China Bowl. Top of the Mountain Tours start at $25 a person and can also be combined with lift and lunch packages.

Horseback Tours

Take a guided horseback trail ride through Game Creek Bowl. The 40-minute trail rides begin at the Eagle’s Nest corral for adults and children, ages 7 and up. Full tours start at $50 per person and can be combined with lift and lunch packages. One way tours to Game Creek Restaurant are available for guests who wish to enjoy a scenic horseback ride followed by a complete culinary experience at Vail’s distinctive on-mountain dining establishment. Prices start at $95 for adults and return transportation to Eagle’s Nest is provided. Children ages 2–6 years can enjoy pony rides around our mountaintop corral for just $10.

Friday Afternoon Club

Guests and locals alike kick off the weekend with Vail’s Friday Afternoon Club (FAC) at Adventure Ridge, high atop Vail Mountain. FAC starts at 5 p.m. on Talon’s Deck every Friday beginning June 24-Sept. 2 and features the best views in the valley with amazing sunsets, free live music and activities, food and drink specials, and more. Full schedule TBA at www.vail.com.

Climbing Wall, Rebound Trampoline

Race to the top of the climbing wall at Adventure Ridge, starting at 10,350 feet, or soar to new heights on the bouncing bungee harnessed trampoline at Adventure Ridge.

Disc Golf

Vail Mountain’s 18-hole self-guided disc golf course begins at the top of the Pride Express Lift (#26), winds up to the western edge of the ski area boundary, wraps below the Eagle Bahn Gondola through the Little Eagle Lift (#15) area and ends near Thunder Cat Cave. Maps are recommended and available at the information desk at the top of the Eagle Bahn Gondola. The course is designed for all ability levels and discs, putters and drivers can be rented at Eagle’s Nest for just $10. The course is free to those with their own equipment and disc golf equipment can also be purchased at the Vail Sports location at Eagle’s Nest.

Adventure Ridge Action Pass

With all the fun summertime activities offered at Adventure Ridge – pony rides, disc golf, a climbing wall and rebound trampolines – why limit yourself to just one? Purchase an Action Pass and enjoy three activities of choice for just $22!

FREE for All! Slackline Park, Bocce Ball, Horseshoes, Bean Bag Toss and Dino Dig

Grab your friends and family and try your luck at horseshoes, bocce ball, bean bag toss or the new slackline park where kids and adults can test their balance at a variety of levels. Children age four and up are invited to dig through sand to uncover dinosaur bones and learn about prehistoric creatures through an educational display. Digging tools and a map are provided.

Nature Discovery Center & Guided Nature Hikes

Located in an all-seasons yurt adjacent to the Eagle Bahn Gondola atop Vail Mountain, the Nature Discovery Center has provided the visiting public with meaningful access to the wonders of the natural world since opening its doors in 2000. The mountain top nature center is open during the winter and summer seasons and features an array of natural history exhibits and artifacts related to Vail Mountain.

 Enjoy Nature on Foot and Bike

Vail Mountain and the surrounding valley offer expansive trail systems for the outdoor enthusiast that wind through lush forests, brilliant wildflowers and native wildlife to provide breathtaking views of the surrounding environment.

Hiking on Vail Mountain

The Vail Valley offers a wide variety of hiking trails for you to choose from. All ages and abilities can take advantage of miles and miles of trails that offer the chance to escape into nature. A few favorites include:

  • Eagle’s Loop: Short, “green” ridge-top loop with great views of Mount of the Holy Cross. 1 mile, 15-20 minutes
  • Berrypicker: Starting at Lower Fireweed, this intermediate trail winds down from Eagle’s Nest to Vail Village or Lionshead. 4.6 miles, 2-3 hours
  • Ridge Route: Intermediate climb from Eagle’s Nest to Wildwood and back with spectacular views of Mt. of the Holy Cross and the Sawatch Range. 2.8 miles, 1.5-2 hours.
  • Ptarmigan Loop: This scenic, 360-degree-view trail through shaded woods connects with Ridge Route at Wildwood to Ptarmigan Point and back. 1.2 miles, 30-40 minutes; Loop with Ridge Route: 4 miles, 2.5 -3 hours.
  • Grand Escape: This trail offers an alternative hiking experience with spectacular views of the Gore Range. Combine with Ridge Route for a loop. 1.5 miles; 1.5-2 hours one way.

Trail Running

Forgo the blacktop pavement and enjoy a run surrounded by nature on one of Vail’s many scenic trails. Runners will find a variety of trails and terrain throughout Vail that are sure to meet their fitness needs all while providing extraordinary views of the lush summer landscape.

Mountain Biking on Vail Mountain

As the host of two previous Mountain Bike World Championships, Vail’s trails suit the amateur and the seasoned professional. Family cruisers can ride the gondola, explore the forests on two wheels and enjoy a mountaintop barbeque. Downhill junkies can ride uphill then seek out the most technical terrain for their descent. Equipment is available for rental or purchase at local shops. An additional bike haul ticket is needed to take a bike up the gondola. Bikes are not allowed on the gondola after 4 p.m. A few of Vail’s many mountain biking trails include:

  • Lucy’s Loop: NEW! Beginner loop from Eagle’s Nest to Mid-Vail and back.
  • Village Trail: Longest and most pleasant beginner route on the mountain, the Village Trail is a winding gravel road that traverses the mountain in a descent. 7 miles.
  • Fred’s Lunch: An alternating single and double intermediate track path that leads from Mid-Vail down the mountain, providing spectacular views. 3.2 miles
  • Grand Traverse: Vail’s signature intermediate trail crossing the Back Bowls, starts easy and becomes more difficult, accessed from Adventure Ridge or the Wildwood connector. 5.3 miles
  • Hanks Hideaway: A fun yet challenging single-track that leads from Lion Down to Lionshead Loop. 1.2 miles.

Free Events

There are scores of free activities and  events during the summer at Vail Mountain.

Art & Nature

Free Wednesday Art Walks (June 29 – August 31)
A free hour long walking tour of Vail’s public art collection meets Wednesdays at 11:00 am at the Vail Village Visitor Information Center on the top level of the parking structure. The tour then winds its way through the Village with discussions of master planning and the importance of site specific commissioned art in creating the charm of the village. Visit www.artinvail.com or call             970-479-2344       for more details.

Free Guided Nature Walks
Nature Discovery Center, June 23 – August 30, Daily, 11am & 2pm
Located in an all-seasons yurt adjacent to the Eagle Bahn Gondola atop Vail Mountain.
Join Walking Mountains Science Center on a morning or afternoon nature walk and discover how plants and animals adapt to the high elevation environment as you identify signs of life on Vail Mountain;  call  (970) 754-4675  .

Free Creekside Nature Tours, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sundays
Depart from the Vail Farmers’ Market Join the Nature Center for a casual stroll along Vail’s streamside paths. Tours depart from the Vail Nature Center booth at the Vail Farmers’ Market Sundays throughout the summer. No reservations required.

Stop by the Free Vail Nature Center
Nestled along the banks of Gore Creek, this 7 acres forest, meadow and stream are a delight and peaceful place known by many locals and visitors as their favorite place in Vail. Explore or take in one of the educational programs offered. For more information, please call             (970) 479-2291      .

Enjoy the beautiful and free Betty Ford Alpine Gardens
Enjoy the highest botanical gardens in the world with a unique collection of alpine, sub-alpine and other mountain plants and flowers. Open from dawn to dusk daily through September with tours, children’s programs and many other daily activities; call  (970) 476-0103 .

Family & Kids Events

Family Fun Ride
Looking for something to do with the entire family? Vail Sports invites you to participate in our free Family Fun Rides daily from Memorial Weekend through Labor Day Weekend. Experience Vail like never before with our one-hour guided ride through Lionshead Village, Vail Village, and Golden Peak. You may bring your own bike or rent a bike with us (bike rentals start at $16) . For more information, contact Vail Sports at  970-476-3600   or visit vailsports.com.

Family Saturday Afternoon Club
July 9, 16, 23, 30 & August 6 & 13; Lionshead 3:00pm to 6:00pm
The Family Saturday Afternoon Club includes a variety of activities including a Kids’ Fun Zone & Crafts Center, full of interactive projects that families would work on together, hosted by the world famous Blue Creek Children’s Theatre Company. This area also features an incredible array of of special activities including face-painting, a Hula Hoop Zone, a 60ft inflatable obstacle course, the awesome Blue Moose Pizza Dough Tossing Contest, a family “Water Balloon Toss of Death” Contest – which was an incredible hit, merchant displays, special appearances by the Vail Fire Department Family Safety Zone; and the Kids’ Discovery Zone. This fun and educational area is where “Fun Learning” is the goal. Each week the “Kids’ Discovery Zone” featured a special theme with visits by experts like the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, The Denver Butterfly Pavilion and a special “Green Planet Kids Expo” presented in partnership with the Town of Vail Environmental Sustainability Department. For more information contact Brian Hall, Blue Creek Productions, Inc. brian@bluecreek.com or    (970) 926-5855

Burn off the kid’s energy at the many town Parks or stroll around town
Ford Park, Pirateship Park, Donovan Park, Bighorn Park – each is different – check them all out to bring a smile to the kiddo’s faces! There’s no better place to just relax and enjoy your surroundings than Vail – with benches and beautiful sitting areas all around to breathe in the fresh air and enjoy the summer time flowers and surrounding landscapes. You may even happen upon one of our street entertainers as you relax and enjoy. And be sure to take in the many fountains and water features throughout Vail Village.

Free AT THE VAIL LIBRARY
Story Time every Tuesday and Wednesday
Kids love story time and arts & crafts. Toddler Story Time (ages 18-30 months) is from 10am -11am and Preschool Story Time (ages 2-5 yrs.) is from 11am-12pm.

Sports & Recreation

Free for All at Adventure Ridge! Slackline Park, Bocce Ball, Horseshoes, Bean Bag Toss and Dino Dig
Grab your friends and family and try your luck at horseshoes, bocce ball, bean bag toss or the new slackline park where kids and adults can test their balance at a variety of levels. Children age four and up are invited to dig through sand to uncover dinosaur bones and learn about prehistoric creatures through an educational display. Digging tools and a map are provided.

Hiking around Vail and atop Vail Mountain is always free!
Enjoy spectacular wildflowers and wildlife as you explore the nature and forests of Vail. Pack a picnic and your camera!

Go for a run with the Vail Rec District’s Free Summer Running Club
Residents and visitors are encouraged to join the VRD for its free, weekly running club this summer that will lead participants around Vail’s scenic recreation paths and mountain trails. The club will be led by local runner Greg Decent and will meet at 5:30pm on Thursdays, beginning June 23 at the base of the Vista Bahn in Vail Village, located in the Mountain Plaza area. For details, email jgunion@vailrec.com.

Explore the Free Vail Recreation Path
The Vail Recreation Path is an affordable way to have fun with your entire family. Located right in the middle of town, the trail winds from West Vail to East Vail and has 1,100 acres of open space available to the public. The path stretches for 15 miles and is surrounded by 350,000 acres of national forest.

Free Sporting Events & Tournaments
Check out the many sports tournaments taking place at the Ford Park and Vail Athletic Fields. The majority of the events are free to watch and include some of the nation’s best soccer and lacrosse teams and players.

Vail’s Free Skatepark
Head to the LionsHead parking structure and check out Vail’s free skatepark. Open dawn to dusk daily, the free skatepark features a half-pipe, pyramid, multiple ramps, transitions, rails and banks, plus a street course area for younger or less experienced riders.

Play a free tennis match
Enjoy a free tennis match at the Golden Peak Tennis Courts. Tennis can be played at the courts on a first-come, first-served basis for free.

Free Fly Fishing Casting Clinics!
Gore Creek Fly Fisherman is pleased to offer complimentary daily casting clinics at 10:30am in Vail Village along the Gore Creek Promenade. The clinics are perfect for those who have never fly fished before and are considering trying the sport. They are also perfect for those just wanting to brush up on their technique. One of our expert staff will lead the demonstration, and he or she will be able to answer any general fly fishing questions;  call  (970) 476-3296 .

Music & Dance

Free Hot Summer Nights Concert Series – every Tuesday, June 14 – August 23 (shows start at 6:30pm)
This annual free summer concert series is hosted at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater Tuesday evenings throughout the summer months. With shows ranging from rock to country to bluegrass to funk and beyond, the Bud Light Hot Summer Nights has become synonymous with summer for locals and visitors alike. Throngs of music lovers gather at the Amphitheater each week to enjoy sunshine, picnics, friends and incredible free music.

Town Event Highlights

Annual favorites like the Teva Mountain Games return to Vail along with a slew of other great summer events for locals and visitors of the Vail Valley. Peruse fresh produce at the Vail Farmers’ Market—the largest in Colorado –, expand your cultural horizons with Bravo! and the Vail International Dance Festival and witness some of the world’s greatest athletes compete in the Quiznos Pro Challenge Bike Race as the tour ascends upon the valley. With a variety of fresh, local, cultural and competitive events happening throughout the Vail Valley there truly is something for everyone of every age. For a full event lineup, visit www.vail.com. New highlights include:

Teva Mountain Games – 10th Anniversary

Come be a part of the country’s largest celebration of mountain sport, soul and culture as professional and amateur adventure athletes converge upon Vail to compete in a variety of adrenaline pumping sports. Watch as competitors run, climb, bike, kayak, raft and fish for cash purses and ultimate bragging rights June 2-5. The weekend is rounded out with concerts, film screenings and plenty of after-partying to make this event the perfect summer kick-off!

USA Pro Cycling Challenge

Beginning Aug 22nd and continuing through Aug 28th the USA Pro Cycling Challenge is a grueling 600-mile, seven-day bike race that winds through some of the most majestic and treacherous terrain Colorado and the Rocky Mountains have to offer. The pedaling begins in Colorado Springs and hits 11 other cities and towns along the way as bikers ascend and descend their way into the Vail on day four of the race, Aug 25. Racers will cross the finish line in Denver after seven days of arduous cycling over a mix of mountain, sprint and downtown stages. Lance Armstrong was instrumental in establishing this new race which is designed to be the most challenging event in U.S. cycling history! For more information visit www.usaprocyclingchallenge.com.

BRAVO! Vail Valley Music Festival, June 26-Aug. 3

One of the leading music festivals in the country, this event is complete with world-class orchestras, soloists and venues. With three outstanding resident orchestras and guest soloists from around the world, Bravo! brings truly first-rate classical music to Vail. And, with a setting as stunning as the performances, this festival is a summer tradition that should not be missed.

Vail International Dance Festival, July 31-Aug. 13

This legendary festival draws artists from across the globe that come to perform in Vail’s spectacular setting. Highlights for this years’ event include the Beijing Dance/LDTX, the American premiere of Natalia Hills and Gabriel Miss’ tango show, a new work by Larry Keigwin, as well as performances by The Pacific Northwest Ballet and the Paul Taylor Dance Company.

For more information or to book a summer vacation at Vail Mountain, visit /www.vail.com .

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June Begins a Summer Full of Fun In the National Wildlife Refuge System

May 26, 2011

Roseate spoonbills at Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island, Florida, The National Wildlife Refuge system hosts wonderful events throughout the summer. © 2011 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Enjoy a summer of fun in the National Wildlife Refuge system.

National Fishing and Boating Week
What better time to teach a child to fish than on National Fishing and Boating Week, and what better place than a national wildlife refuge? Many refuges will host youth fishing derbies and other public events in June to mark this yearly celebration of fishing and boating, sponsored by the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation.

Refuge Events Calendar
Summer, glorious summer, ushers in a rush of family events on national wildlife refuges. Paddle trips, fishing rodeos, butterfly counts and scavenger hunts in the night sky are just some of the adventures planned. Come see why it’s always a good time to visit a national wildlife refuge.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.

See:

THE NATURAL WONDERS OF FLORIDA’S LEE COUNTY
From Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island to Manatee Park

Where to Be Wild in Palm Beach County and slideshow

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Asia Transpacific Journeys Offers Family Trips to Exotic Locales

May 26, 2011

With a Cambodian vacation, kids can be an archeologist for a day when visiting the Sambor Prei Kuk area - which could pass for an Indiana Jones movie set if it weren’t so completely authentic. (courtesy Asia Transpacific Journeys).

More and more families are  seeking cultural experiences in exotic locales where they can spend quality time together while expanding their horizons. Traveling to far-flung places in Asia and the Pacific with a family-oriented adventure program through a tour company like Asia Transpacific Journeys broadens everyone’s viewpoint and gives children perspective on their life by developing critical thinking skills and learning about other cultures.

Marilyn Downing Staff, Founder and President of Asia Transpacific Journeys for the Asia and Pacific region, believes that by visiting cultures so different from the American lifestyle children learn about other cultures and traditions early on, which helps them understand that the world is a much bigger place than they may have thought before.

“Our sensitive and seasoned Asia travel guides provide children with insights into the local cultures, religious traditions, exotic plants and animals,” says Downing Staff, herself a parent. “It shapes their attitude towards life.”

Here are their top picks for family trips that are both educational and fun in nature through hands-on learning:

BORNEO – A Wildlife Adventure

On a trip to Borneo, tropical forests lush with wildlife invite moderate trekking through jungle trails, while monkeys howl on the white-sand shores. A visit to Mt. Kinabalu, home to 270 species of birds and more than 70 species of frogs is a great day trip for travelers of all ages. Families can also visit an Orangutan Rehabilitation Center and observe such national treasures as Sumatran rhinoceroses and clouded leopards on night walks and passages over an aerial catwalk.

THAILAND—A Family Adventure

This Thailand vacation, originally developed as a family trip for the American Museum of Natural History, explores the family-friendly country’s cities, hill tribe areas and beaches. Families learn how to become mahouts (elephant caretakers), visit a puppet theatre, ride an elephant among hill tribe peoples and take a bamboo raft trip through the jungle.  The trip is not complete without a stay at one of Southern Thailand’s famed beaches, where families can try sea kayaking and snorkel in the emerald waters.

 CAMBODIA – Discovering Lost Temples

With a Cambodian vacation, kids can be an archeologist for a day when visiting the Sambor Prei Kuk area – which could pass for an Indiana Jones movie set if it weren’t so completely authentic. A visit to these lost temples will enable families to experience its serene atmosphere together with a fascinating sense of mystery and magic including wild parrots flying overhead. Afterwards, parents and kids should head to Siem Reap to explore Angkor Wat, voted the most beloved UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010 and simply a stunning sight for both old and young.

AUSTRALIA – Down-Under Wildlife Discovery Tour

On a trip to Australia, families can explore the country’s eco hotspots, kangaroo to platypus. Wildlife sightings in this naturalist’s utopia co-mingle with hiking, snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef, and tramping through the World Heritage Daintree Rain Forest.

In Tasmania families can also marvel at the smallest penguin in the world – called the fairy penguin—and rufus wallabies, eastern quolls, brush-tailed possums, wombats and the famous Tasmanian devils.

Asia Transpacific Journeys specializes exclusively in custom journeys and small group trips to the Asia/Pacific region. Founded in 1987, no other company offers such expertise in the region. Its long-standing connections in Asia, outstanding personalized service, and deeply insightful cultural interpretations have made Asia Transpacific Journeys the travel company of choice for organizations such as the American Museum of Natural History, the World Wildlife Fund, the Harvard, Yale and Princeton alumni associations, as well as discerning individuals, their families and friends.

For more information, visit www.asiatranspacific.com or call (800) 642-2742.

Historic Willard Hotel in Washington DC offers Year of Civil War Programming

May 25, 2011

The lobby of the Willard Hotel, where President Ulysses S. Grant popularized the term “Lobbyist." The Historic Hotels of America member hotel was also where Abraham Lincoln stayed before his inauguration and figured prominently during the Civil War. Close to the White House and the Smithsonian Institution museums, the Willard is hosting a year-long Civil War Sesquicentennial series of lectures and programs © 2011 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com.

As America marks the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War in 2011, the Willard InterContinental, a member of Historic Hotels of America, is highlighting its significant history of the period with Willard Hotel and the Civil War, featuring special lectures and events, as well as a special lodging package.

 This yearlong event in conjunction with Destination DC’s regional Civil War to Civil Rights commemoration highlights various aspects of the Willard’s history during this period through exhibitions, lectures, tours, concerts, discussion panels and related events. The Willard’s programming includes partnerships with such cultural and historic entities as Lincoln at the Crossroads Alliance, The International Spy Museum, Ford’s Theater, the Civil War Preservation Trust and The Washington National Opera.  Events will include presentations by actors Stephen Lange (Avatar) and Sam Waterston (Law & Order.) Further underscoring the anniversary, the Willard is offering a history-related package.

Among the upcoming events this summer:

Civil War Spies: A Three-Part Exploration of Union and Confederate Intelligence Operations, June-July, offered In collaboration with Ford’s Theatre, National Historic Site, National Park Service; The Willard InterContinental Hotel and the International Spy Museum.

The North and the South both had their share of intelligence successes (and failures), but neither the Blue nor the Gray were strangers to intrigue and espionage.  Society ladies carried secret messages, runaway slaves re-crossed the Mason-Dixon Line as undercover agents, and couriers worked covert operations in the life or death climate of wartime.  In this series, a distinguished group of historians and espionage experts will introduce you to some of the most amazing spies and spy cases of the War Between the States.

Spy Rings, Covert Action, and Deception: Spies and their Tactics (Tuesday, June 21 at the International Spy Museum): Civil War intelligence operations ranged from the dazzling to the preposterous. How close did Southern covert action come to rendering New York City a Confederate holding?  How did music lend deception to the battlefield?  Join International Spy Museum historian Mark Stout,  James A Davis, Prof. of Musicology at State University of New York, College at Fredonia, (invited), and other experts impart the value of intelligence and deceptive measures during the Civil War.  Explore the key role that intelligence played in the North’s victory at Gettysburg, Pinkerton’s intelligence network and counterintelligence operations for the Union, and the “spy” gadgets available to the Civil War era James Bond.

The Lincoln Assassination Conspiracies (Tuesday, July 19 at Ford’s Theatre): Why did a handsome, successful actor murder President Lincoln? Examine the Lincoln assassination anew—at the scene of the crime—during this eye-opening adventure.  On one fact alone do scholars agree: President Lincoln was shot at Ford’s Theatre on April 14th, 1865.  All else is suspect!  This program is presented in the very theatre where the tragedy occurred.  Learn the true facts of the event and also the key conspiracy schools of thought.  Was Booth acting as a lone gunman?  A player in an internal Union scheme?  A tool of the Confederacy?  A cog in an insidious global plot?  The evening will include a surprise appearance by “Booth.”

Civil War Sisterhood of Spies (Tuesday, July 26 at The Willard InterContinental) Discover the secret work of key Civil War operatives of the fair sex.  Meet three of the most successful female Civil War spies: Wild Rose Greenhow, a charming high society widow who sweet-talked top-flight Union officials and lowly Union clerks alike, encoded their intelligence, and smuggled messages south—with the help of her own spy ring!  Antonia Ford, a confederate spy who married one of the Willard Hotel’s 19th century proprietors and Virginia-based Civil War Union spy Elizabeth Van Lew.  Ann Blackman (invited) author of Wild Rose will cover Greenhow, Amanda Ohlke, director of adult education at the International Spy Museum will trace Van Lew’s espionage career, and historical impersonator Emily Lapisardi (invited)  will portray Confederate spy Antonia Ford.

The programs are at 7 p.m.; series tickets are $60; Individual Tickets are $25. Tickets can be purchased at www.spymuseum.org or by calling 202.654.0932 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            202.654.0932      end_of_the_skype_highlighting.

Another program this summer, 1861: The Civil War’s First Year in 3D, is a free exhibit presented by the Civil War Preservation Trust, on view June 24 to July 15 (9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Willard InterContinental. In 1861, America was torn apart and thrust into civil war.  States seceded from the Union, armies were raised, battles were fought, leaders emerged and the nation began an inextricable series of changes. This upheaval was not only captured by the lenses of a growing army of photographers, but was recorded using 3D, stereoscopic cameras.  This exhibition will present more than three dozen Civil War-era photographs in the manner in which they were meant to be seen – in 3D.  From secession to civil war, from Abraham Lincoln to Jefferson Davis, and from Fort Sumter to Bull Run, see the Civil War in depth and how the art of photojournalism was born!  Developed in association with the Center for Civil War Photography and HISTORY (formerly called the History Channel), the exhibition will include a multimedia documentary-style program focusing upon the Civil War’s first, but bloodless battle, Fort Sumter.

The Willard was a center for political and social life in Washington DC throughout the Civil War.  Located close to the White House, the six-story building upon which the New Willard Hotel was later built in 1901, was at the crossroads of society and politics. According to Nathaniel Hawthorne, Willard’s was “much more justly called the center of Washington and the Union than the Capitol, the White House or the State Department.”

In addition to the calendar of special events marking the occasion, the hotel will offer a Willard Hotel and the Civil War package available throughout the year. The Willard is also issuing a new edition of its complimentary Willard history brochure for guests.  The brochure, designed by Jeanne Krohn of Krohn Design, and written by Cindy Gueli, PhD, who together created the Willard’s comprehensive history gallery, will be a compilation of historic anecdotes and evocative imagery.   “We hope the new Willard history brochure will provide guests with an enhanced sense of place,” said Jim Veil, General Manager of the Willard InterContinental and Regional Director of Operations for Baltimore and Washington, D.C., “the Willard InterContinental is so much more than an architectural gem, it is a true microcosm of American history centered as a vital establishment through some of our nation’s most dramatic chapters,” Veil continued.   A new series of Willard and the Civil War “history bytes” compiled by Professor Gueli will be included in the hotel’s guest and media communications throughout the year.

The Willard InterContinental is located in the heart of the nation’s capital on Pennsylvania Avenue near the White House, the Smithsonian museums and the downtown business and theatre districts.   The Willard epitomizes world-class hospitality as the hotel of choice for heads of state and leaders of the world’s business, cultural, social and political elite.  The hotel’s 335 well appointed guestrooms include 41 elegant suites.  Dining options include Café du Parc, the popular French bistro with seasonal outdoor seating, the Occidental Grill & Seafood, traditional Afternoon Tea in Peacock Alley and the classic Round Robin Bar.  The luxurious Red Door Spa offers a wide array of pampering treatments.

An American institution, the Willard has hosted nearly every U.S. president since 1853. Abraham Lincoln stayed at the Willard before his inauguration in 1861.   It was at the Willard that Julia Ward Howe wrote The Battle Hymn of the Republic, where President Ulysses S. Grant popularized the term “Lobbyist,” and where Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King finished his renowned “I Have a Dream” speech.  The Willard is also noted for its 100% wind power, recycling and charitable initiatives including Anacostia River clean-up, the hotel’s “Adoption” of a Pershing Park, and support of a school prom for disabled youth.   The classic Willard InterContinental combines heritage and luxury with contemporary comfort and the latest technology.

 The Willard Hotel and the Civil War package for two includes a weekend night in a Deluxe King Room, Breakfast in Café du Parc, Valet Parking and Tickets to the Lincoln Cottage.  Price starts at $369 per room per night and is offered Thursdays to Sundays through May 31, 2011. Package must be booked at least seven days prior to arrival. Based on availability.   Bookings can made by calling 202-628-9100 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            202-628-9100      end_of_the_skype_highlighting, or by visiting www.washington.intercontinental.com.

Willard Hotel, 1401 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington DC 20008, 202-628-9100 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            202-628-9100      end_of_the_skype_highlighting, 800-827-1747 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            800-827-1747      end_of_the_skype_highlighting, or Web site:  www.washington.intercontinental.com.  Twitter: www.twitter.com/willardhotel ; Facebook:  www.Facebook.com/willardhotel.

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Summer Activities Begin Mid-June for Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports Participants

May 25, 2011

For people with disabilities, there are no limitations when it comes to sports and recreation this summer, as Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports, the largest year-round disabled sports non-profit organization in Vermont, prepares to offer its recreational programming for the summer and fall. For those who have ever wondered what it’s like to paddle on Lake Champlain, to cycle the Burlington bike path on a tandem bike, to hike along the spine of the Green Mountains, or to explore the many lakes and ponds in northern and southern Vermont, Vermont Adaptive’s guides provide the means to enjoy outdoors in Vermont. Programming at all locations begins mid-June.

“Our volunteers use and teach special paddling techniques, assist with lessons, fit people with disabilities to bicycles, and pilot tandem bikes,” said Erin Fernandez, executive director for Vermont Adaptive. “We have found that sports and recreation can be very empowering for people with disabilities and we are lucky to work with partners throughout the state including Vermont Forests, Parks and Recreation, Lake Champlain Community Sailing Center, MoonRise Farm, Local Motion and the United States Association for Blind Athletes to offer the extensive statewide programming that we do. Whether it’s paddling on a lake, climbing up a climbing wall or biking along many of Vermont’s paths, our programs become the ultimate equalizer for people with disabilities.”

To the north, Vermont Adaptive partners with The Lake Champlain Community Sailing Center to offer adaptive sailing, Petra Cliffs for its climbing program, and Local Motion, a non-profit cycling organization in Burlington, for the biking program on the Burlington bike path. It owns a fleet of kayaks and canoes for the paddling program on Lake Champlain, as well as its southern locations including Chittenden Reservoir, Waterbury Reservoir and Stoughton Pond. All cycling, paddling and climbing programs are lead by Vermont Adaptive staff and trained volunteers.

Programs include tandem and hand cycling, guided bike path trips, climbing trips, beeper baseball for those who are blind or visually impaired, group and private canoeing, paddling and sailing lessons, therapeutic horseback riding, and custom group outings and adventures. Scholarships are available as well.

To register for programs, participants should visit www.vermontadaptive.org or contact Dave D’Angelo for northern programs at truenorth@vermontadaptive.org,802.353-3178 or Katie Stillin for southern programs at south@vermontadaptive.org, 802.353.7584 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            802.353.7584      end_of_the_skype_highlighting. For more information about Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports, visit http://www.vermontadaptive.org.
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Robert Cray, Willie Nelson Among Headliners at 18th Annual Telluride Blues & Brews Festival Sept 16-18

May 25, 2011

Robert Cray will be performing at the Telluride Blues & Brews Festival.

Five-time Grammy winning Robert Cray will be among the musical lineup at the 18th annual Telluride Blues & Brews Festival  at Telluride Town Park September 16-18.

The 18th Annual Telluride Blues & Brews Festival will also feature headliners Willie Nelson, The Flaming Lips, and Big Head Todd and the Monsters. Additional performances include Zappa Plays Zappa, moe., Marcia Ball, Fitz and the Tantrums, The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band, Mavis Staples, Anders Osborne, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit and many more.

Robert Cray leads the Blues Hall of Fame for the Class of 2011. Cray has established himself as one of the most popular artists in blues and has been a dominant force in blues ever since. He helped to reignite the blues on the national scene in the 1980s with his breakthrough album “Strong Persuader” in 1986. His soulful voice, creative guitar work, meaningful songs and dazzling live performances, shows why Cray has earned his rise to international fame and an inductee for the 2011 Blues Hall of Fame. Don’t miss Robert Cray’s intimate performance under the stars in Telluride Town Park.

Renowned as one of the most scenic music festivals in the country, Telluride Blues & Brews is located within the world-famous resort town of Telluride, CO, in the heart of the Rocky Mountains.  The Festival is a three-day celebration of music and microbrews held in an outdoor music venue nestled within a box canyon of the San Juan Mountains. A humble wooden stage with towering mountain peaks provides a natural showcase for the Festival’s talent. For Festival-goers, the pristine mountain valley makes the perfect dance floor.

By day, experience live blues, funk, rock, gospel and soul performances, and the best microbrews in the country, a wide variety of food and craft vendors, children’s activities, and much, much more – all within the Festival grounds and only a couple blocks from the heart of Main Street, Telluride. By night, follow the festival music as it flows into town, where late-night juke joints fill indoor venues for after-hours jams, where you never know who’ll show up!

Three-day passes, Juke Joint tickets, and camping passes are currently on sale now. Single day tickets for Friday, Saturday and Sunday go on sale July 1st.

For Festival information or to purchase tickets online visit http://www.tellurideblues.com or call 1.866.515.6166 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            1.866.515.6166      end_of_the_skype_highlighting today. Tickets can be purchased locally at Telluride Music, located at 123 E. Colorado Ave.

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Crested Butte Mountain Resort in Colorado Rockies offers Kids Stay & Play free package for summer

May 25, 2011

The Colorado Rocky Mountains are the perfect destination during the summer months, with warm days, cool nights, lots of sunshine and plenty of adventures for the entire family. Crested Butte Mountain Resort (CBMR) is the perfect jumping off point for summer family fun, thanks to family-focused lodging packages, dining options and adventures designed to maximize the travel budget while ensuring everyone has the time of their lives.

CBMR is offering a value-minded Kids Stay & Play FREE package: children under the age of 18 stay for free and all family members on the reservation receive a free single scenic lift ride ticket to experience the mountain.  The package is available at all CBMR Properties, including The Grand Lodge, the Lodge at Mountaineer Square and the Elevation Hotel & Spa, all conveniently located at the base of the mountain.

The Grand Lodge features the resort’s largest outdoor pool and hot tub, an on-site family-friendly restaurant, and the Wildflower Spa. Looking for a bit more space?  Book the Kids Stay & Play FREE package at the Elevation Hotel & Spa or the Lodge at Mountaineer Square and CBMR will sweeten the deal with 50% off lodging upgrades on selected room types.

For the past few years, CBMR has been focused on adding new summer activities to enhance the experience for the entire family. Summer activities at the resort now include the Adventure Park, featuring a climbing wall with an auto-belay system, bungee trampolines, and the Flying Gopher Miniature Golf Course – 18-holes of a true Crested Butte experience.

A new adventure added this year is the Crested Butte Zip Line Tour.  The guided tour, which debuts in June 2011, includes five zip lines, ranging from 200-380 feet, and a series of features, such as a suspension bridge, a “Burma Bridge” and a net climb. The Crested Butte Zip Line Tour is available during the summer and winter seasons; the resort will offer the only guided zip line tour at a Colorado ski resort, and one of the only winter canopy tour operations in the state.

The resort is also home to the Evolution Bike Park, which features over 25 miles of single track cross country and downhill trails designed to allow riders of all abilities to progress and improve their bike handling skills. The park experience begins at the Crested Butte Rental & Demo Center, where riders can choose from a full fleet of Specialized® rental bikes. The Crested Butte Rental & Demo Center also has pedal-less bikes made by Specialized® that are designed to teach young riders the basics of balance while learning to ride. The resort offers a variety of lesson packages, many including bike rental. Lessons are available in both two-hour and four-hour increments.

If Mom and Dad need a little time to themselves, the resort offers kids’ day camp for children ages 3 through 14. Camp CB pairs quality childcare with fun, outdoor activities allowing kids to create their own memorable summertime experiences. For older kids – tweens and teens – the Camp CB Summer Adventure program combines outdoor mountain activities, Adventure Park access and summer sports with various educational themes. For the youngest adventurers, the Camp CB Nursery is the ideal location for children ages 2 months – 3 years old.

Families also have the opportunity to explore the Trailhead Children’s Discovery Museum, located in the base area. The museum offers educational fun with exhibits such as the Dig Pit, The Trail Lab, The Pirate Ship Theater and many more.

Family fun in the mountains also includes rafting, horseback riding, The Adaptive Sports Center’s Ropes Course or hiking in some of the wilderness areas that surround Crested Butte.   The spectacular wildflowers throughout the fields, mountains, and valleys gave the area its official title of “Wildflower Capital of Colorado”. Also plan to take a stroll through downtown Crested Butte with its Victorian storefronts, old coal-mining influences, and quirky small-town character.

When it’s time to fuel up, head to the base area or to town for kid-friendly favorites. The resort offers a great family atmosphere at 9380, the restaurant located slopeside in the Elevation Hotel & Spa. Patio seating is perfect on a warm summer day and 9380 offers a variety of options suited to all tastes. Plan to experience downtown Crested Butte in the evenings, where the restaurant options are almost endless. Families love The Secret Stash, a gourmet pizza joint where kids – and adults – can sit on the floor while they enjoy out-of-this-world options. Also check out Izzy’s for breakfast or lunch, to try a homemade bagel or potato latke.  Another great place with lots of options at very reasonable prices is the Last Steep. Try the Curry Shrimp & Coconut Salad or the Fish Tacos, alfresco.

Crested Butte is a community that loves festivals, concerts, and parties.  For family focused events, visit during the Crested Butte Music Festival’s Bluegrass in Paradise weekend, July 5-10, with twelve bands performing over the weekend and an expanded Bluegrass Kids Camp for ages 7 to 17 on July 5 – 8.  For those interested in the arts, the Crested Butte Arts Festival is taking place August 6 & 7, with 175 artists of all kinds exhibiting their work.  The festival has added Art Alley, where budding artists (ages two+) are invited to participate in hands-on art activities that mimic the mediums of the exhibiting artists. All projects are free and kids can take home their own works of art.  Also, every Monday and Wednesday through the months of July and August, free concerts are held downtown at the Crested Butte Art Center and in the resort’s base area.

Summertime is the ideal time to slow down, relax and reconnect with the family in Crested Butte.  There are endless options for adventure – for young and old, a tempting variety of events (guests will find something going on nearly every weekend), and incredible value thanks to packages like CBMR’s Kids Stay & Play FREE. For information or to book this great summer package visit www.skicb.com or call (800) 600-2803 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            (800) 600-2803      end_of_the_skype_highlighting.

Nestled in the heart of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, Crested Butte consists of a small historic town that remains true to its heritage and radiates an unparalleled welcoming and inviting spirit that celebrates a simpler life and time, and the mountain resort. Thanks to a widely diverse landscape, whether beginner or burgeoning national champion, outdoor enthusiasts of all levels will find a new challenge with each visit, from world-class mountain biking, to legendary skiing and snowboarding, to a secluded fly-fishing experience.

For more information about Crested Butte’s lodging, conference, meeting facilities, and special packages, call Crested Butte Vacations, (800) 600-2803 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            (800) 600-2803      end_of_the_skype_highlighting or visit the web site at www.skicb.com.  For information on ski area real estate opportunities call (970) 349-4999 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            (970) 349-4999      end_of_the_skype_highlighting or (877) 805-6109 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            (877) 805-6109      end_of_the_skype_highlighting or visit the website at www.cbliving.com.