Summer in sight in Snowmass Village with new events, two not returning |

Summer in sight in Snowmass Village with new events, two not returning

Erica Robbie
Snowmass Sun

While summer may seem worlds away with winter’s late arrival this season, in just more than three months the smell of leather, livestock and barbecue will permeate Snowmass’ rodeo grounds.

Like it or not, summer is on the horizon and Snowmass’ marketing team is finalizing its summer events calendar to release later this week.

Snowmass’ summer lineup debuts four new events: AdventureOUT, Yeti Tribe, the Colorado Brewery Running Series and the Snowmass Cider Festival.

Two events, Tough Mudder and Automobili Exotica, will revisit the village after sitting out one to three summers, respectively; while two festivals, Bluebird Art + Sound and the Colorado Scottish Festival, will not return to Snowmass this summer.

See below for information on the new events, as well as the ones not returning, and check next week’s Snowmass Sun for the complete 2018 summer rundown.


July 4 to 8

The nonprofit that produces Aspen Gay Ski Week, AspenOUT, is launching a new LGBTQ event in Snowmass Village for the summer.

With an emphasis on outdoor experiences and community building, AdventureOUT Snowmass will differ from the 41-year-old gay ski week, said Kevin McManamon, AspenOUT executive director.

“We’re not (planning it) as party-heavy as Aspen Gay Ski Week,” McManamon said, adding that AdventureOUT will focus more on daytime activities.

And in true Snowmass style, the event also will cater to families of the LGBTQ community.

“We’re marketing it to the general LGBT population, but with a little more focus on family. The LGBT family market is burgeoning (and) kind of exploding with everyone having kids, so we want to provide those folks with a family-friendly atmosphere,” McManamon said.

He said the summer timing of the event also is more convenient for families to attend than Aspen Gay Ski Week, which occurs during the school year.

Snowmass “has always been a popular stop during Gay Ski Week,” Snowmass Tourism director Rose Abello said via email, “and we have been working with AspenOUT to develop a summer option” for about two years.

The AdventureOUT agenda so far includes activities such as hiking, biking, rafting, rock climbing, jeeping, a farm-to-table dinner and an outdoor concert.

For more information on the inaugural LGBTQ event in Snowmass, visit


July 27 to 29

The Yeti Tribe is a “diverse group of freaks that share (a) devotion” to owning and riding Yeti Cycles, according to the company’s site.

From Patagonia to Nepal, Yeti Cycles hosts gatherings in mountain regions throughout the world and Colorado, with “tribe” locations in Crested Butte, Montrose, Durango, Steamboat, Telluride and Minturn.

Yeti Cycles marketing manager Janette Sherman said she would reveal more about the Snowmass gathering when its U.S. Forest Service permits are finalized, which she hopes will be in mid-March.

According to Snowmass Tourism, the gathering will include a weekend of camping and single-track trail riding.


Aug. 12

In 2012, two folks in Minnesota launched an event consisting of a 5k run that would start and end at a brewery, where a party would then follow.

After four successful years, in 2016 the duo decided to expand its series to Colorado, with a home base in the Denver metro area, said Brady Archer, Colorado Brewery Running series director of events.

By 2017, the Brewery Running Series boasted 17 races in Colorado and added several other states to the list as well.

In August, the Colorado series will launch its first mountain trail run in Snowmass Village, beginning and ending at the New Belgium Ranger Station.

After a few years of growth and establishing a following, Archer said, “We’ve now gotten to the point where the buzz is big enough to get us into the mountains, and hopefully bring the fun with it.”

The Brewery Running Series, which will host 120 to 130 events throughout eight states this summer, donates 10 percent of its total revenue to select nonprofits each year.

For more information on the Colorado series’ Snowmass run, visit http://www.brewery


Sept. 8

The name and idea behind this one leaves little explanation, said Reed Lewis, the brainchild behind the festival.

Hot air balloons in the morning as part of Snowmass’ 43rd annual balloon festival, followed later by the’ second annual “Septemberfest” celebration of fall in the evening, left a lull in the afternoon that Lewis hopes to fill with crisp, bubbly cider samples.

“I thought this will help, mid-day, to kind of piece it all together so it flows from one event to the next,” said Lewis, owner of Daly Bottle Shop along the Snowmass Mall.

The festival will feature hard cider tastings from 25 to 30 vendors from all over the country, with an emphasis on local companies as well, Lewis said.

Pointing to Snowmass’ wine and beer festivals as examples, the longtime village resident added, “I just felt like one of the things that works up here are events where people can sample. And cider is already exploding, I just felt it was a really good fit, especially in the fall.”


After three summers in Snowmass Village, the Colorado Scottish Festival will return to its roots to the Front Range, where the event started in the early 1960s.

Heather Miller of the St. Andrew Society of Colorado, which organizes the event each year, said, “We all really enjoyed our time in Snowmass and very much appreciated working with the town, the location was just beautiful, but what it came down to was even though we had reduced our expenses considerably in the move and downsized what we were doing, it was just not sustainable for us on our size of the organization.”

“We were losing society membership, especially due to the distance and cost for families who formerly attended what was a day trip, and then we had a loss in the groups that would volunteer, the clans (and) the competitors,” Miller added.

In its first decades, the Scottish Festival took place at Highlands Ranch in Douglas County, drawing between 10,000 and 12,000 attendees annually.

Naturally, the festival significantly scaled back in size and the number of attendees upon relocating to Snowmass.


The three-day art and music event that debuted in Snowmass last summer also will not return this year.

“The Bluebird event model relies on revenues generated by the sale of concert tickets to fund the free art exhibition. With a longstanding tradition of free summer concerts in Snowmass, we have seen that it is difficult to sell tickets for a concert on Fanny Hill, even with a high-caliber band like Drive-By Truckers,” Snowmass Tourism marketing director Virginia McNellis wrote via email. “Despite knowing that it might be a tough sell, the Bluebird event producers were willing to give it a shot last summer, but don’t see a way to support the event moving forward.”


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