Keep Those Wagons Rolling

Though the calendar says that summer is beginning to wind down, you wouldn’t know it in Sun Valley. With the Labor Day weekend only a week away, there is still so much to look forward to under the bright Idaho sun.

Labor Day weekend is almost upon us. Make your plans now so you don't miss highlights like the Big Hitch Wagon Days Parade on Saturday

Labor Day weekend is almost upon us. Make your plans now so you don’t miss highlights like the Big Hitch Wagon Days Parade on Saturday

The holiday weekend is always one of the best times of the year in Sun Valley because there is so much to do and it is so different from Labor Day anywhere else. Events begin midweek and don’t stop until the sun sets on Monday, September 1. And actually, summer fun extends well into September, too.

The festivities begin on August 25 when the Wagon Days Headquarters open at the Ore Wagon Museum located at 200 10th Street in Ketchum. Pop over between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. for information, hats, t-shirts, posters, buttons and information. On Friday the 29th, a Grand Marshal’s Reception will be held at Memory Park in Ketchum between 4th and 5th Streets from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Live music, food and drink will create a lively atmosphere as the city of Ketchum and the Wagon Days committee honor this year’s Grand Marshal, Jane Eittreim, a long-time Wagon Days volunteer.

Wagon Days brings a taste of the old west and the area's history with the eye popping big hitch

Wagon Days brings a taste of the old west and the area’s history with the big hitch

All this is a prelude to the ‘big show’ of Labor Day weekend: the annual Wagon Days Big Hitch Parade. Historic, authentic and eye popping, this is one of the largest non-motorized parades in America. It features real ore wagons pulled by dozens of mules. You do not want to miss the spectacle of the big hitch and the other wonderful wagons as they wend down Sun Valley Road and onto Main Street in Ketchum. The parade begins at 1 p.m. on Saturday, August 30.

Arts are also part of the weekend. On Friday, August 29, from 5 – 8 p.m., the Sun Valley Gallery Association will host one of its’ popular Art Gallery Walks. A guided tour will begin at the Kneeland Gallery on 1st Avenue just south of Sun Valley Road. The walking tour takes two hours and hits many gorgeous galleries. Feel free to also explore on your own, as well.

Sun Valley is seeing gold the next two weeks as Olympic champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White take center ice on August 23 and Evan Lysacek lights up the night on August 30 at Sun Valley On Ice

Sun Valley is seeing gold the next two weeks as Olympic champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White take center ice on August 23 and Evan Lysacek lights up the night on August 30 at Sun Valley On Ice

Also on Friday, the Sun Valley Center for the Arts presents a fabulous concert at River Run: The Head & The Heart. This indie folk rock band from Seattle has opened for Vampire Weekend, The Decembrists and are a stand-alone act on the ascent. A concert outdoors at River Run is the perfect way to enjoy a late summer’s night. Tickets and more information are available HERE.

On Friday and Saturday, don’t be surprised if you’re in Ketchum and come across music and poetry on the street. The Wagon Days Poets and Pickers Strolling Event will bring the power of prose and the magic of music to many local eateries and onto local sidewalks.

At Sun Valley Resort, Evan Lysacek, Olympic Gold Medal winner and Valley favorite, will light up the night at the Sun Valley On Ice show August 30. His energy, charm and magnanimity should not be missed. Tickets are available HERE.

If you like exotic cars, a stop in Sun Valley at the Silver Car Auction is a must

If you like exotic cars, a stop in Sun Valley at the Silver Collector Car Auction is a must

And on Saturday and Sunday, stop by the Sun Valley lawn for the Silver Auction Sun Valley Collector Car Auction. More than 250 cars are on display and for sale and it’s eye candy for any car lover.

More don’t-miss events include a children’s carnival at Ketchum Town Square on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., “queen of pain” mountain biker Rebecca Rusch’s Private Idaho bike bonanza on the 29th, arts, crafts and antiques fairs, live music at the Casino in Ketchum following the parade and a huge community pancake breakfast on Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to noon at Ketchum Town Square.

The Great Wagon Days Duck Race is fun for all ages and supports the community in many ways

The Great Wagon Days Duck Race is fun for all ages and supports the community in many ways

The Great Wagon Days Duck Race takes to the Big Wood River on the 31st and the weekend continues on the 1st with a huge celebration on Main Street in Bellevue.

This weekend, things are also heating up in Sun Valley. On Saturday, August 23, Olympic Gold Medal ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White will cast their spell at the Sun Valley On Ice Show. Limited tickets are still available to enjoy this dazzling duo in an incredibly beautiful and intimate venue. Buy yours today so you don’t miss out!

Don’t forget that even when the weekend is over, the fun isn’t. The one-and-only Beach Boys arrive at the Sun Valley Pavilion on September 9 for a show you won’t forget. Call (208) 622-2135 or visit sunvalley.ticketfly.com for tickets.

Seems like a pre-Labor Day nap, or a few, might be in order. There is so much going on and you won’t want to miss a minute! Make your plans now!

–RES

No matter how many times you've seen it, the Wagon Days parade delivers excitement and fun

No matter how many times you’ve seen it, the Wagon Days parade delivers excitement and fun

Family Of Women Festival. Feb 28-March 1, 2015.

The Family of Woman Film Festival was launched in 2007 by Friends of UNFPA Board Member, Peggy Elliott Goldwyn, in Sun Valley, to bring attention to the work of UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund. The first year, four films were presented highlighting the status of women in the developing world.

The festival has grown to include five films, both drama and documentary, along with guest speakers from UNFPA, who give free lectures to the public through the sponsorship of The Ketchum Community Library, as well as visits to local schools along with guest film-makers. Other local collaborators include The Community School, The Advocates for Survivors of Domestic Violence, The Wood River Religious Leadership Council, and St. Luke’s Wood River Foundation.

As well as the main Festival, other films have been presented as special events and a photographic exhibit by local women photographers of women and children in the developing world was presented, from which a series of note cards were developed to benefit UNFPA.

For a full list of scheduled events please visit http://www.familyofwomanfilmfestival.org

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Roundhouse Reunion

Step right up! It's a quick few minutes from buying a lift ticket to hopping on the Roundhouse Gondola

Step right up! It’s a quick few minutes from buying a lift ticket to hopping on the Roundhouse Gondola

This week, we had a small family reunion of sorts with my two aunts visiting to Sun Valley for some summertime fun. One is a frequent visitor, but the other had not been to the area for nearly 20 years. Wanting to offer something new and fresh to my Aunt Nancy who is here quite a bit and something quintessentially Sun Valley for my Aunt Marilyn, plus something fun for us locals – my mother and children – one activity seemed just perfect: a ride on the Roundhouse Gondola and lunch at historic Roundhouse Restaurant.

When considering lunch at Roundhouse, getting there is half the fun

When considering lunch at Roundhouse, getting there is half the fun

Perfect for every age, fitness level and first-time or repeat visitor, the ride on the gondola is breathtaking and easily navigable. Our group of seven convened at the River Run Lodge and quickly purchased lift tickets from the friendly attendant. There are special prices available for seniors and children, so be sure to remember to inquire if anyone in your party is young or just young at heart. As we settled onto the gondola and the ground began to fall away beneath the car, I knew this was a great call. The out-of-town aunts looked back and forth, taking in the full view over Ketchum and across the Pioneer Mountains. We chatted about biking and hiking trails as well as ski runs as the entire panorama looking east came into focus.

The attendants at the gondola are very friendly and here to help

The attendants at the gondola are very friendly and there to help

Roundhouse did not disappoint, either. Open for lunch during the busy summer months, the historic one-of-a-kind restaurant perched at 7000 feet above sea level serves either on the expansive deck, or with white cloth decked tables indoors. We chose to eat indoors and ordered from a simple menu of soups, salads, sandwiches and burgers. Though tastes varied, everyone found something to please the palate and our choices included the salmon salad with fingerling potatoes, tomatoes, hardboiled egg, cucumber, Roquefort and rice wine vinaigrette; the 7000’ burger with olive remoulade, a brioche bun and jarlsberg; the salmon burger with red onion and sun dried tomato vinaigrette and the Austrian chicken salad sandwich served on an herb croissant with celery, onion, apples and tarragon aioli. Kids can choose from either a Roundhouse burger or Mac and Cheese. All meals come with a choice of homemade potato salad, homemade coleslaw, green salad or some pretty great chips. Soft drinks, wine and a full bar were available.

My chicken salad croissant and homemade coleslaw were full of flavor

My chicken salad croissant and homemade coleslaw were full of flavor

The salmon burger, made with fresh king salmon, was a favorite in our group

The salmon burger, made with fresh king salmon, was a favorite in our group

Our meal was leisurely and filled with laughter and stories and really good food. The view wasn’t too bad, either! The ride down the gondola was another eye popper and when we reached River Run Plaza it was certain we had enjoyed a true Sun Valley experience. Whether you have enjoyed a stay in Sun Valley countless times or have just arrived, a ride on the gondola shouldn’t be missed. Also remember, that there is no better reward for a hike or bike ride up to Roundhouse or the top of Baldy than lunch at Roundhouse and a ride back down.

Lunch is rustic, yet elegant, at Roundhouse. Deck seating is also available

Lunch is rustic, yet elegant, at Roundhouse. Deck seating is also available

Roundhouse will be open through for the rest of the summer season from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Seating is first come, first served. Don’t miss the view and the experience. It is something to remember. After all, Roundhouse has been doing it right since 1939! –RES

Roundhouse was the perfect lunch spot for a family reunion

Roundhouse was the perfect lunch spot for a family reunion

Have (Paddle) Boat Will Travel

Paddle boarding on the Sun Valley Lake is great fun. These smiles say it all!

Paddle boarding on the Sun Valley Lake is great fun. These smiles say it all!

Let’s face it. Kids have endless energy and sometimes even the most inventive parents crave an activity where the children are happy and entertained that allows them to sit in the grass under a tree and enjoy some shade. One such perfect activity on a hot summer’s day is paddle boating at the cool and welcoming Sun Valley Lake adjacent to the Sun Valley Pavilion lawn.

The manageably-sized, picturesque body of water is accessed by a fleet of family-friendly paddle boats, rented by a friendly and helpful staff.

Last week, local children Chloe and Peter drove by the Lake with their mother Katherine. “Suddenly they asked, what’s that? We’ve never tried that before!” she laughed. “So we turned around and in a short time, they were on the lake laughing and splashing. It was so easy and really relaxing. No backpacks, no packed lunches, no equipment.”

“It was awesome,” enthused Peter, 6.

“We had a lot of fun,” said big sister Chloe, 9. “We are definitely going to come back.”

Life jackets and sunscreen are the only equipment needed to enjoy this activity

Life jackets and sunscreen are the only equipment needed to enjoy this activity. It’s summer the way it’s meant to be

In fact, they returned the next morning for more fun and spent a few hours exploring the shore, insects and fauna.

Assisted by a helpful attendant Jerry, they quickly got their life jackets and boat and away they went. Explorations included finding a Garden Tiger Moth, rescued and given a ride to shore, getting close to ducks and ducklings and sighting a snake on the grass.

Paddle boating is leisurely, allowing time to explore your surroundings

Paddle boating is leisurely, allowing time to explore your surroundings

This backyard adventure is not only fun, it is extremely affordable. It’s the perfect way to enjoy a mellow few hours in Sun Valley.

Go out and take a paddle today. Remember, summer days are meant to be hazy, lazy and occasionally simple and relaxing!

–RES

The scenery from the Sun Valley Lake makes even just sitting on the sidelines worthwhile

The scenery from the Sun Valley Lake makes even just sitting on the sidelines worthwhile

Moveable Art

Anticipation was high Tuesday at the unveiling of a unique art piece -- a real gondola wrapped in original art

Anticipation was high Tuesday at the unveiling of a unique art piece — a real gondola wrapped in original art

For the next three months or so, a one-of-a-kind piece of art is on display at the Ketchum Town Center. It’s big, it’s beautiful and it was unveiled on Tuesday.

The unique artwork is actually a real gondola car from River Run, albeit a highly jazzed up version of the basic model. The car is wrapped in original art from local artist Ralph Harris and shows a picturesque scene of the Boulder Mountains. It will be the first art-covered gondola to go over Forest Service land in the country.

Kurt Nelson of the BLM, Jack Sibbach of Sun Valley Resort, Ketchum mayor Nina Jonas and artist Ralph Harris all celebrated the  arrival of the gondola at Ketchum Town Square

Kurt Nelson of the BLM, Jack Sibbach of Sun Valley Resort, Ketchum mayor Nina Jonas and artist Ralph Harris all celebrated the arrival of the gondola at Ketchum Town Square

“I created the art digitally and it was transferred onto a nylon wrap that covers the entire gondola car,” Harris explained. “It’s the same type of material that you see in town adoring KART buses. You can see through it from the inside.”

The goal was to create something to blend in with our gorgeous, natural mountain environment, not to stand out. This is even more important as in October, the car will rejoin the gondola fleet and will become a spectacular way to ride from River Run to Roundhouse.

Since Sun Valley Ski Resort is run on public land controlled by the Bureau of Land Management, this outdoor art was a collaboration between Sun Valley Company, the BLM, the City of Ketchum Arts Commission and the U.S. Forest Service.

The artist, lifetime local Ralph Harris, is pictured in front of his creation with Mayor Nina Jonas. Care was taken so that the art would fit in with the area's beautiful natural environment

The artist, lifetime local Ralph Harris, is pictured in front of his creation with Mayor Nina Jonas. Care was taken so that the art would fit in with the area’s beautiful natural environment

At a ceremony unveiling the gondola, Kurt Nelson, district ranger of the Sawtooth National Forest joked, “I just told them no pink, no orange, no colors of the rainbow. We really wanted this to blend in with the environment.”

Harris, who can claim 44 years as a ski instructor with the Sun Valley SnowSports School and ancestors in the region dating back to 1881, was an obvious choice to create the special art. In fact, his Uncle Zeb worked on the first ski lift at the Resort.

The project was generously sponsored by David and Trish Wilson of Wilson Construction, longtime benefactors of the arts and supporters of the community.

And community is really what this project is all about. Jack Sibbach, Marketing Director for the Sun Valley Resort emphasized, “The company is very excited to be a part of this project. What we have accomplished shows what the community can do when we set our minds to it and come together for a common cause.”

A crowd gathered to inspect and enjoy the outdoor art installation

A crowd gathered to inspect and enjoy the outdoor art installation

The wrap looks like a painting, filled with beautiful detail depicting the Boulder Mountain range with the peaks covered in snow, as well as local flora and fauna.

“Sun Valley has always been a leader in innovative programming in the arts,” said Marybeth Flower who spoke on behalf of the Ketchum Arts Commission. “This forward-thinking vision has helped create this unique display of artwork by one of our leading local artists.”

Be sure to stop by the Ketchum Town Square to see the gondola for yourself, then be ready to see it whisking skiers and snowboarders up the mountain when the 2014-15 season commences in November. It is a head turner, indeed!

–RES

Sun Valley's own Julian Tyo brought inspiration for this project home from his recent European honeymoon with wife Katie

Sun Valley’s own Julian Tyo brought inspiration for this project home from his recent European honeymoon with wife Katie

Remembering America’s Most Famous Antelope

Annie and her brother Andy were Sun Valley resort's first pets.

Annie and her brother Andy were Sun Valley Resort’s first pets.

 

As the Sun Valley Lodge enters the second phase of its remodel and prepares to close after Labor Day, little slices of Sun Valley’s history are being packaged up and put into storage. One such gem is a photo of an antelope.

Those who have walked down the administrative corridor in the Sun Valley Lodge basement may have spotted the photo of an antelope peering its head into the Sun Valley Inn camera shop where Tillie Arnold is working. The plaque beneath reads “Annie the Antelope.” It’s a fun, whimsical photo, and one I’d always wondered about. So, when Annie was carried off, I took the opportunity to discover her story.

Annie the Antelope was the very first Sun Valley pet. Orphaned in 1939 near Challis, she and her siblings were ferried over Trail Creek to Sun Valley Resort. Publicity pictures of movie stars bottle feeding baby antelope soon littered the country’s newspapers, and the status of Annie and her family as Sun Valley mascots was set in stone.

As they grew, the antelope were allowed to roam the grounds of the resort unfettered by fences. Annie quickly emerged as the leader, and was known for trailing her crew in and out of Ketchum saloons, usually after a long day of shopping in the stores of the Sun Valley Village.

Annie’s brother, Andy, also helped Leif Odmark and his 1952 Olympic ski team train, by acting as a pacemaker for the skiers.

“They were so cute. They´d wander the grounds and everyone would pet and love them,” longtime Sun Valley resident Clayton Stewart once said. “Annie even had her picture taken nose to nose with a Pyrenees guard dog.”

Annie’s favorite sport was to entice dogs to chase her and then delight in outracing them when she kicked into her natural super speed. She once entertained the entire Lodge terrace by running across the lawn trailing a pint-sized Scottie, hardly higher than her hoof, in hot pursuit.

Sadly, in February 1941, Annie and her son, Runt, were killed after they ran into a car on the Sun Valley-Ketchum highway. Annie was three years old at the time of her death, and probably America’s most famous antelope.

Jennifer Tuohy

Wish You Were Here!


Let the Kids Adventure Games Begin!

Zip lining will be one of the challenges at the Kids Adventure Games coming to Sun Valley on August 30 and 31

Zip lining will be one of the challenges at the Kids Adventure Games coming to Sun Valley on August 30 and 31

What happens when you combine nearly every adventure activity kids love into one fun-filled, jam-packed day? You get the Kids Adventure Games … coming to Sun Valley on August 30 and 31. Described as an event for teams of two ages 6 to 14, children navigate their way through varied terrain and challenges to find predetermined checkpoints to complete their journey. The checkpoints are reached via activities that can range from mountain biking to zip-lining, rafting or climbing. Think a reality show like “The Amazing Race” tuned down for kiddos.

Teams of two have to work together to get through the adventure course

Teams of two have to work together to get through the adventure course

Organizers say “the Kids Adventure Games are an to opportunity for children to experience the thrill of adventure racing, learn teamwork skills, have fun and build confidence in a one-of-a-kind outdoor experience created just for them. They will need to work together to complete a variety of sports and problem-solving challenges.” Sounds pretty fun, doesn’t it?

Splash through the checkpoints in a race to the finish

Splash through the checkpoints in a race to the finish

“The idea behind the race is to create an event that has all the fun things we dreamed about as kids. With zip-lines, slip and slides, rope bridges, tubing, mud crawls and anything else we can dream up, the kids will have a true adventure and an incredible time,” explained Billy Mattison, Race Director. “We want the kids to cross the finish line pumped up with smiles on their faces and a feeling of accomplishment. The event features mountain biking, hiking, zip lines, a Tarzan rope swing, giant Slope-n-Slide, river tubing, cargo nets, mud pits and more. All activities will take place on the River Run side of Bald Mountain.

The kids are in it to win it and also to have a great time

The kids are in it to win it and also to have a great time

Participants will check in on Saturday, August 30. That day also offers an optional skills clinic for racers to practice their biking, climbing, teamwork and adventure racing skills. Sunday, August 31, is go-day. Races begin at 9 a.m. and conclude with a party and awards ceremony at 2 p.m. Registration is required and can be accomplished by clicking HERE. Kids will fuel up with delicious food provided by Horizon Organic and a special Mom and Dad’s VIP Tent will be set up with cheer cards, complimentary snacks and coffee and special viewing tips.

Completing the course gives a feeling of accomplishment to each team

Completing the course gives a feeling of accomplishment to each team

The Games promise to challenge participants physically and mentally while offering a memorable, super fun adventure. Sign your superhero up now! –RES

Sign up now so your adventurer doesn't miss a minute

Sign up now so your adventurer doesn’t miss a minute

A Peek at Peak Season

Yogis finish Saturday morning's class in the Savasana pose beneath glorious Sun Valley skies

Yogis finish Saturday morning’s class in the Savasana pose beneath glorious Sun Valley skies

Yoga on the Mountain

From saluting the sun with teacher Cathie Caccia to moving through a gentle yoga class with Katherine Pleasants, dozens took to their mats beneath a wide Idaho sky on Saturday as part of the free Yoga on the Mountain series. Located at the River Run Plaza, either one of these fabulous classes is the perfect, centering start to a busy Sun Valley weekend. Cathie offers Sun Salutations at 8:45 a.m. and Katherine leads Gentle Yoga at 10 a.m. The series continues the 9, 16, and 23 of August.

Picnics were plentiful at the final Sun Valley Symphony In Focus concert Friday night

Picnics were plentiful at the final Sun Valley Symphony In Focus concert Friday night

In Focus with the Sun Valley Summer Symphony

The In Focus programs of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony, themed “Made in America” this year, concluded Friday night with a wonderful program called “The Pioneers.” Hundreds congregated on the Pavilion lawn and beneath the sail to enjoy a night of transcendent music by Ives, Barber, Copland and Carter. Under bright skies, patrons enjoyed picnics and another beautiful summer night.

During a rehearsal Saturday night, those in the Sun Valley Village were treated to a sneak peek of Renee Flemings performance for the Sun Valley Symphony Gala

During a rehearsal Saturday evening, those in the Sun Valley Village were treated to a sneak peek of Renee Fleming’s performance on the Pavilion Jumbotron. The beloved soprano was the featured artist for the Symphony’s 30th Anniversary Gala Sunday night.

Renée Fleming live and in person

On Sunday, the Sun Valley Summer Symphony presented their 30th Anniversary Gala featuring Renée Fleming at the Sun Valley Pavilion.  Soprano Fleming is one of the most beloved artists of our time. While Pavilion seating for highly-anticipated event sold out weeks ago, on Saturday night in the Sun Valley Village, a sneak preview of the star’s performance was visible – an audible – on the Pavilion Lawn’s Jumbotron during a rehearsal.

Dinner at the Konditorei in the Sun Valley Village puts you at the center of all the action

Dinner at the Konditorei in the Sun Valley Village puts you at the center of all the action

Konditorei dinner

Everyone loves the charming Austrian-inspired restaurant the Konditorei in the Sun Valley Village for breakfast and lunch, but right now it’s also open for dinner. Featuring a menu including a large variety of salads and rustic entrees, dinner on the patio puts you at the center of the action. Sip a glass of Prosecco or enjoy a signature cocktail, linger over a meal and don’t forget the amazing assortment of handcrafted European style pastries.

There was high anticipation as the doors opened for Sun Valley On Ice Saturday night

There was high anticipation as the doors opened for Sun Valley On Ice Saturday night

Stars beneath the stars

A large crowd showed up Saturday night to enjoy the majesty of pairs skaters Caydee Denney and John Coughlin. The 2014 US Bronze Medalists, 2012 US Gold Medalists and 2012 Four Continents Silver Medalists wowed the audience with their grace and daring. Sun Valley On Ice shows continue through August 30 and high-wattage stars scheduled to appear this month are Olympic gold medalist Evan Lysacek, Valley favorite Johnny Weir and Olympic gold medalists Meryl Davis and Charlie White. Tickets are on sale now for the bountiful buffet as well as bleacher seating.

Don’t miss a minute! Peak season is at it’s peak and there is so much to do.

–RES