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

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

Strike Up the Symphony

No question, Sun Valley Summer Symphony season is one of the most highly anticipated times of the year and it has arrived! Though the official opening night of the Symphony’s 30th anniversary season is August 4, wonderful music has come already to the Sun Valley Pavilion.

Welcome to the 30th anniversary of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony

Welcome to the 30th anniversary of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony

As part of the In Focus series, the magnetic and slightly irreverent and raucous trio Time for Three took to the stage Tuesday night. Despite a brief afternoon rain, the Pavilion was packed and anticipation was high. Time for Three returned to Sun Valley this week after a memorable performance last summer and both audience and musicians were thrilled they were back.

“We’ve been looking forward to this since we walked off the stage last summer,” laughed violinist Nicholas Kendall, and with a sweeping hand motion continued, “We appreciate this community that so appreciates all this.”

Time for Three rocked the house Tuesday night with guest artist Joshua Radin

Time for Three rocked the house Tuesday night with guest artist Joshua Radin

The relationship between the Sun Valley Summer Symphony and Time for Three solidified last summer when one member of the trio hiked Bald Mountain with beloved Symphony conductor Alasdair Neale. This budding relationship spawned Project Tf3 that will ensure the amazing threesome return to Sun Valley again and again.

On Tuesday night, the two violin players, Nick Kendall and Zach De Pue and double bass player Ranaan Meyer let their music that defies easy categorization speak for itself. As Kendall explained, “Tf3 is not classical: it’s not not classical. It’s an experience steeped in the tradition of classical music.”

The experience under the Pavilion sail was one of inclusion and one that grabbed the audience by the shirt collar and brought them along for the ride. With members of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony, Time for Three performed a rollicking 90 minute concert that covered everything from Bach to Brahms and made some detours into very modern music.

A picnic on the lawn beside the Sun Valley Pavilion is a wonderful, casual, family-friend way to enjoy world-class music

A picnic on the lawn beside the Sun Valley Pavilion is a wonderful, casual, family-friend way to enjoy world-class music

Special guest singer and songwriter Joshua Radin took to the stage for three songs with Time for Three. The addition of two guitars and his soulful voice offered a complete departure from what many people would expect of a classical performance.

Two more concerts complete the In Focus series whose theme this year is “Made in America.” On Thursday, July 31, the program goes minimalist with a night entitled “Minimally Speaking” and features works from Reich, Glass, Tompkins and Adams. On Friday, August 1, the series concludes with “The Pioneers” and the audience will be treated to works from Ives, Barber, Carter and Copland. Both concerts begin at 6 p.m.

Starting August 4 at 6:30 p.m., the amazing full Sun Valley Summer Symphony will sit poised ready to delight with a full range of work during the season that concludes August 19. Please click HERE for a full schedule.

It's Symphony Season in Sun Valley and that is great news

It’s Symphony Season in Sun Valley and that is great news

Whether you are a fan of classical music or think you are or aren’t, don’t miss the Sun Valley Summer Symphony. Programs are designed to excite a wide range of tastes and the experience itself is truly one-of-a-kind. Be sure to come early and sit beneath the sail one night for the best sound and gather a picnic and friends another night for an evening on the lawn that offers a totally different concert-going experience. It’s all good! Actually, it’s all pretty great!

Come celebrate 30 years of amazing music in an amazing place with the Sun Valley Summer Symphony. It’s free and it’s fabulous.

–RES

Summer Ice Skating Heats Up

If you have noticed more activity than usual in and around Sun Valley’s two skating rinks this week, it’s for good reason. Starting Thursday, more than 200 aspiring figure skaters at all levels and from all over the country, will compete in the annual Sun Valley Summer Championships.

This four-day competition heats up the ice with participants donning elaborate costumes and performing their best programs in front of large audiences and a panel of judges.

More than 200 aspiring figure skaters are coming to town to compete in the Sun Valley Summer Championships

More than 200 aspiring figure skaters are coming to town to compete in the Sun Valley Summer Championships

From the youngest novices to those competing at very high levels, everyone is here to do his or her best. Clubs this year represent Colorado, Washington, Arizona, Utah, Oregon, California, Nevada, Florida and Minnesota. In all, more than 35 clubs are sending skaters to Sun Valley’s storied ice.

Judges return year after year to the Sun Valley Summer Championships, as well. Nineteen judges, technical officials and accountants return this year from locales including California, Washington, Oregon, Ohio, Wyoming, New Mexico, New York, Colorado and Utah. Many say it is among their favorite competitions of the year and something they always look forward to.

Many skaters and officials bring their families with them to Sun Valley to enjoy a vacation before or after the big event. Skaters can be seen in and around the Village and town riding bikes, horseback riding, swimming, shopping, hiking, snacking on an ice cream cone and enjoying everything that makes this area so special. Talk in the locker room is of whitewater rafting or camping trips scheduled once competition has concluded.

Yes, they are skating to win, but the competition is also about friendship, having fun and enjoying Sun Valley

Yes, they are skating to win, but the competition is also about friendship, having fun and enjoying Sun Valley

This summer is extra special as the Sun Valley Figure Skating Club celebrates its 75th anniversary making it one of the longest running clubs in the nation. For decades, skaters have journeyed to Sun Valley to train in the clean mountain air and at altitude. In the past, there were even dormitories located on Resort property to house all the athletes. The tradition continues with groups of skaters training in Sun Valley throughout the summer with their own coaches and with the pros at the Sun Valley Summer Skating School. Coaches offer daily clinics and group and private lessons in all the fundamentals of skating – from edge control, to spirals, jumps, spins and showmanship.

Showcase numbers performed outside on Sunday, are often a highlight of the competition

Showcase numbers performed outside on Sunday, are often a highlight of the competition

The public is invited to enjoy any of the events. Thursday through Saturday, competitors will skate in the indoor rink (a great place to cool off on a hot summer’s day). Sunday, the action moves to the outdoor rink for the popular showcase events. Here, skaters are allowed to use props and perform very entertaining programs that are always crowd pleasers. Tickets are not needed for any of the events. On Sunday, our favorite thing to do is to enjoy lunch on the deck at Gretchen’s Restaurant in the Lodge and then find shade in the bleachers to watch an afternoon of action.

Sun Valley On Ice is an intimate venue to see skating's stars shine beneath the stars every Saturday night

Sun Valley On Ice is an intimate venue to see skating's stars shine beneath the stars every Saturday night

The weekend isn’t just for amateurs, though. Sun Valley On Ice reclaims the rink on Saturday night offering some inspiration and entertainment to all the skaters who are in town and anyone else who loves a good show. The July 26 roster features two-time United Stated Gold Medalist and 2011 Skate America champion Alissa Czisny, 2013 and 2012 World Junior Silver Medalist Josh Farris and Sun Valley’s talented soloists, ice dancers, pairs and core skaters. Tickets are available at sunvalley.com.

And the action doesn’t conclude with the final performance on Sunday afternoon. On July 28 and 29, a ProSkaters’ Live Audition and Performance Camp invites skaters back for more. This is a great opportunity for athletes who are at least 16 years old to get a taste of the professional world of skating. Free auditions will be held on July 28 from 6 to 8 p.m. on the outdoor rink. On July 29, workshops will be held beginning at 4 p.m. with off-ice movement. Following a dinner break, current show skaters will share their experiences about life under the spotlight after which the workshop will continue in the indoor rink. The seminar and workshop are $25 for ProSkaters members and $95 for nonmembers. Please click on www.proskaters.org for more information.

Whether you are a competitor, a recreational skater or would like a few lessons, there is no cooler place in the summer than Sun Valley ice

Whether you are a competitor, a recreational skater or would like a few lessons, there is no cooler place in the summer than Sun Valley ice

Whether you can do a swizzle on the ice, or prefer to order a Rum Swizzle from the Duchin Room and enjoy other’s efforts, be sure to stop at the Sun Valley skating rinks this weekend. It promises to be an action-packed few days.

–RES

Jump, Bounce and Soar

It’s obvious that the new Spider Jump in Sun Valley is big fun even before you see it. Shrieks of joy and “woo hoo” can be heard from quite a distance. When you do see the apparatus, located on the field next to the Recreation Center at the Sun Valley Village, the enthusiastic yelling makes sense.

On your marks, get set, jump!

On your marks, get set, jump!

The bungee spider jump consists of four large individual trampolines on which participants launch into the air wearing a harness that is attached to strong, springy bungee cords. A few big jumps in the middle of the trampolines and up you go, high above the Village. The next four minutes are yours to spend however you set fit. Back flips and front flips are a popular option as is just bouncing in the ether.

Front flip, back flips, big air -- it's all part of the Spider Jump experience

Front flip, back flips, big air -- it's all part of the Spider Jump experience

Last week I took three children, one nine-year-old and two thirteen-year-olds, over the Spider Jump to try it out. Immediately, they were greeted by the two boys who just finished their turn. “It’s awesome!” they advertised.

We were in line behind a family visiting from Washington, D.C. Their two boys, ages 12 and 14 were channeling their best freestyle tricks on the bungees, smiling from ear-to-ear.

Sign a release, step on the scale and off you go

Sign a release, step on the scale and off you go

After signing a release for each, the very helpful attendant Elilel weighed each child (important information in determining how many bungees to hook up to each jumper) and got them set up. The nine-year-old went first, happily stepping into the harness and connecting to the bounce lines.  With a thumb’s up, Elilel told him to start jumping and up he went, laughing all the way.

The girls were next and once they overcame a bit of self-consciousness that comes with the age, they were up in the air flipping and flying and laughing.

Show your stuff on the Spider

Show your stuff on the Spider

Nine dollars buys four minutes on the Spider Jump which may not sound like much, but this is a very active activity. Even my two competitive figure skaters and athletic fourth grader needed to rest during their turn (which means hanging in the air taking a few breaths). Jumpers use their arms, core and legs to keep the momentum going and to perform tricks. After four minutes, all three jumpers were breathing pretty hard.

The Spider Jump is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. If you weigh more than 30 pounds and less than 200 pounds, you’re in! Elilel said adults seem to like jumping nearly as much as the children. It is, however, not recommended for those with back or neck problems, heart problems, high blood pressure or other conditions that might limit robust activity. Another tip – loose t-shirts may fly up and longer pants and shorts look more comfortable than shorter ones because of the harness. Dress appropriately!

The Spider Jump is big fun in the shadow of the Lodge

The Spider Jump is big fun in the shadow of the Lodge

In between all the other wonderful ways to spend a Sun Valley Summer, from swimming and tennis, to golf and kids’ camps, hiking, biking and skating, make sure you try the Spider Jump. It is something new, it is really fun and it’s a kid magnet.

As Van Halen so eloquently sang, “might as well jump!” This is definitely true at the new four-armed, super springy, bungee-driven Spider in Sun Valley.

–RES

 

Wine and Words

Summer is always exciting and fun-filled in Sun Valley, but this coming weekend really proves to be a showstopper. Not one, but two, of the favorite, most-anticipated events of the summer, the Sun Valley Center for the Arts Wine Auction and the Sun Valley Writers’ Conference, are both coming to town and it’s not too late to be a part of the action.

The Sun Valley Center for the Arts' Wine Auction is a three-day oenophile's dream

The Sun Valley Center for the Arts Wine Auction is a three-day oenophile's dream

The Sun Valley Center for the Arts Wine Auction is celebrating its 33rd year and is widely considered one of the preeminent charity wine auctions in the nation. Everything vine-related is feted and toasted during this amazing three-day event that celebrates Northwest, California, and International wines at a variety of venues. The party spans July 17 to 19.

From exclusive Vintner Dinners to the high-energy Wine Auction Gala and the very popular and more casual Vine and Dine, if you like wine and supporting a wonderful cause, don’t miss a minute. Some tickets were still available at press time for the Wine Auction Gala, certain Vintner Dinners (as part of a larger package) and the Vine and Dine. For full information and buy tickets, please click HERE.

The Wine Auction Gala takes place beneath the big tent at Dollar Mountain and is high-energy, elegant and just plain fun

The Wine Auction Gala takes place beneath the big tent at Dollar Mountain and is high-energy, elegant and just plain fun (photo visitsunvalley.com)

At the Gala alone, 40 live auction lots and 70 silent auction lots including once-in-a-lifetime experiences and wines will delight and entice. The Vine and Dine offers tapas from select local restaurants, grand tasting and music in a lovely outdoor setting at Dollar Mountain at which the whole community gathers.

Proceeds from all Wine Auction events support The Sun Valley Center for the Arts. The Center provides educational opportunities in the arts, with fine art and music programming, lectures series and arts education in the Blaine County School District.

This year's reimagined Vine and Dine event connects the entire community through a theme of great wine and great food

This year's re-imagined Vine and Dine event connects the entire community through a theme of great wine and great food

Step right up, the wine is fine!

Step right up, the wine is fine!

The Wine Auction should be on everyone’s calendar this week.

For the mind, it doesn’t get any better than the Sun Valley Writers’ Conference, scheduled in and around the Sun Valley Pavilion from July 19 – 22.

Come be inspired at the Sun Valley Writers' Conference

Come be inspired at the Sun Valley Writers' Conference

An amazing roster of speakers will offer thought-provoking, engaging and current presentations, sure to get you pondering and talking. While full conference passes have sold out, some single event tickets were still available at press time. These $20 tickets are available for purchase online through July 18 as available. Click HERE to purchase now. A single ticket includes admission to one talk and the book signing that follows it. For Pavilion talks, seating will be in the upper tier and entry will be on the East side. Online sales end at 8 p.m. on the 18th and any remaining tickets will be available for purchase onsite beginning Saturday, July 19, at 10 a.m. at the Big Tent located near the Pavilion.

Grab your seat at the Pavilion to enjoy the musings of speakers like author Scott Turow

Grab your seat at the Pavilion to enjoy the musings of speakers like author Scott Turow (photo Sun Valley Writers' Conference)

Speakers this year include luminaries like Scott Turow, Curtis Sittenfeld, Anthony Marra, Dave Barry, Justice Stephen Breyer and Strobe Talbott. For a full listing of events, please click HERE.

Sitting in the Pavilion listening to some of the best minds in the nation provides a truly one-of-a-kind experience that shouldn’t be missed. It is yet another example of the absolutely first-class, cutting-edge events that make magical Sun Valley their headquarters.

Picture yourself here exploring the issues of the day with some of the most notable speakers around (photo Sun Valley Writers' Conference)

Picture yourself here exploring the issues of the day with some of the most notable speakers around (photo Sun Valley Writers' Conference)

Be sure to join all the extraordinary writers and thinkers in this amazing, inspiring setting. 2014 marks the Sun Valley Writer’s Conference 20th anniversary and it is always one of the most highly-anticipated events of the summer season.

Wine and words. It just doesn’t get any better. Cheers!

–RES

Reggae and Rock (and bluegrass and country)

Though many associate Sun Valley with classical music (thank you Sun Valley Summer Symphony), the best in rock ‘n’ roll and country music (thank you Sun ValleyResort, the Sun Valley Center for the Artsand others), Sun Valley also has some strong reggae roots.

It's nearly time to enjoy some reggae (and jazz and bluegrass and alternative country) in the mountains

It's nearly time to enjoy some reggae (and jazz and bluegrass and alternative country) in the mountains

These roots, and what has sprung from them, will be on display on July 10 starting at 4 p.m. when Reggae in the Mountainsreturns for the seventh year, bringing some fabulous music and a laid-back summer vibe. Reggae in the Mountains has presented two shows each year since its inception, one in the winter and one in the summer, attracting thousands of loyal fans.

Don Carlos is reggae royalty and he will play Sun Valley on July 10

Don Carlos is reggae royalty and he will play Sun Valley on July 10

This week’s concert features international superstar Don Carlos and the Dub Vision Band. Don Carlos is reggae royalty and the opportunity to see him in such an intimate venue is one that shouldn’t be missed. In addition to the legendary front man, the horn section of the Dub Vision Band will blow you away. While according to concert organizer, head of Mountain Niceness and overall really nice guy Danny Walton, “Don Carlos doesn’t need an opening act, but we wanted to bring in great local talent to create a whole afternoon and night of music,” he said. Lighting up the night with be Matt Cifrese, a popular alternative country artist (think Johnny Cash to the Clash), the amazing jazz-inspired Paul Tillotson Trio and the Sheep Bridge Jumpers, a local eight-piece bluegrass band.

Past concerts, like this one in the winter, have drawn large, enthusiastic crowds (photo visitsunvalley.com)

Past concerts, like this one in the winter, have drawn large, enthusiastic crowds (photo visitsunvalley.com)

The event is casual and family friendly. Food and drink will be available for purchase from local vendors. “We expect a huge turnout,” Walton said. “The first concert we did with Don Carols was during the winter. It was negative 10 degrees but 2,000 people came out to hear him play. Don Carlos is the warmest, most positive guy and the cold didn’t seem to bother him at all.” Note: This week’s weather promises to be a bit more welcoming! Walton attributes the continued success of Reggae in the Mountains to the top quality entertainment it provides as well as wallet-friendly ticket prices. “It’s incredible bang for your buck,” Walton said, “and since it’s on a Thursday night this year, you have the whole weekend to get out there and enjoy everything this amazing area has to offer. Reggae in the Mountains runs from 4 – 10 p.m. right in the heart of Ketchum in the Town Square (next to the Visitors’ Centerat Sun Valley Road and East Avenue). You can’t miss it.

The Paul Tillotson trio is a crowd pleaser and made up of consummate jazz musicians

The Paul Tillotson Trio is a crowd-pleaser and made up of consummate jazz musicians

Pre-sale tickets are available for $20 until July 10 and $25 at the gate day of show. Kids under 12 are free. Special packages are available that include a VIP sponsor tent, parking, a no host bar, food, servers, swag and shade, according to organizers. These “Very Irie People” tickets are $100 each. Tickets are available at Atkinsons’ markets in Ketchum and Hailey, Lululemon, Zenergy at Thunder Springs and Johnny G’s Subshack in Ketchum. If available, you may also buy them the night of the concert. “Skip the long lines and buy early, though,” suggested Walton. More great music is right around the corner, too, when on July 13, the one-and-only Los Lobos plays the Sun Valley Pavilion and on July 27, Josh Ritter & The Royal City Bandrock River Run. There is truly something for everyone.

The one-and-only Los Lobos will rock the Sun Valley Pavilion on July 13

The one-and-only Los Lobos will rock the Sun Valley Pavilion on July 13

It has been a busy summer already and tickets to all events are selling quickly. Don’t count on availability the night of the show and don’t be disappointed. There truly is nothing like world-class acts beneath Sun Valley’s stars. The hills are alive with the sound of music and you won’t want to miss a minute. –RES