Davis and White: grace on and off the ice

The excitement in and around the Sun Valley ice rinks was palpable this weekend because reigning Olympic Gold Medals ice dance pair, Meryl Davis and Charlie White were, as they say, in the house. But before performing two graceful, moving and perfect programs at Saturday night’s Sun Valley On Ice, the champions showed grace of another sort.

Olympic champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White showed their gold medal style during a practice session at Sun Valley last weekend

Olympic champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White showed their gold medal style during a practice session at Sun Valley last weekend

Sophie Hansen, 12, from Salt Lake City was treated first-hand to this grace. Currently on a wait list for a liver transplant, she and her family planned an end-of-summer special vacation to Sun Valley so Sophie could see the superstars perform. When representatives from The Primary Children’s Hospital of Salt Lake City reached out to let Sun Valley know Sophie was coming, Jennifer Uhrig, director of the Sun Valley Recreation Department, quickly set the wheels in motion. Hansen is a huge fan of skating and especially of White and Davis.

Utah skater Sophie Hansen, who faces some medical challenges, had the chance to meet her idols rinkside

Utah skater Sophie Hansen, who faces some medical challenges, had the chance to meet her idols rinkside

“We received a message from Primary Children’s Hospital that Sophie and her family had tickets to attend the ice show Saturday night and asked if there was any way for her to meet her idols,” said Uhrig. “Immediately, we wanted to make sure this would happen. Rink manager Scott Irvine suggested she attend the rehearsal Saturday and we planned on her being backstage during that time. We knew she would be able to get photos and autographs but we had no idea that it would turn out the way it did. Meryl and Charlie were so gracious and wonderful.”

It's not every day an Olympic gold medalist gives you a lift

It’s not every day an Olympic gold medalist gives you a lift

The meet and greet turned into much more when Sophie was asked to lace up her skates and take to the ice with the gold medalists and Dancing With the Stars celebs. Sophie, who is a figure skater (and trains at the same rink as Sun Valley On Ice’s “Jumpin’ Joe” Sabovcik) was lifted overhead by Charlie and skated like a champion with all the pros. Charlie also presented her with a Sun Valley goody bag filled with swag. That night at the show, Sophie proudly wore her new Sun Valley sweatshirt and settled onto a new blanket laid on the bleachers. And Sophie and her family, as well as the rest of the huge crowd, were treated to a flawless, breathtaking performance that no one will forget.

It was Sophie's dream to just meet Meryl and Charlie but it turned into so much more

It was Sophie’s dream to just meet Meryl and Charlie but it turned into so much more

 

“Sophie’s family said that she had an amazing time in Sun Valley,” said Primary Children’s Hospital spokesperson Sandra Orton. “Her mother said she couldn’t stop smiling and that the experience made her entire year.”

One more golden performance featuring Evan Lysacek is scheduled next weekend for the final Sun Valley On Ice of the season on Saturday night, August 30. The 2010 Olympic gold medalist, Evan holds ten major titles in the sport and is one of the most magnetic, athletic and graceful skaters ever to take to the ice. Evan has strong ties to Sun Valley and his shows beneath the stars are a hot ticket. You can still get yours today by clicking HERE.

Special thanks to Meryl Davis and Charlie White for sharing their special magic with the audience Saturday night and a very special audience of one on Saturday afternoon.

–RES

This was a day to remember for a  young aspiring skater

This was a day to remember for a young aspiring skater

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

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

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

The Fourth is Looking Fab

The big Fourth of July holiday is just around the corner, and no one does it better than Sun Valley. Now is the time to make sure you’ve secured tickets to all the concerts, shows and events that will make celebrating the nation’s independence unforgettable.

At Sun Valley itself, the Fourth will be feted with the first Sun Valley On Ice of the season on Friday, July 4. This star-studded event beneath the stars features the one-and-only Gracie Gold. Gold, the 2014 Olympic Bronze Medalist and 2014 National Champion, is figure skating’s golden girl. Known for her beauty, grace, athleticism and lyricism, Gold will take your breath away. It’s rare to get this close to a star of Gracie’s caliber, so be sure to get your bleacher, Sun Room, or fabulous dinner buffet seats today. Also lighting up the ice on the Fourth will be Jason Brown, the 2014 Olympic Bronze Medalist and 2014 US Silver Medalist, as well as Nathan Chen, 2014 Junior World Bronze Medalist and 2014 US Junior Gold Medalist. The fabulous core skaters and featured skaters of Sun Valley will keep the action – and beat — going strong. We’ve heard a rumor that there is a strong disco influence in this show and it is sure to be quite a night.

Sun Valley On Ice kicks off a star-studded season of Saturday night shows on July 4 with headliner Gracie Gold.

Following the show, Sun Valley will set off a dazzling fireworks display, lighting up Dollar mountain and beyond.

Tickets are still available but are going fast. To make sure you don’t miss a moment of this spectacular show, click HERE or please call 208.622.2135. To make the most of the weekend, book a special hotel package, as well. Stay at the Sun Valley Resort July 4 and enjoy two tickets to Sun Valley On Ice and buffet for only $209 per person, double occupancy. Bleacher seating is also available for two plus one night’s lodging for $158 per person, double occupancy. Ask about children’s tickets, too. For reservations, please call (866) 893-4452.

Close your eyes -- you'll swear it's John, Paul, Ringo and George

Close your eyes -- you'll swear it's John, Paul, Ringo and George

The fun continues in Sun Valley on July 5 when the Fab Four play the beautiful Pavilion. At 8 p.m., this first-class Beatles’ Tribute band weaves their precise attention to detail and uncanny, note-for-note live renditions of Beatles’ songs into the fabric of the weekend. This incredible stage show includes three costume changes representing every era of the Beatles ever-evolving career and live performances of classics like “Can’t Buy Me Love,” “Yesterday,” “A Day In The Life,” “Twist And Shout,” “Here Comes The Sun” and “Hey Jude.”

A concert at the glorious Sun Valley Pavilion is one you will never forget

A concert at the glorious Sun Valley Pavilion is one you will never forget

The holiday weekend kicks off with music of another sort – the upbeat, “dare you not to dance” sounds of Michael Franti & Spearhead, performing an evening concert at River Run on July 2 at 6 p.m. A part of the Sun Valley Center for the Arts Summer Concert Series, Franti is a Valley favorite and puts on an amazing show that also features SOJA, Brett Dennen and Trevor Hall. Tickets are still available for $40 for members, $50 for nonmembers. Early entry (entry 15 minutes prior to general admission) costs $85 for members, $95 for nonmembers plus a $1 per ticket Reverb charity donation. A special VIP Party pack is available. Please click HERE to buy tickets and for more information.

Please note, picnics will be allowed at River Run, as usual, but due to liability concerns, Sun Valley Company will no longer allow outside alcohol at concerts. Bring ID if you’d like to purchase alcohol on site. Bags and IDs will be checked by Sun Valley Security.

Last time Michael Franti & Spearhead played River Run, an amazing time was had by all. Don't miss it!

Last time Michael Franti & Spearhead played River Run, an amazing time was had by all. Don't miss it!

Fun with Franti begins earlier in the day, though, when the Soulshine Tour Yoga Experience hits the idyllic Trail Creek Cabin picnic grounds. Starting at 11 a.m., live music, DJs, yoga and fans all take part in what organizers call “one ridiculously awesome jam.” The morning begins with a very special mass acoustic music and yoga practice, featuring Michael Franti and friends playing live and a class led by Allie Purdy. The yoga is appropriate for all levels, ages, shapes and sizes. The yoga event will last a roughly 90 minutes, followed by an hour-long traditional yoga class taught by Allie Purdy with Michael Franti performing a couple acoustic songs on either end of the class and physically participating with fans. Doors will open at 10:30 a.m. for this event. Please bring yoga mats and water, but leave your dog at home. The event is rain or shine and is non-refundable. Tickets are $20, $10 if purchased with a ticket to the Soulshine Tour Concert (plus tax). For more information on The Soulshine Tour Yoga Experience, please visit: soulshine.com.

And the Fourth wouldn’t be the Fourth without the Hailey Fourth of July Parade. This true community event features an old west shootout gang portrayal and fun-filled, family-friendly parade that runs down Main Street in Hailey from noon until approximately 1:30 p.m. This year’s theme is “Wood River Valley Inspires.” The Grand Marshal will be Dick Fosbury noted for his “Fosbury Flop” and for sharing his love and enthusiasm for sports, especially track and field, around the world.

Hailey's family-friendly Fourth of July parade is non-stop fun

Hailey's family-friendly Fourth of July parade is non-stop fun

Also in Hailey, enjoy the Rodeo over the long weekend. The Sawtooth Rangers Fourth of July Rodeo runs starts July 2 with “Family Nite” (kids ten and under are free). Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the show usually lasts until about 10 p.m. Tickets are available at all Atkinsons’ Markets and at the Hailey Chamber of Commerce in the Welcome Center located at 781 S. Main Street. All Tickets are General Admission and sell out fast so get there early! This is the 66th annual “Days of the Old West Rodeo.” It runs through July 4.

As if all of that wasn’t enough, Ride Sun Valley events continue through July 5. On the Fourth, the Hailey Criterium races around downtown Hailey following the parade. On July 5, some of the best mountain bikers around compete in the U.S. Marathon Mountain Bike National Championships on Baldy.

All the action is back on Baldy on July 5 for the US Marathon National Mountain Bike Championship, part of Ride Sun Valley

All the action is back on Baldy on July 5 for the US Marathon National Mountain Bike Championship, part of Ride Sun Valley

Oh yes, and the gondola and Christmas Lift on Bald Mountain open to bike traffic on July 1.

Phew!

Get out there and enjoy a real, small-town, western Fourth of July with a lot of pretty impressive bells, whistles, and yes, fireworks. Have a safe, fun weekend!

–RES

Sun Valley On Ice Presents: Evan Lysacek. August 30th, 2014.

On August 30th, 2014, make sure to head to Sun Valley to watch Olympic Gold Medalist Evan Lysacek. For tickets and additional information please visit http://www.sunvalley.com/things-to-do/iceshows/ or call 208.622.2135

Sun Valley On Ice Presents: 2014 Gold Medalists Meryl Davis and Charlie White. August 23rd, 2014.

Be sure to catch 2014 Olympic Gold Medalists Meryl Davis and Charlie White on August 23rd, 2014. For tickets and additional information please visit http://www.sunvalley.com/things-to-do/iceshows/ or call 208.622.2135.

Sun Valley On Ice Presents Ashley Wagner and Nathan Chen. August 9th, 2014.

Be sure to catch 2014 Olympic Bronze Medalist Ashley Wagner and 2014 Jr. World Bronze Medalist Nathan Chen on August 9th, 2014. For tickets and more information please visit http://www.sunvalley.com/things-to-do/iceshows/ or call 208.622.2135.

Sun Valley On Ice Presents Alissa Czisny and Josh Farris. July 26th, 2014.

On July 26th, come join 2x US Gold Medalist Alissa Czisny and 2013 World Jr. Gold Medalist Josh Farris. For tickets and additional information please visit http://www.sunvalley.com/things-to-do/iceshows/ or call 208.622.2135.

Sun Valley On Ice Presents Mirai Nagasu and Max Aaron. Saturday, July 19th.

On July 19th, be sure to check out US Olympic Competitor and 2X US Bronze Medalist Mirai Nagasu. Also that night is 2014 US Bronze Medalist and 2013 US Gold Medalist Max Aaron. For tickets and more information please visit http://www.sunvalley.com/things-to-do/iceshows/ or call 208.622.2135.