The Battle is Back

Even though Sun Valley On Ice concluded its star-studded season with a performance from the one-and-only Olympic gold medalist Evan Lysacek on August 30, things remain hot at the rink in September.

This year's contestants are in it to win it for the non-profit of their choice. Pictured L to R are Bob Polk, Zach Crist, Emilie duPont, Scott Slonim, Christine Davis-Jeffers. Chris Koch reclines. Not pictured are Maggie Acker, Megan Thomas and George Rizzo. (Photo James Bourret)

This year’s contestants are in it to win it for the non-profit of their choice. Pictured L to R are Bob Polk, Zach Crist, Emilie duPont, Scott Slonim, Christine Davis-Jeffers. Chris Koch reclines. Not pictured are Maggie Acker, Megan Thomas and George Rizzo. (Photo James Bourret)

Battle of the Blades … Bigger, Badder and Better than Ever” returns to center ice on Friday, September 5. This community fundraiser put on by the Sun Valley Figure Skating Club promises to again raise the proverbial roof. If you missed the sold-out events in 2011 and 2012, Battle of the Blades pairs nine local celebrity amateurs with highly accomplished figure skating professionals. Each competes in a professionally choreographed, fully costumed two-minute routine. A panel of celebrity judges provides 50 percent of the final score while the other half is determined by an audience applause meter. To further inspire community involvement, each contestant chooses a non-profit organization to represent. The top three finishers all win cold hard cash for the worthy organization of their choice.

Contestant Megan Thomas and partner pro Ty Cockrum make it looks easy during a rehearsal (photo Becky Smith)

Contestant Megan Thomas and partner pro Ty Cockrum make it looks easy during a rehearsal (photo Becky Smith)

This year’s contestants and their designated non-profits are (in alphabetical order): Maggie Acker for the Animal Shelter, Zach Crist for the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation, Emilie duPont for the Flourish Foundation, Christine Davis-Jeffers for The Sun Valley Center for the Arts, Chris Koch for Swiftsure Ranch Therapeutic Equestrian Center, Bob Polk for Community School, George Rizzo for Camp Rainbow Gold, Scott Slonim for The Hunger Coalition and Megan Thomas for the St. Luke’s Foundation. The contestants are taking their preparation seriously. Many have limited skating backgrounds but have spent hours with their partners fine-turning programs that will be wildly entertaining.

Contestant Chris Koch hams it up with partner Stephanee Grosscup

Contestant Chris Koch hams it up with partner Stephanee Grosscup

The pros generously giving their time to the fundraiser are familiar faces from the rink. This years’ pros are (in alphabetical order): Darlin Baker, Brent Bommentre, Ashley Clark, Ty Cockrum, Joel Dear, Stephanee Grosscup, Jonathon Hunt, Kim Navarro and Natalia Zaitseva.

Sun Valley's golden girl, snowboard champ Kaitlyn Farrington returns to the event to inspire all the valley's children. Here, she is shown competing in Battle of the Blades 2012 with partner Eddie Gornik (photo James Bourret)

Sun Valley’s golden girl, snowboard champ Kaitlyn Farrington returns to the event to inspire all the valley’s children. Here, she is shown competing in Battle of the Blades 2012 with partner Eddie Gornik (photo James Bourret)

Sun Valley’s own golden girl, Kaitlyn Farrington who took the gold medal at snowboard halfpipe in Sochi will also be in on the fun. Kaitlyn skated in the 2012 installment of the event in between training sessions in New Zealand. Just back from more intensive training in Argentina, Kaitlyn will graciously return to the rink as a role model to all the children and an honored member of the community.

2012 winner Miles Fink-Debray takes a victory lap with partner Natalia Zaitseva in front of the sell out crowd

2012 winner Miles Fink-Debray takes a victory lap with partner Natalia Zaitseva in front of the sell out crowd (photo James Bourret)

The time-proven team of Lisa-Marie Allen and Gia Guddat are the show’s artistic directors and Nick Maricich acts as Prodution Manager. All three brings collective decades of experience to the endeavor. Additional coaching hours were volunteered by Lisa-Marie Allen, Judy Blumberg, Anita Hartshorn and Stefanie O’Neill and Dawn Peterson.

Battle of the Blades is definitely a community event, meant to generate money to get more children into the lifelong sport of figure skating.

Langely McNeal won gold during Battle of the Blades 2011 with partner Kelly Smith and some killer 80s music. She returns to the event, but this time in the judges chair

Langely McNeal won gold during Battle of the Blades 2011 with partner Kelly Smith and some killer 80s music. She returns to the event, but this time in the judges chair (photo James Bourret)

“After the first two Battle of the Blades, we were able to offer numerous group lessons for skaters of many abilities, all at an extremely discounted rate,” said SVFSC board member Peter Hendricks. “We were also able to bring children to the rink from the area’s elementary schools to take skating lessons during the traditional ski days. Figure skating pros and hockey players worked with students during these very successful afternoons. Our goal with Battle of the Blades 2014 is to continue and expand on these programs and to get kids on the ice who might not otherwise have the opportunity to skate.”

The amazing cast and crew of the 2012 event celebrate doing good and having fun

The amazing cast and crew of the 2012 event celebrate doing good and having fun (photo James Bourret)

This summer, the Sun Valley Figure Skating Club celebrated its 75th year, making it one of the most venerable and long-running clubs in the country and what better way to celebrate.

Surprises await at every turn and some of them are star-studded. Don’t miss the feel good fundraiser of the year. Tickets are only available online at sunvalleyfsc.com. Get yours today and don’t miss out on what everyone will be talking about Monday morning!

Let the battle begin!

–RES

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

Spend your Summer at the Rink

When it’s hot outside (and it is definitely already getting there) there is no cooler place to be than Sun Valley’s iconic outdoor skating rink. The largest year-round outdoor rink in the country, it is also one of the prettiest. Views extend over Dollar and Bald Mountains and to the historic Sun Valley Lodge.

Everyone who is anyone has skated in Sun Valley and no summer stay here is complete without taking in the magical Sun Valley On Ice Saturday night shows

Everyone who is anyone has skated in Sun Valley and no summer stay here is complete without taking in the magical Sun Valley On Ice Saturday night shows

There is a well-known saying here that “everyone who is anyone has skated in Sun Valley,” and in the world of world-class figure skating, that is true, indeed. The legendary Saturday night Sun Valley On Ice Shows have drawn Olympic and world champions, top professional talent and up-and-comers for decades. No visit to Sun Valley is complete without taking in an ice show under the stars. This year’s high voltage lineup includes Sochi Olympic gold medal winners in ice dance, the magical Meryl Davis and Charlie White on August 23. The beautiful Gracie Gold, Olympic bronze medalist, kicks off the season on July 4 and fellow Olympic team member, 2013 US National Champion Ashley Wagner, will take center ice August 9. From Sochi to Sun Valley: It doesn’t get much better than that! Crowd favorite and Olympic gold medalist Evan Lysacek returns to Sun Valley August 30. Ryan Bradley and Johnny Weir are also among the featured skaters this summer making for quite a lineup. The talented and always-entertaining core skater favorites include Craig Heath, Ashley Clark, Darlin Baker, Jozef Sabovcik, Kim Navarro and Brent Bommentre, Anita Hartshorn, Natalia Zaitseva and Jonathan Hunt, Ryan Bradley, Erin Reed and Jason Graetz.

The venue is intimate and there are few places where you can get so close to your favorite skaters. The athletes all say they love to skate in Sun Valley because they can see and hear the audience and the energy is amazing. Many of the stars stay after the show to greet fans and even sign autographs if they have time. Get your tickets early (they go on sale May 15), be sure to bring blankets to sit on (if you get bleacher seats) and layers to add as the evening temperature drops and come out and enjoy this amazing ice show.

Gracious figure skating stars like Sasha Cohen often take time to talk with, and pose with fans, following a show

Gracious figure skating stars like Sasha Cohen often take time to talk with, and pose with fans, following a show

But you don’t need to be the best of the best to skate in Sun Valley. Throughout the summer, there are sessions available to everyone – from a first timer to a competitive skater. Children love to skate and take to it quickly. To make those first turns as enjoyable as possible, you might consider booking a group or private lesson for your child (or yourself!). Group lessons that teach basic skills are offered at the outdoor rink from mid-June to mid-August. This drop-in format teaches figure skating building blocks like stroking, skating forward, skating backward and that all-important skill, stopping. Classes are instructive, fun and affordable. With the help of a professional, you will see improvement in your scratch spins, swizzles, maybe even Salchow jumps!

Pros like Ashley Clark will wow you every Saturday night in Sun Valley On Ice and then are often available to give lessons.

Pros like Ashley Clark will wow you every Saturday night in Sun Valley On Ice and then are often available to give lessons.

For even more opportunities to improve, semi-private lessons are given for up to four skaters of similar level. Popular clinics are also offered throughout the summer season. The Sun Valley Skating School offers up to 20 classes a day on both the beautiful outdoor rink and the full-size indoor rink that is equipped with a ballet studio and a jumping harness. Clinics begin at 8:30 a.m. and run to 5:30 p.m. They include classes on spinning, jumping, stroking, performance, spirals, ice dance and more. Students can pre-register for the whole summer or pay by the week. Walk-ons are available on a first-come, first-served basis. For full information on available classes, pricing and registration, please click HERE.

If you don’t want a lesson, but just want to enjoy a spin around the rink, visit the skate house and select a package that includes ice time, skate rentals, even a helmet. Please call 208-622-2194 for a current schedule.

Skating is fun for the whole family. Rent some skates and try it!

Skating is fun for the whole family. Rent some skates and try it!

For my family, summer and skating are synonymous. My two daughters, who now skate competitively, first laced up skates as toddlers during our summer vacations in Sun Valley. I’m not sure if it was the great teachers, pretty dresses or beautiful setting, but they caught the skating bug and have committed to this sport for 10 years now. As members of the Sun Valley Figure Skating Club (celebrating 75 years this summer), they spend hours and hours each summer at the rink, participating in classes, working on skills, selling snacks at Sun Valley On Ice and being generally inspired by all the talented and enthusiastic skaters at the rink. It is a wonderful way to spend the warm weather months.

Come join us this summer to take part in a great Sun Valley tradition that is now nearly 80 years old. Skating is fun, it’s super exercise and it is a wonderful way to glide away an afternoon or evening.

–RES

And so it begins... my daughter Blake and her friend Alex, two future National Showcase Champions

And so it begins... my daughter Blake and her friend Alex, two future National Showcase Champions

Save the Dates

With tips of daffodils and tulips peeking through the ground with just a hint of hesitation and buds forming in earnest on the trees up and down the valley, everyone’s thoughts are on summer. Summer in Sun Valley is like nowhere else: endless days filled with sunshine and temperatures that begin wonderfully cool for golf or biking and heat up to “time to jump in the pool” digits. Blue skies abound. The pace is as leisurely or as fast-paced as you like and days are filled with adventure and activities ranging from hiking to fly fishing to mountain biking to golf, tennis, horseback riding, backpacking, ice skating … really too many to name.

Summer in Sun Valley is pretty special. Make your plans now so you don't miss a moment.

Summer in Sun Valley is pretty special. Make your plans now so you don't miss a moment.

In addition to this daily menu of fun, Sun Valley offers some pretty amazing programs and opportunities each summer that draw thousands from near and far. Now is the time to secure your tickets and make your reservations. Mark your calendar for some of these favorites and check back to this blog and to visitsunvalley.com for updated listings.

Sun Valley Writer’s Conference
The always-popular Sun Valley Writer’s Conference is back and better than ever. This year, the intellectually charged event will take place in and around the Sun Valley Pavilion from July 19 – 22. Celebrating its 20th year in Sun Valley, this year’s speakers and participants include luminaries such as Dave Barry, Justice Stephen Breyer, Timothy Geithner, Ridley Pearson and Scott Turow among many others. Please click HERE for more information about conference passes and single event tickets (based on availability). There is no better place to listen to some of the great thinkers and writers of our day tackle the issues of our day than at the Sun Valley Writer’s Conference.

The Tapas and Tasting event is one of many wonderful ways to enjoy fine wine and great company during the Sun Valley Center for the Arts' Wine Auction weekend

The Tapas and Tasting event is one of many wonderful ways to enjoy fine wine and great company during the Sun Valley Center for the Arts' Wine Auction weekend

Sun Valley Center for the Arts Wine Auction
This year, the Sun Valley Center for the Arts celebrates its 33rd Sun Valley Wine Auction, one of the premier charity wine auctions in the nation. Tickets are now on sale for this legendary event that offers something for everyone (as long as you are over 21!). Extraordinary wine experiences await over the course of three days, from Vintner dinners hosted in exquisite private homes, to the popular Grand Tasting and Tapas party to the Wine Auction Gala. The Gala includes 40 live auction lots and 70 silent lots including many once-in-a-lifetime experiences and wines. 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. Cheers!

The Sun Valley Center for the Arts Concert Series also promises to create summer memories to last a lifetime. This year’s lineup, just announced, includes: the Soulshine Tour featuring Michael Franti & Spearhead, SOJA, Brett Dennen and Trevor Hall on July 2; Josh Ritter & the Royal City Band on July 27; Chris Isaak on August 6; and The Head & The Heart on August 29.

Michael Franti & Spearhead, will launch the first-ever music & yoga tour, Soulshine, that will bridge daytime and nighttime experiences including music, yoga, sustainable lifestyle and DJs guaranteeing a full-blown dance party. SOJA, Brett Dennen and Trevor Hall will be joining the North American Tour along with special guest yoga teachers. The afternoon will begin with a mass yoga at Trail Creek Lodge and acoustic music jam with Michael Franti & Friends, led by some of today’s most inspiring teachers from across North America, including Ryan Leier. The yoga session is designed for people of all experience levels, ages, shapes and sizes and will feature artists participating side-by-side with fans. The evening concert will feature all four bands for over four hours of music! The evening will kick off at 6 p.m. at the beautiful River Run Lodge. Music in the mountains is unbeatable!

I dare you not to dance when Michael Franti & Spearhead rock River Run

I dare you not to dance when Michael Franti & Spearhead rock River Run

Josh Ritter is a singer-songwriter, guitarist and author who performs and records with The Royal City Band. He will perform his distinctive Americana style and narrative lyrics, also at River Run Lodge where there will be food and beverages for sale or you are invited to bring a picnic. Be sure to make a night of it!

On August 6, the legendary Chris Isaak takes to the River Run stage treating the audience to his deeply personal style, influenced by luminaries like Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis.

Finally, on August 29, The Head & The Heart conclude the concerts series on a high note bringing to River Run their indie folk-rock sound straight from Seattle. They scored two No. 1 singles with their song “Lost in My Mind” and they’ve opened for Vampire Weekend, The Decemberists and others.

Tickets for the concert series go on sale to the public on May 19.

The Fab Four and the Doobie Brothers will perform this summer beneath the Sun Valley Pavilion's amazing sail

The Fab Four and the Doobie Brothers will perform this summer beneath the Sun Valley Pavilion's amazing sail, also home to the Sun Valley Summer Symphony

Fab Four Concert
A fun-filled and energetic blast from the past will grace the stage at the Sun Valley Pavilion on July 5 at 8 p.m. when the Sun Valley Opera presents The Fab Four: The Ultimate Tribute. This is the ultimate Beatles tribute band known for its uncanny, note-for-note live renditions of Beatles’ hits. Check out www.thefabfour.com for a preview of what is sure to be an amazing night. Tickets are now on sale and the Sun Valley Opera is also selling Diva Party Tickets that include a cocktail party in a private home and premier seating.

Picture yourself here for one of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony's amazing concerts

Picture yourself here for one of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony's amazing concerts

Sun Valley Summer Symphony
Picture this. You carefully unpack a gourmet picnic full of treats on the vast lawn outside the Sun Valley Pavilion amphitheater. Wine is poured, the blanket is spread as you settle in for an evening of world-class classical musical played live by some of the country’s best musicians. The sun begins to slowly set over Dollar and Bald Mountains as the strains of the symphony waft through the air. And what do you pay for this one-of-a-kind experience? Absolutely nothing. From July 28 – August 19 join the thousands of enthusiasts who make an evening at the Sun Valley Summer Symphony the centerpiece of their summer schedules. At the age of 30, the Sun Valley Summer Symphony attracts the most sought-after soloists of our time. With free year-round music education programs complimenting free-admission concerts, the Sun Valley Summer Symphony has claimed a place of world-class status in the North American classical music scene. This year, the In Focus Series takes place on July 28, 29,31 and August 1. The 30th Anniversary Gala, featuring the incomparable Renee Fleming, will be held on August 3 and the Pavilion Series takes place from August 4 – 19. Be a part of it – every concert is a reason to celebrate!

Doobie Brothers in Concert
Yes, you read right … those Doobie Brothers, the one and only, are coming to Sun Valley on August 20. Their concert set in the gorgeous Pavilion is sure to be one to remember. Four-time Grammy winners, the Doobie Brothers provided the soundtrack to the lives of more than one generation of Americans. They continue to write and record new material, tour the world, and delight fans everywhere they go. Presented by the Killebrew-Thompson Memorial, net proceeds from this event benefit Leukemia and Cancer Research. Every August for the past 37 years, the Killebrew-Thompson Memorial Golf Tournament in Sun Valley has gathered celebrities, sponsors, participants, members of Congress and supporters with one common goal: the cure for cancer and leukemia. Tickets to this amazing concert go on sale May 15 and are sure to sell out so don’t delay!

There is no better way to spend a summer's Saturday night than watching the stars under the stars at Sun Valley On Ice

There is no better way to spend a summer's Saturday night than watching the stars under the stars at Sun Valley On Ice

Sun Valley On Ice
There is nothing more beautiful than being outside on a star-filled Sun Valley summer’s night and no better place to be outside on a Saturday evening that at Sun Valley On Ice. These storied ice shows have graced Sun Valley’s iconic outdoor rink for decades, drawing the very best professional and up-and-coming figure skating talent summer after summer. This year, Sun Valley welcomes 2014 Olympic Gold Medal Ice Dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White (August 23) straight off their spectacular win in Sochi. Other headliners include the amazing Gold Medalist Evan Lysacek (August 30), beautiful Olympic Bronze Medalist Gracie Gold (July 4) and US National Champion and Olympian Ashley Wagner (August 9) – truly the biggest names on ice. Sun Valley On Ice debuts July 4 and runs Saturday nights through Labor Day. Core skaters including Craig Heath, Ashley Clark, Darlin Baker, Jozef Sabovcik, Kim Navarro & Brent Bommentre, Andrei Khvalko & Elena Leonova, Natalia Zaitseva, Ryan Bradley, Erin Reed and Jason Graetz will also delight and entertain. No visit to Sun Valley is complete without taking in Sun Valley On Ice.

Ride Sun Valley brings some amazing mountain bike athletes and action to Bald Mountain and beyond

Ride Sun Valley brings some amazing mountain bike athletes and action to Bald Mountain and beyond

Ride Sun Valley
Sun Valley is mountain bike Mecca and at no time is this evident than when Ride Sun Valley comes to town. From June 27 to 29, all things two-wheeled take center stage during this bike festival to end all bike festivals. The 4th annual event showcases the area’s 400-plus miles of continuous singletrack in an event centered around some of the best race courses in the U.S. Sun Valley is a bike rider’s paradise with over 32 miles of multi-use paved bike paths, two bike parks, and miles of scenic road riding. There are events for the recreational rider to the professional and lots of opportunities to spectate, cheer and enjoy mountain bike culture.

Wagon Days
Labor Day is officially the end to summer and in Sun Valley, the season ends with one of the biggest celebrations of the year: Wagon Days. From August 27 – September 1, the Wood River Valley honors its heritage with lots of family-friendly events culminating in the Big Hitch Parade. This non-motorized parade is one of the largest in the Pacific Northwest and features museum quality wagons, buggies, and stagecoaches. The Grand Finale to the parade is Ketchum’s own Big Hitch, the Lewis Ore Wagons. These large freight wagons are the best preserved, most original, functioning wagons of their kind in existence. Watch them wend down Sun Valley Road pulled by an authentic 20-mule jerk line. There are also arts and crafts fairs, pancake breakfasts, an antique car show and auction, live music and much more. It is a can’t-miss weekend in Sun Valley.

The old ore wagons in the Labor Days Wagon Days Parade are a sight to behold

The old ore wagons in the Labor Days Wagon Days Parade are a sight to behold

That doesn’t even begin to cover summer’s fabulous meals, bi-weekly farmer’s markets, Gallery Walks, summer camps for kids, free community concerts like Ketch’em Alive and Town Square Tunes, the Ketchum Arts Festival and the juried Sun Valley Arts & Crafts Festival, July Fourth fun, whitewater adventures … You could spend every summer of your life here and never get bored. In fact, many do.

Don’t miss a minute of this magical season in Sun Valley. By July 2, daily non-stop flights to Sun Valley will be offered from San Francisco (United Airlines), Seattle (Alaska Airlines), Los Angeles (Alaska Airlines) and Salt Lake City (Delta Airlines) with new service from Denver (United Express). Also, be sure to look for great lodging deals on www.sunvalley.com for many of these summer events.

See you this summer in Sun Valley!

–RES

Ode to the Oenophile

The base of Dollar Mountain was the place to be Saturday night at the Sun Valley Center for the Arts' Grand Wine Tasting Picnic & Concert

The base of Dollar Mountain was the place to be Saturday night at the Sun Valley Center for the Arts' Grand Wine Tasting Picnic & Concert

Dionysus, the Greek god of the grape harvest, winemaking, wine and ritual madness smiled down on Sun Valley last weekend. The Sun Valley Center for the Arts again pulled off an over-the-top, hugely successful Wine Auction weekend, raising critical funds to support arts programming in the Wood River Valley.

A big top was erected on the grassy lawn at Carol’s Dollar Mountain Lodge under which hundreds gathered Friday night to raise their paddles and bid on once-in-a-lifetime auction items, all while enjoying sublime wine and fabulous food. The high-flying performance troupe Cirque Berzerk dazzled the capacity crowd and a great time was had for a great cause.

On Saturday night, the three-day event ended on a high note with the highly anticipated picnic that is always a locals’ favorite, though people come to Sun Valley from around the country and around the world for this weekend. Hosting a sell-out crowd of upwards of 1200, this year’s picnic switched things up a bit, offering a grand wine tasting as well as fabulous fare and a live concert.

The event offered a wide selection vintages to taste and to savor

The event offered a wide selection vintages to taste and to savor

Northwest and California wines were available for the sampling and enjoying and food from 20 local restaurants tempted the taste buds. Sun Valley was in on the action, too, as the Resort’s Executive Chef John Murcko donned his whites and helped prepare delicious hard spiced duck pastrami, served with a rye crisp, potato salad, grilled radicchio and apricot. Other food choices ran the gamut from Halibut Ceviche to wood-fired pizzas; Italian Gazpacho to Wagyu beef meatballs. There was an entire tent devoted to dessert.

Sun Valley Resort Executive Chef John Murcko helped feed well over 1000 people under the big tent

Sun Valley Resort Executive Chef John Murcko (right) helped feed well over 1000 people under the big tent

In past years, the Wine Auction weekend offered a separate wine tasting event. This year, however, seven vintners set up near the Quarter Dollar lift, offering insight and information on the wines they poured. It was evident that people enjoyed tasting vintages they don’t see every day.

Brooklyn-based funk band Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds provided a dare-you-to-stay-seated soundtrack to the evening and was a highlight in a night full of highlights.

And if that wasn’t enough, on Thursday night, the weekend kicked off with Tapas and Tasting with the Junior Patrons Circle and exclusive Vintner Dinners at private area homes.

Sun Valley's Brad and Kirsten Cleveland called hosting a Vintner Dinner Thursday night a "fantastic" experience

Sun Valley's Brad and Kirsten Cleveland said hosting a Vintner Dinner Thursday night was a fantastic experience

The SVCA event is the second oldest charity wine auction in the U.S. and the Center’s primary fundraising event. In addition to funding vital programming, monies raised also support scholarships for art students and educators.

Elsewhere in the Resort over the weekend, things were also humming. The Sun Valley Figure Skating Club hosted hundreds of aspiring skaters at its Summer Championships and none other than Olympic Gold Medalist Evan Lysacek lit up Sun Valley on Ice Saturday night. Friday night, Silver Creek Outfitters offered a Fly Fishing Film Festival and on Saturday, a Prana yoga class was given on the River Run lawn.

Just another quiet weekend in the mountains …

–RES

Sun Valley On Ice

Join the excitement of our world famous Sun Valley Summer Ice Shows every Saturday night at dusk July 4, 2013 through Labor Day weekend. This summer, our ice shows will feature a showcase cast of Olympic and world-class figure skating athletes!  All shows start at dusk. 2013 Summer Ice Show tickets on sale at the Sun Valley Recreation Center (208) 622-2135 or online

 

2013 Summer Ice Show Headliners – April 13, 2013

July 4              Ryan Bradley

                         •  2011 United States Gold Medalist

                         •  United States Silver Medalist

                                                    &

                          Nathan Chen

                          •  2013 United States Junior Bronze Medalist

                          •  2012 United States Junior Gold Medalist

July 13             Johnny Weir

                          •  World Bronze Medalist

                           •  3 X United States Gold Medalist

July 20             Evan Lysacek

                           •  World Champion

                           •  Reigning Olympic Gold Medalist

                           •  2 X United States Gold Medalist

                                                &

                           Nathan Chen

                             •  2013 United States Junior Bronze Medalist

                             •  2012 United States Junior Gold Medalist

July 27               Surya Bonaly

•  3x World Silver Medalist

•  5x European Gold Medalist

•  9x French Gold Medalist

&

                            Agnes Zawadzki

                               •  2012 & 2013 United States Bronze Medalist

                               •  2 X World Junior medalist

 

Aug 3                   Ashley Wagner

                                •  2013 United States Gold Medalist

                                •  2012 United States Gold Medalist

                                                &

                              Josh Farris

                                •  2013 World Junior Gold Medalist

                                •  2012 World Junior Silver Medalist

 

Aug 10                  Kurt Browning

                                •  4 X World Champion

                                •  4 X Canadian Champion

                                                &

                               Madison Hubbell & Zach Donahue

                                 •  2012 United States Bronze Medalists

 

Aug 17                     Alissa Czisny

                                  •  2011 United States Gold Medalist

                                                &

                                  Nathan Chen

                                  •  2013 United States Junior Bronze Medalist

                                  •  2012 United States Junior Gold Medalist

Aug 24                     Kimmie Meissner

                                  •  World Champion

                                  •  US Gold Medalist

 

Aug 31                      Johnny Weir

                                   •  World Bronze Medalist

                                   •  3 X United States Gold Medalist

 

* Cast of skaters is subject to change due to injury or other unforeseen circumstances