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

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

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 Summer Symphony Free Concert Series – Summer Music Workshops Concerts. Friday, August 8th @ 3:00pm & 6:30pm

Students who have participated in the Summer Music Workshops perform in two separate concerts at 3:00 PM and 6:30 PM. For more information please visit http://svsummersymphony.org/content/summer-music-workshops-concerts

 

 

Sun Valley Summer Symphony Free Concert Series – In Focus Series – Made in America, “The Pioneers” – August 1st @ 6:00pm

“Tonight we relax into the clear “American sound” that emerged in American classical music in the early 20th century.  We think of Aaron Copland and Samuel Barber as creating the landscape for the quintessential American sound.  Also on this concert are American composition legends Charles Ives and Elliot Carter.” For more information please visit http://svsummersymphony.org/content/concert-2

Sun Valley Center For The Arts Presents: Chris Isaak. Playing @ River Run Plaza on August 6th.

The Sun Valley Center For The Arts presents Chris Isaak. Playing on August 6th @ River Run Plaza. For tickets and information please visit http://sunvalleycenter.org/performance-film/concert-series-tickets/

 

The Sun Valley Center For The Arts presents: The Head and The Heart. August 29th @ River Run Plaza

The Summer Concert Series presented by The Sun Valley Center For The Arts is ending the season on a high note!! The Head and The Heart will perform on August 29th @ River Run Plaza. For tickets please visit http://sunvalleycenter.org/performance-film/concert-series-tickets/

Josh Ritter & the Royal City Band: July 27 @ River Run

The Summer Concert Serious continues on! Josh Ritter & the Royal City Band, Presented by the Sun Valley Center For The Arts will play on July 27, at the base of River Run. For tickets please visit http://sunvalleycenter.org/performance-film/concert-series-tickets/

The Soulshine Tour. Featuring Michael Franti & Spearhead, SOJA, Brett Dennen, and Trevor Hall. July 2, 2014 @ River Run

The Soulshine Tour, presented by The Sun Valley Center For The Arts, will take place July 2nd at River Run. For tickets and information, please visit http://sunvalleycenter.org/performance-film/concert-series-tickets/

30th Anniversary Season Gala Sunday, August 3, 2014, 6:30 PM

“One of the most beloved and celebrated musical ambassadors of our time, soprano Renee Fleming captivates audiences with her sumptuous voice, consummate artistry, and compelling stage presence. Last summer, the President awarded Ms. Fleming the National Medal of Arts, America’s highest honor for an individual artist.”  This August 3, she will be performing at the 30th Anniversary Gala at the the Pavilion. For tickets and information please visit http://www.svsummersymphony.org/schedule/benefit