Spring is for Mountain Festivals
From gourmet food to beer and hot springs, check out these high-country events this season
It seems like it hasn’t stopped snowing in Colorado this winter and that’s great for the ski resorts, but it’s got me dreaming of spring. March 20 is the first day of spring and it’s the day many of us are longing for. Of course, in the mountains, a date on the calendar doesn’t mean the snow will miraculously stop falling, but it is a real indicator that summer is right around the corner.
So what do we have to look forward to in the meantime?
Taste of Vail
This festival takes place while the mountain is still open for skiing and therefore it is not uncommon to see people at the Aprés Ski Lamb Tasting in ski boots.
Life is good at this festival that celebrates the amazing chefs that call the Vail Valley home and fantastic wine from across the globe. There are four signature events: Debut of Rosé, American Lamb Cook Off, Mountain Picnic and the Grand Tasting.
In addition to the signature events, seminars take place throughout the festival. Participants learn about wine, glassware and more. Seminars are intimate and often include tastes of wine as well as the opportunity to meet stars of the culinary and vintner world.
After four days of drinking and eating the best Vail has to offer, it’s imperative to workout but the Taste of Vail is totally worth it.
Cardboard Classic & Pond Skim
If it’s spring in Steamboat Springs, it is time to fly down the mountain in a cardboard creation. It’s also time to get wet.
The Cardboard Classic at Steamboat Ski Resort is in its 40th year. It involves teams creating handmade, cardboard crafts using only cardboard, glue, string, water-based paint, duct tape, masking tape, balloons and other decorations. These crazy contraptions then slide down the mountain, human teams inside. Various coveted awards are given out.
The Splashdown Pond Skim always occurs on Closing Day at the resort. Enjoy the shenanigans that ensue when costumed participants on skis and snowboards try to cross an icy pond. Spoiler alert: most can’t.
Pints & Pools Craft Beer Festival
Like beer? Like hot springs? This festival combines the two on one unique day. This beer festival takes place at one of my favorite destinations, The Springs in Pagosa Springs.
This hot springs venue features 23 hot spring pools and it’s basically a resort on the banks of the San Juan River. Soaking here is an absolute delight. I love the adults-only Relaxation Pools available 24 hours a day to guests of The Springs’ lodging.
Breweries come from Colorado and New Mexico to participate in this one-of-a-kind event. This year there will be 50 different beers to try. There will also be food trucks and music and book a room at The Springs, and Pints & Pools will be discounted.