10 Things to Do in Aspen This Summer

Hayden Gamble | July 8, 2019 | Lifestyle Feature

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet

Through 8/24
Aspen Santa Fe Ballet
The contemporary ballet company debuts its first-ever evening-length ballet, Beautiful Decay, choreographed by veteran collaborator Nicolo Fonte. More on the season: Stars of American Ballet return for a one-night-only performance; Compagnie Hervé Koubi—the all-male ensemble from Algeria and Burkina Faso—take the stage; and the dancers of Alonzo King LINES Ballet reimagine the possibilities of dance. Tickets $36-$94, Aspen District Theatre, aspensantafeballet.com

Carbondale Mountain Fair
Carbondale Arts spearheads this annual celebration of art in all forms, showcasing over 145 vendors and attracting more than 20,000 fairgoers. Stroll through Sopris Park during the three-day jubilee to feast on delicious food, groove to spirited live tunes, peruse beautiful works of art and even test out chopping techniques in a wood-splitting competition. This year’s musical lineup includes Ponder the Albatross, Jyemo Club and The Burroughs. Free, Sopris Park, carbondalearts.com

Challenge Aspen Gala & Golf Classic
With over 3,000 participants to date, Challenge Aspen continues to provide individuals with cognitive and physical disabilities the opportunity to experience all the Roaring Fork Valley has to offer through year-round adaptive adventures. This year, the local nonprofit’s An Evening With the Stars gala at Viceroy Snowmass features live and silent auctions, and entertainment from singer Kechi Okwuchi, an America’s Got Talent finalist who found her true voice after a plane crash accident in 2005. Golfers will take to the tee the next day at Snowmass Club, swinging clubs and enjoying bites and bevs from local vendor stations scattered along the course. Gala tickets from $350, golf tickets from $300, challengeaspen.org


Aspen becomes the epicenter of the arts world during ArtCrush.

Artists, collectors and curators join the Aspen Art Museum in celebrating its 15th annual ArtCrush benefit. View the most impressive live and silent auction artworks, complemented by Champagne and hors d’oeuvres at PreviewCrush. On Friday, enjoy wine tastings and gourmet food while honoring the 2019 Aspen Award for Art recipient, Lisa Yuskavage. Tickets from $1,875, locations vary, aspenartmuseum.org

Anderson Ranch Art Auction and Community Picnic
Support the arts at Anderson Ranch’s largest community fundraiser of the year with live and silent auctions featuring over 200 works donated by artists, collectors and galleries. The event welcomes art lovers of all varieties to the historic ranch to enjoy live music, crafts for kids and a picnic lunch is available for purchase. 11am-3pm, free, Anderson Ranch Arts Center, andersonranch.org

Bella Sera
Denver-based National Jewish Health is an academic hospital and clinic at the forefront of research and treatment for lung, heart and immune diseases. Since 2003, it’s integrated with the Roaring Fork Valley medical community, working closely with local physicians to provide internationally recognized care. This year’s annual benefit in Aspen will honor donors Gail and Lenny Weinglass and feature a special musical performance (TBA). 6:30-11pm, tickets from $750, Belly Up Aspen, aspenbellasera.com

Runners race through the Hunter Creek Valley during the Aspen Backcountry Marathon.

Aspen Backcountry Marathon
Tour Aspen’s backcountry landscape on foot and experience beautiful trails of diverse terrain and nearly 4,000 feet of elevation gain in a thrilling yet sometimes grueling course. The scenic running race—with views of the Elk Mountains above and the city of Aspen below—offers both full and half marathon options. Marathon 6:30am, half-marathon 7:30am, registration fee from $85, aspenspecialevents.com

pARTy at the Art Base Gala
Name Unseen is the playful theme of this year’s silent auction event, which supports the Art Base’s robust educational programming, aimed at fostering creative expression in the visual arts for all ages and abilities. Artists leave out their signatures on the front of their 10-by-10 inch works so identities remain secret until after the auction. 6pm, tickets from $250, The Art Base, theartbase.org

A celebration of cider during the Balloon Festival

Snowmass Balloon Festival
Coloring the classic Colorado bluebird sky with flocks of vibrant polychromatic hot air balloons floating against a Rocky Mountain backdrop, the Snowmass Balloon Festival truly feels (and looks) like a wonderland. Over three days, 30 pilots compete in challenges and races while spectators take in the stunning sights and delight in other events including Cidermass and Septemberfest, where food, drinks, music and games are sure to entertain. Free to spectate, Snowmass Town Park, gosnowmass.com

A celebration of cider during the Balloon Festival

Snowmass Wine Festival
Sponsored by the Rotary Club in Snowmass Village, this two-day wine fest opens Friday with a dinner exploring the distinct wine-growing regions of Argentina. Experts lead guests through eight different Argentinian wines and partake in a spirited live auction at the Viceroy Snowmass. Saturday’s grand tasting boasts an assortment of the world’s top wines, bites from the valley’s favorite restaurants, live tunes and a silent auction. All funds raised go to various nonprofits and Basalt High School senior scholarships. Friday tickets $135, Saturday tickets from $95, locations vary, snowmasswinefestival.com


Photography by: From top, photos by: Anna Stonehouse | Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com/courtesy of aspen art museum | running photo by mary sue bonetti | other photos by hal williams/snowmass tourism