Consider free parks day in lieu of closed ski resorts |

Consider free parks day in lieu of closed ski resorts

Big horn sheep graze atop one of the many peaks in Rocky Mountain National Park in October. The park is offering free entry this weekend in celebration of National Parks Week.
Eli Pace/ |

In Summit County, the dominos are falling faster than the snowflakes. Keystone and Copper Mountain ski resorts immobilized their lifts last weekend, and Breckenridge Ski Resort closes out its season this weekend.

With its anticipated early June closing, only Arapahoe Basin Ski Area remains in operation in Summit County, while Loveland Ski Area, just outside Summit, is still running, but not for long, because they’re anticipating closing the first week of May.

While the ski season is waning and we’re already starting to see the effects, the outdoor opportunities here and across the state persist. In fact, the single largest celebration of America’s national heritage wraps up this weekend with free admission Saturday and Sunday to the federal parks system for National Park Week (see page 2 for additional information on the week).

This includes well-known locations such as Rocky Mountain National Park, Mesa Verde and the Great Sand Dunes — all in Colorado — in addition to lesser-known state attractions like Colorado National Monument in Fruita.

Rocky Mountain National Park charges $20 per carload for a one-day pass, and people can save a few bucks taking advantage of the free weekend; the next free day won’t be until Aug. 25, when the National Park Service celebrates its birthday.

Still, it might be a little cold for camping. With that in mind, here are a few other weekend offerings on tap in and around Summit.

A Perfect Pairing

Empire, Saturday

For $50 in advance or $100 on the day of the event, people can experience six food stations with six Tommyknocker beers for the fourth annual “A Perfect Pairing” event. It will be at 6 p.m. Saturday at Rocky Mountain Village Camp in Empire. To buy tickets, go to Proceeds will help send more than 20 youths to camp.

March for Science

Breckenridge, Saturday

Breckenridge is joining more than 400 satellite marches worldwide, including the big one in Washington, D.C., on Saturday for the March for Science. The local march will begin at 1:30 p.m. in the South Gondola parking lot and ends with a celebration from 2:30-5 p.m. at The Village with a handful of guest speakers and live music.

Family movie

Breckenridge, Saturday

Revisit the classic film “The Wizard of Oz” with Judy Garland in the lead during a 2:30-4:15 p.m. showing at the South Branch Library. For more,

Young Composers Competition Concert

Frisco, Monday

This concert will feature the winners of the Young Composers Competition, ages 10 to 18, at 6 p.m. at Summit Middle School in Frisco. For more,

Season End Party

Today and Saturday, Vail

Kevin Danzig, Faith Crawford, Scooter Barnes and Mike Fauth perform as The Kevin Danzig Band, playing a variety of rock and soul favorites in addition to original songs, in a free, end-of-the-season concert at Vail.

Eli Pace is the arts and entertainment editor for the Summit Daily News, and he writes a regular column focusing on fun weekend happenings in Summit County. Email him at

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