Sights, sounds of Summit’s summer |

Sights, sounds of Summit’s summer

There’s so many great activities Summit County offers in June, July and August, that summer is the busiest season in the world of arts and entertainment. Though it’s impossible to list everything going on – especially all of the bands playing at various bars throughout the summer – here’s a primer on what to look for in the Summit Daily’s coverage in upcoming months.

Perhaps the biggest kick-off event for summer in Breck is the Breckenridge Festival of Film, June 10-12. This year is particularly exciting, since the festival celebrates its 30th year, making it one of the oldest film festivals in the nation. So settle into a comfy theater seat for some of the 51 independent drama, comedy, spiritual, documentary and gay and lesbian films. Visit for more information.Kingdom Days, including the town party, celebrates Breckenridge’s heritage with mine tours, gunfights, live music, storytelling and the famous Outhouse Races. It all takes place June 19-20. More info: National Repertory Orchestra (NRO) strikes its first chord in a public concert June 19 and carries on until Aug. 6. Conductor Carl Topilow scours the nation, choosing the cream of the crop of young musicians in graduate and undergraduate school. The musicians are always so excited to work with Topilow and gain the experience that will give them a step up in working with professional orchestras, that they always deliver rousing shows. Though most performances take place at the Riverwalk Center, there are also a handful of free chamber music concerts throughout the county. Visit the NRO is winding down, the Breckenridge Music Festival Orchestra series is just revving up. Top professional musicians from all over the nation converge in Breckenridge to present stunning orchestral sounds with fun themes, including “Czech It Out,” “Swinging at the Summit” and “Rogers & Hammerstein: A Salute.” They play through Aug. 20. Visit of the Breckenridge Music Festival includes the Blue River Series, which offers new and familiar acts ranging from jazz to Southern rock. The contemporary sounds start June 20 with rockabilly and blues artist Imelda May. Other concerts include Preservation Hall Jazz Band, the BoDeans, Cross Canadian Ragweed, Marc Cohn, and just announced, Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks, a band that mixes folk, bluegrass, jazz, swing, country, pop and gypsy music all in one show, on Aug. 1. For more information on the Blue River Series, visit speaking, Breckenridge offers plenty of hikes, featuring mining ruins, and walks through the Victorian town.The Colorado Gold Panning Championships come to Breckenridge with experts giving demonstrations and instruction July 30 through Aug. 1. More info: Arts District provides a plethora of creative classes throughout the summer, as well as outside artists who stay at the Tin Shop and offer public workshops. Find out more by calling (970) 547-3116.And don’t forget about the Backstage Theatre, now in its 36th season. “Spelling Bee,” depicting the hilarious tale of overachievers’ angst competing to win the spelling bee, starts June 24. On July 2, the Backstage presents the world premiere of Arthur Storyman’s “Peter Pan,” a humorous and compelling blend of shadow puppetry, found objects, theatrical magic and, of course, the aim to never grow up.July 15, local B.J. Knapp debuts her script, “The Menopause Monologues,” showing a range of experiences with the midlife change, both funny and poignant. In the beginning of August, the stellar and touching “Tuesdays with Morrie” returns, exploring life and death in a moving story about finding meaning in life.September brings “Beauty and the Beast” for a four-night performance. For more information, visit

Of course, Breckenridge isn’t the only place that has it going on. The Dillon Amphitheatre turns into a free family-friendly dance fest, from its country dancing nights every Thursday in June at 6 p.m., to its Friday and Saturday night concerts, starting June 25 and running through Sept. 3 at 7 p.m. Some of the standards include the always-entertaining Nacho Men, Peter Rowan and The Spring Creek Bluegrass Band, rockin’ oldies Doo Wop Denny and more. On Thursdays at 6 p.m., East Coast swing and jitterbug come to the amphitheatre with free lessons. The fun lasts two hours, and takes place July 8-29 and Aug. 5 and 12. As if that’s not enough, the traditional Sunset at the Summit concerts return at 7 p.m. every Saturday from July 3 through Sept. 4, with Jakarta, Chris Daniels & the Kings, Hamilton Loomis, Vintage Rock & Soul, the music of Jimmy Buffett and more. And, new this year are Sunday afternoon concerts from 1-3 p.m., including Doo Wop Denny (at Town Park), Sharla Jackson, Nancy Cook, John Adams & Friends. Kids of all ages will enjoy Saturday Morning Adventures from June 26 to Aug. 14 at 10 a.m. Programs include the secrets of mountain rescue, campfire showcase, a wildflower walk and more. For an entire list of shows, visit don’t miss Lake Dillon Theatre’s shows. The company holds auditions in New York City to bring in bright new talent. This summer, the historic building is rockin’ with “Smokey Joe’s Caf,” a musical based on Lieber and Stoller’s tunes, which provided the basis for “electrifying entertainment that illuminates a golden age of American culture.” Set in the 1950s, themes of love and loss blend with pop music.”Rent” follows the lives of seven friends living a Bohemian lifestyle in New York’s East Village. The play deals with topics of AIDS, relationships and selling out for money. In June, “Hair” brings the 1960s to the mountains with a group of hippies seeking generational and personal identity while dealing with the Vietnam War, drugs and sex. For more information, see the Keystone section of plays, as well as

Keystone starts summer off right with Beachin’ in the Mountains Festival, featuring live music and family fun. Discover Days take place regularly, with magic shows, zoo animals, sing-alongs and more, as do free concerts during Family Fun Nights.Keystone is known for its festivals, and this summer is no exception. The sixth annual World Music Festival takes place June 26 with live music, an international marketplace and tasty cuisine.”Rapunzel: A Rock-N-Roll Fairytale” portrays Rapunzel discovering an invigorating world outside of her storybook’s pages. The rockin’ show starts July 2. Kids also will enjoy StoriesAlive! Story Hour, starting July 6 at 6 p.m., with stories of Lewis Carroll, Roald Dahl and others.Keystone JazzFest ushers in award-winning jazz performers and culinary and wine demonstrations July 10-11. And, speaking of summer sounds, Music in the Mountains Concert Series offers the sounds of brass quintets, jazz ensembles of a chamber soloist at 11 a.m., starting July 18, weekly. The Snake River Chamber Music Festival also provides classical pieces at Keystone during the summer.The music of Leiber and Stoller debuts July 29 (and runs several times this summer), followed by the Bluegrass and Beer festival July 30 to Aug. 1.And, yet another venue is opening up for people to kick up their heels, with Dancin’ in the Rockies Dance Series, from 6-7:30 p.m., beginning Aug. 3. Dance instructors will provide lessons in a variety of styles every Tuesday through the month of August. And if dancing isn’t your thing, check out the Friday Night Comedy Series at 7:30 p.m. every Friday through August.The sixth annual Blues Festival and Art Show occurs Aug. 21-22, and then Keystone gets your winter adrenaline pumping with the Adrenaline Film Series, starting Sept. 10. Keystone also lengthens the summer season with a theatrical production called “Mario the Peddler” Sept. 11, as well as the second annual Festa Italia. For more information, check out

The 26th Annual Genuine Jazz & Wine has moved to copper and will be held June 25-27, with internationally renowned talent and diverse wine. Friday, starting July 2, Copper cranks it up with a free band at 6 p.m., followed by a free movie under the stars (but be sure to bundle up). The Parker Artists Guild bring something new to Copper July 16-18, with fine arts and crafts of all styles from artists living around the Douglas County and Denver area. presents live music by Shawn Colvin at 8 p.m. July 24. Enjoy her acoustic, pop and folk sound for $15 – or free, if you stay in Copper lodging.August 12-13, Guitar Town comes into town with a clinic by Pete Huttlinger, then the best guitarists gather for the sixth annual Guitar Town festival Aug. 13-15. also hosts various athletic events, so check out its website at

June 18-19, Main Street Frisco pumps out mouth-watering smells of barbecue at Colorado’s official barbecue cook-off, with more than 50 teams.On July 1, Frisco offers one of many free concerts from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Visit for the lineup.On July 24, the classic wooden boat show comes to Frisco Bay Marina, followed by the Corvette show July 25, as more than 500 hot rods ride into town.Aug. 7-8 boasts a fine art show with the region’s best artists. On Aug. 14, Dickie Betts & Great Southern and Tab Benoit take the stage for a packed Main Street show.For more information on Frisco events, and the Thursday night concerts, visit

Josh Blue, who earned fame on Season four of NBC’s “Last Comic Standing,” comes to the Silverthorne Pavilion at 8 p.m. June 17.On July 19, the pavilion celebrates American girls with a showing of “Kit Kittredge, An American Girl.” August 2 is all about boys, where boys learn to make a bow and arrow, fish, go on a treasure hunt and make the world’s best paper airplane.For more information on Silverthorne events, call (970) 262-7390.

Fourth of July ushers in parties throughout the county. Breck hosts a 10K trail race, a free NRO concert and fireworks. There’s a garden party and barbecue at the Barney Ford Museum. More info: Dillon honors soldiers July 2 at 4 p.m. with a concert by the Air force Academy Band and fireworks choreographed to music. On the Fourth, the NRO performs at noon, followed by Doo Wop Denny, a kid’s bike parade, pie and watermelon eating contests, a concert by Walker Williams Band and evening fireworks. For more info on Dillon events, visit, Keystone hosts a block party and parade on July 4. July 2-4 brings a “green” art fair. From 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. July 4, the town parties with a parade, a kids’ fishing derby and bike decorating contest, live music and fireworks.Copper celebrates the Fourth with a 3 Ring Weekend, full of ‘eco-edutainment, a mountain carnival and live music. It also hosts the U.S. Half Marathon.

September would be a quiet month in Summit, if it were not for Oktoberfest – and Keystone’s parties, and Frisco’s pine beetle fest (Sept. 11) and … OK, maybe not so quiet. Breck holds its big brew Sept. 17-19. Silverthorne Pavilion’s Blue River Festival, which includes a fishing derby, a run/walk, a picnic and live music on the lawn, takes place Sept. 12. On Labor Day weekend, Copper Country celebrates the best of the American spirit with not only music, but also art festivals, kids’ crafts, mechanical bull rides and a petting zoo. And, if you haven’t had your fill of chamber music, the Alpenglow Chamber Music Festival provides rousing concerts Sept. 13-19.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.

Now more than ever, your financial support is critical to help us keep our communities informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having on our residents and businesses. Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.

Your donation will be used exclusively to support quality, local journalism.

For tax deductible donations, click here.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User