Summit County resorts open with fun, music and culture this weekend |

Summit County resorts open with fun, music and culture this weekend

Allison Perry
Special to the Daily

Summer officially begins the June 20. But that is all about to change, as Breckenridge and Keystone get ready to officially kick off summer today with a plethora of weekend events and entertainment that will appeal to everyone from families to adrenaline junkies at their opening celebrations.

For those who enjoy getting after it all summer long, Keystone will be opening miles of world- class mountain biking trails as well as the notoriously steep, lift-serviced downhill runs. The Pump Track Bike Park will also be open during kick-off weekend. For those coming back every weekend, keep your eye on the calendar for the summer Kidtopia Saturday events taking place at the resort.

For the inner competitor in all of us, Keystone will be hosting the first of the Ascent Series Uphill Races. Open to all, this competition is an all-vertical race against the clock on a grueling course. Cash prizes will be awarded to the top three finishers in both women’s and men’s. And, because what goes up must come down, Keystone will also host its Enduro Series Downhill Race, a downhill version of the Ascent Races where participants can choose their own routes down Dercum Mountain in the hopes of winning prizes and respect.

If relaxation is more your speed, Keystone will also be offering scenic lift rides for those who want to experience some breathtaking High Country scenery without sucking wind or eating dirt. In addition to activities on the mountain, Keystone will play host to various live music acts and entertainment in the village during its summer opening celebration. There will be free live music in River Run Village from 1-3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and daily perks include free hot chocolate and donuts at 8 each morning at the base of the River Run Gondola, free bike inspections and 10 percent off of equipment tune-ups at Keystone Sports and free BMX stunt shows boasting former America’s Got Talent contestants.

If hills just aren’t your thing, Keystone is opening its two award-winning golf courses as well, sure to please those who do not have youngsters in tow and are looking for more leisurely grown-up fun. Keystone’s courses boast some of the best views around enjoyed in the cooler average summer temps afforded by the higher altitude. The “We’re Open” Open will be held on Sunday at the Keystone Ranch Course with a chance to win $3,000 and a spot on the “We’re Open” trophy.

Keystone will also be hosting the first Friday Afternoon Club on June 15, a fun-for-all weekly event running (you guessed it) every Friday through August at the Summit House, atop the River Run Gondola. Friday Afternoons start at 4:30 p.m. and go until 7, and participants will enjoy free access to activities such as horseshoes, corn hole, bocce ball and ladder ball. Guests will also be treated to free live music by Luv Brothers or Chancer’s Hooley (depending which Friday it is), and various drink and food specials.

For a decidedly less bike-themed opening weekend, head to Breckenridge for some fun and culture in the sun. Breck will ring in summer with Kingdom Days, a free celebration honoring the town’s mining history.

Additionally, the first day of the celebrations will mark the opening of the Breckenridge Fun Park at the base of the Peak 8 Gondola, a must for anyone with kids. The Fun Park is home to an alpine slide, mini-golf, four-wheel track and, perhaps most importantly, the Gold Runner Coaster. After a long day at the Fun Park, adults and children can unwind with a performance by the National Repertory Orchestra, playing, among other things, Elgar Enigma Variations.

Kingdom Days officially begins Saturday and will pay homage to the miners who founded the town of Breckenridge with free blacksmithing demonstrations, mine tours, museum exhibitions and a variety of children’s activities. Check out the sidewalk sale on Main Street during Kingdom Days, where local businesses take to the street to offer deals.

Don’t miss out on a summer dog-sledding ride (yes, you read that correctly), with Snow Caps Dog Sledding. Snow Caps trains their sled dogs for racing all summer, and you get to reap the rewards by hopping on a summer cart. Going for a ride and getting to visit with the dogs is a truly unique experience both kids and adults can enjoy and is sure to be a favorite at this year’s festivities.

If it’s potty-themed fun you’re out for, show up for the sixth annual Outhouse Races, the weekend’s main event. Outhouse Races are open to all who register by today and, as the name suggests, requires competitors to race down Ridge Street in homemade outhouses. At stake are the coveted Gold Throne, Silver Moon and Bronze Bucket awards as well as cash prizes. After the race itself competitors and audience alike are welcome to join in some delicious BBQ and live Bluegrass at Carter Park. Tasty and tasteless, the Outhouse Races are some of the best fun Breck has to offer and should occupy another “must-do” spot on your list.

Opening weekend at Breck will culminate Saturday with a bash in town followed by an after- party at local live music spot three20south on Main Street. Great American Taxi is returning to Summit County after a smashing performance at A-Basin a few weeks ago, headed by Colorado darling Vince Herman, lead singer of Leftover Salmon. Joining them will be Whitewater Ramble, a self-proclaimed “jam-grass” band that should cap off the mountain festivities nicely.

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