Celebrate the “unofficial start of summer” with Beaver Creek’s 13th Annual Blues, Brews & BBQ festival during Memorial Day Weekend. Enjoy sweet and tangy barbecue, delectable microbrews, and tasty blues jams including “The Godfather of British Blues,” and Blues Hall of Fame Inductee John Mayall on Saturday afternoon. Sunday’s festivities close out with Tommy Castro & the Painkillers, Winner of the B.B. King Entertainer of the Year Award.
Starting on Saturday, May 28, top Colorado barbecue chefs reach for their top-shelf ingredients, recipes and techniques to barbecue, smoke and roast succulent Colorado meats, poultry and summer vegetables to pair with cold, thirst-quenching craft brews. Attendees will have the chance to vote on Saturday and Sunday to determine the People’s Choice winner for Best Barbecue Vendor. Selected winners will be crowned on Sunday at 4:10 p.m. on the main stage in Beaver Creek Plaza.
A free Kids’ Zone will be open from 12 to 4 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday providing activities and arts & crafts designed for kids 12 and under. Also available for kids is a chance to test their endurance on the mechanical bull or jump around in the bounce house.
Have you ever wanted to master the art of the harmonica? Now is your chance! Join us on Saturday and Sunday at 12 p.m. in the Beaver Creek Village for Gary Allegretto’s “Learn to Play the Blues Harmonica Instantly” clinic and take home your very own Hohner Harmonica.
Both days’ musical lineups will open with the passionate and bold performance of Shari Puorto, a blues rock band from California. Her energetic performance will kick off the festival from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. each day. A true master of the harmonica, Gary Allegretto will then take the stage at 2:30 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.
Following the electrifying sounds of the harmonica on Saturday, Blues Hall of Famer John Mayall takes the stage at 4:30 p.m. Known as the “Godfather of British Blues,” Mayall’s blues rock infuses keyboard and harmonica with classic blues guitar. In a career spanning over fifty years, Mayall founded John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, featuring the early sounds of legends Eric Clapton, Peter Green, and Mick Fleetwood.
Experience one of the largest exclusively Colorado Microbrewery Beer Tastings in the state from 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 28. The Microbrew Festival features more than 80 carefully crafted concoctions from over 30 Colorado-based breweries. Guests can purchase advance tickets online for $40 per person, or at the door for $50 per person; participants receive a commemorative tasting glass and unlimited beer tastings are included. The event will be held outdoors at Centennial Park, located at the base of the Buckaroo Express Gondola. The event’s nonprofit beneficiary, Vail Veterans Foundation, will receive a portion of the proceeds from every ticket sold.
Sunday’s festivities close out at 4:30 p.m. with the high-energy, soulful stylings of Tommy Castro & the Painkillers. Captivating audiences for over 40 years, Tommy Castro & the Painkillers bring soulful grit and dynamic guitar licks to contemporary blues rock.
Sunday’s Big Green Egg Backyard BBQ Amateur Competition returns for its fourth year, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Teams made up of one to three amateur chefs will receive a mystery grilling meat and side dish items to design and prepare in three hours using a Big Green Egg. A panel of professional judges will determine the winner. The event takes place at the Beaver Creek Covered Bridge. The winning team will receive their very own high quality, ceramic, Big Green Egg valued at $1,049. Registration for the amateur competition is $85 per team and teams can sign up online here.
I was halfway up the trail from the base of Beaver Creek Resort, running through the aspens and gulping the air to eek out as much oxygen as possible when I had to stop. It wasn’t the elevation that gave me pause, or even the way the trail inclined.
The Beaver Creek Rodeo Series, presented by The Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa, begins Thursday, June 23 for the 15th season.