Keep Those Wagons Rolling

Dust off those cowboy boots and clear your schedule; the Labor Day holiday weekend is right around the corner. From the Big Hitch Parade (the largest non-motorized parade in the Northwest), to arts and antiques fairs, gallery walks, classic car shows, music, and so, so much more -- no one celebrates the end of summer like Sun Valley with Wagon Days.

Wagon Days is nearly here and there are countless ways to enjoy the last weekend of the season. Ready, set, have fun!

The long weekend kicks off in earnest on Thursday, May 31, when the legendary Eddie Money storms the Pavilion stage for a concert filled with favorites.  Just try not to sing along with hits like “Baby Hold On,” “Two Tickets to Paradise,” “Think I’m in Love,” and “Shakin” among so many others. Money hit double platinum with his debut album and has kept the favorites coming throughout his long career. His Grammy-nominated duet with Ronnie Spector, “Take Me Home Tonight,” reached No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100. Doors for this rockin’ night open at 7 p.m. and the show kicks off at 8 p.m. Tickets are available HERE or at the Sun Valley Village at the Activities Center.

More great music is coming to the Pavilion on Sunday, September 3, when the incomparable Lukas Nelson & the Promise of the Real and Jamestown Revival wind up the weekend on just the right note. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. with the show starting at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are available HERE or by calling (208)622-2135.

The one-and-only Eddie Money will kick off the Labor Day long weekend with a high-energy concert at the Sun Valley Pavilion on May 31

The fun in Sun Valley also gets pretty cool on Saturday night, September 2, when crowd favorite Johnny Weir headlines Sun Valley on Ice. This World Bronze Medalist and 3X United States Gold Medalist puts on a show that’s impossible to forget! Both buffet dinner/show tickets and general admission show tickets are available HERE and the show begins at dusk (approximately 8:40 p.m.) Don’t miss it!

The Silver Car Auction returns to the Sun Valley Resort, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday with bidding taking place Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Come check out some gorgeous classic and modern cars as well as a barbecue lunch. My family loves this yearly event!

The yearly Silver Car Auction is a fun event at Sun Valley Resort – whether you are bidding or just browsing

Ketchum is also filled with non-stop action over the Labor Day weekend. Of course, the main attraction is the Big Hitch Parade that makes its way down Sun Valley Road to Main Street on Saturday, September 2, starting at 1 p.m. If you haven’t seen this (or even if you have seen it every year!) you really need to go. This is the largest non-motorized parade in the Northwest, and features museum-quality buggies, carriages, carts, stagecoaches, and wagons. Six enormous Lewis Ore Wagons, known as the Big Hitch, offer a spectacular grand finale, pulled by an authentic twenty-mule jerkline. It is truly a sight to behold.

A highlight of the Labor Day weekend in Sun Valley is the Wagon Days Parade and the star of the show is the authentic Big Hitch wagon train

Saturday starts off in just the right way with an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast at Ketchum Town Square beginning at 8 a.m. This event also includes live music and all proceeds benefit local youth. Then, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and again after the parade, it’s all about the kids. On the corner of Fourth Street and East Avenue, many free events and activities will keep the entire family happy. Choose from mini-train rides and Wagons Ho!, an event to help children understand and experience some of the challenges and rewards early settlers faced. Then, once the wagons have rolled through town, a free concert and street party takes over Ketchum. Starting at around 3 p.m., Lukas Nelson & The Promise of the Real will play on East Avenue as part of this family-friendly celebration. In addition to music, there will be lots of food and a thriving party atmosphere. This will be followed by and Ore Wagon Museum Barn Dance at the corner of East Avenue and Fifth Street.

But wait, there’s more! Much more, in fact. Wagon Days kicks off in earnest on Friday at 4:30 p.m. with the Grand Marshal Reception in Ketchum’s Memory Park. Then on Friday, from 5 – 8 p.m., be a part of the popular Ketchum Art Gallery Walk. The city’s many exceptional galleries will throw open their doors for a very social and enjoyable way to see some inspiring art and enjoy the vibrant cultural scene. The evening winds down with a concert from 3hattrio (three hat trio) performing American-Desert Music at the Sun Valley Opera House at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and for more information and to purchase tickets, please click http://sunvalley.ticketfly.com/event/1518581

Beginning on Friday, September 1, meandering musicians will entertain throughout the days, “playin’ like it’s payday.” Cowboy poets will recite at the Ore Wagon Museum, telling “classic cow-camp cookfire stories as told by cowpokes for generations,” according to weekend organizers. Another interesting event takes place on Saturday at Festival Meadows at 10:30 a.m. when the Ehcapa Bareback Riders demonstrate the horse riding and jumping techniques of the Native Americans. They ride without the benefit of saddles or bridles and it’s an impressive show.

Wagon Days is full of fun spectacles including a demonstration from the Ehcapa Bareback Riders who jump and perform without saddles or bridles

Throughout the weekend, arts, crafts & antiques festivals will delight up and down the valley. Whether you are looking for something special, a great souvenir, or just love to browse, spend a few hours among the many tents. There is also a momentous bike race, Rebecca’s Private Idaho sponsored by the “Queen of Pain” herself Rebecca Rusch over the weekend. On Sunday, from noon to 7 p.m., the ride winds up at Ketchum’s Town Square. Post-ride events, all open to racers and non-racers alike, include a Vendor Expo, food, drinks, live music and a heel-kicking game of Gelande Quaffin. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the luxurious Sun Valley Spa offers indulgent pampering during their Skin Deep Hydrafacial event Friday. Experience an Express Hydrafacial Service, enjoy complimentary drinks and appetizers, and receive a spa gift to take home featuring the new fall skincare line. All guests will have unlimited access to Spa Amenities and Lodge Pool from 10 a.m. ‘til 2 p.m. on the day of event. A $50 reservation fee guarantees your appointment. Please R.S.V.P. by calling (208) 622-2160. 

It’s almost time! Get on your cowboy duds and don’t miss a minute!

There are so many ways to have fun and to toast the end of an amazing summer. Please check sunvalley.com/events and the official Wagon Days website for a full list of activities and be sure to enjoy every minute!

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