Each year for the past 20 years, Sun Valley has kicked off summer with a focus on health, wellness, and fun at the Sun Valley Wellness Festival. Spanning the long Memorial Day weekend, this year from May 26 to 29, it is the perfect start to the season, inviting participants to think deeply and breathe deeply during a wide range of programming. There truly is something for everyone. The Sun Valley Wellness Festival was started in 1997 with the mission of inspiring people to live healthier lives. To that end, they bring to Sun Valley each year the best of the best across a mind boggling...
Get ready, Labor Day weekend, the unofficial end-of-summer is coming up fast and this year, it’s going to be fantastic. No one does Labor Day like Sun Valley with an almost endless choice of authentic, western, star-studded, and family-friendly activities. You will want to plan now so you don’t miss a minute.
From September 2 - 5, there will be live music, Olympic champion ice skaters, mountain bike races, antique cars, and one of the best and biggest non-motorized parades anywhere. You can stay busy and entertained all day and all night and ensure the summer ends on a high note.
Labor Day weekend in Sun Valley is full of fun and it all leads up to the big show – the Wagon Days Parade featuring the Big Hitch
Kick off the weekend with some beautiful music when Kelli O’Hara and Nathan Gunn take to the Pavilion stage on Friday, September 2. O’Hara, a 2015 Tony Award Winner for The King and I, and Gunn, an opera sensation, are sure to dazzle with their salute, “Broadway Under the Stars.” They will be accompanied by the American Festival Orchestra under the baton of Craig Jessop. Special VIP tickets are available from Sun Valley Opera at 208.726.0991 or at www.sunvalleyopera.com and include dinner with Kelli and Nathan September 1 in a private home, a cocktail party and premier seating at the concert. Tickets to the concert are also available HERE. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the show begins at 7:30 p.m.
It will be a night of beautiful music when Kelli O’Hara and Nathan Gunn kick off Labor Day weekend with a concert at the Sun Valley Pavilion
On Saturday night, the outdoor rink lights up with the last Sun Valley on Ice show of the season and they are going out strong! The incomparable Meryl Davis and Charlie White, Olympic Gold Medalists, two-time World Gold Medalists, six-time United States Gold Medalists, and Sun Valley favorites headline this special show that begins at 8:30 p.m. with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. The grace and artistry of Davis and White will literally take your breath away and there is almost no venue that gets the audience closer to the action than Sun Valley. There are still bleacher and buffet dinner/show tickets available, but don’t wait until the last minute to secure yours – this show always sells out. Be sure to also dress in warm layers. By 10 p.m. when the show ends, there is certain to be a bit of a fall nip in the air! Tickets are available at the Sun Valley Recreation Office (208.622.2135) or by clicking HERE.
Gold medalists Meryl Davis and Charlie White will electrify at the final Sun Valley On Ice show on September 3, bringing their beauty and grace to this intimate venue
There will be thrills of a different kind on Sunday, September 4, when Sun Valley will be home base for Rebecca Rusch’s “Private Idaho” mountain bike event. If you are a fat tire enthusiast, join “Queen of Pain” Rebecca Rusch, one of the world’s top endurance athletes for this adventure. There are options for “small fry” and “big potato” riders this year. And there’s more to the event than just biking. On Saturday, from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m., there is a Patron Parade Party open to all RPI participants and friends and then, after the parade, there is a book signing, a yoga class for cyclists, and a welcome party. To learn more, or to register, please visit www.rebeccasprivateidaho.com.
Sun Valley’s own Rebecca Rusch brings her favorite sport to her favorite place, hosting the “Private Idaho” mountain bike events
If beautiful cars are what get your heart pounding, the Sun Valley Silver Car Auction returns to the Resort on September 3 and 4. Stroll around the grounds next to the Sun Valley Lodge where vintage classics, classics, American and European sports cars, exotics, luxury and muscle cars are all on display before they are auctioned off to the highest bidder. There is some serious eye candy here and it’s an event my family never misses.
Of course, the ‘big show’ over Labor Day is Wagon Days -- many festivities culminating in the annual Wagon Days Big Hitch Parade. If you’ve never seen this, you must. The parade route takes carriages, horses, museum-quality wagons and, of course, the mule drawn Big Hitch Ore Wagon down Sun Valley Road and through downtown Ketchum. It’s a glimpse of the area’s rich history come to life. This year, the Big Hitch and the dozens of other carriages, buggies, stagecoaches, and carts roll down Sun Valley Road on to Main Street on Saturday, September 3, at 1 p.m.
One of my family’s favorite Labor Day activities is the Sun Valley Silver Car Auction where classic, vintage and exotic cars make for a fun afternoon of ‘window shopping’ – or buying!
New this year, a very exciting concert will be a part of the Wagon Days celebration. Right after the parade on September 3 on East Avenue, there will be a street party culminating in a free public concert featuring country music sensation Amy Clawson & Coltrane at 6 p.m. Leading up to the concert, enjoy food, and a family-friendly atmosphere, as well as the announcement of parade awards. Then get ready to dance the evening away to Amy Clawson who has been called, “the next big thing in country music … with the voice of an established superstar, and the soul of a pioneer.”
Amy Clawson & Coltrane will rock Wagon Day celebrations in a free concert that the whole family will love
The summer doesn’t go out quietly, however. On Labor Day evening, September 5, Lukas Nelson and the Promise of the Real will rock the Sun Valley Pavilion. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the shows kicks off at 6:30 p.m. With special guests, the Social Animals, this will be a raucous and rocking goodbye to an amazing summer season. Be sure to get your tickets HERE.
There is so much more to the Wagon Days celebrations. Please check back to this blog for detailed information about a few of the exciting events, or click HERE for a full listing of events including Cowboy poetry, the Grand Marshal’s Reception, Meandering Musicians, Arts and Crafts fairs, pancake breakfasts, and so much more!
The Wagon Days Headquarters is now open and will be through September 5. Stop by the charming museum on the corner of East Avenue and Fifth Street from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., for information, hats, t-shirts, posters, buttons and much more.
Don’t miss the Big Hitch parade or any of the exciting events surrounding the long Labor Day weekend
Don’t let the last weekend of the summer pass you by. Get out there and enjoy everything Sun Valley has to offer. Hike or bike on Baldy while the lift service is running. Play a round of golf or try your luck, and skill, fly fishing. Book and appointment at The Spa at Sun Valley and return to “real life” pampered and relaxed. Make time to enjoy as many Labor Day weekend events as possible. Now is the time to get it all in.
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