Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Aspen Summer Events – Eco Food Wine Music Ideas Science

Aspen Summer Events - Eco-Fest Street View
Aspen Summer Events - Eco-Fest Street View (Photo credit: richpalpine)
The snow has finally completely disappeared from the slopes, the annual burst of spring flowers is already dwindling, the vegetable gardens have emerged, the bikes and hiking boots have been dusted off, and all of a sudden Aspen summer events are in full swing.

I can’t believe it, but the Aspen Eco-Fest has already made its annual appearance, the Food & Wine Classic has blown through town, and before I could complete this post, the Jazz Aspen Snowmass June Jazz Festival once again entertained and energized visitors and locals alike.

Highlights of Aspen Summer Events That Have Already Come and Gone for This Year

Aspen Eco-Fest was interesting and educational. I’m still not as attuned to green/eco-friendly realm as I know I should be, but every year I get a little better. Although the Eco-Fest event appears to be a little more commercial than its name would imply, it is thought provoking while providing a fun and entertaining distraction.

The highlights for me this year were the alpacas, the “solarography” booth and the eco-friendly Children’s Train Ride (I didn’t actually ride the train myself of course, but the kids looked like they were having a blast).

I was also intrigued by the Colorado Soil Systems compost tea which is supposed to “replenish the soil and act as a natural fertilizer to restore balance to the soil environment” -

I am going to give it a try on some rough sections of my lawn.

The Food & Wine Classic invaded with its usual circus of culinary and bacchanal fun, and the town once again survived (I’m not sure about many of the event attendees). Even with Aspen’s already well-known reputation for extravagance, when the classic arrives it’s almost as though an entirely different fantasy world is suddenly plopped right down on the town. Disneyland-meets-“Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” comes to Aspen, and then, poof – it’s gone!

I usually stay away from the actual Food & Wine events because:

1. I don’t drink (I do, of course like food, but see #2)
2. Like many locals – it’s too pricey for me. I’m not on vacation and I can’t afford to act like I am.
3. Even though it’s not really my scene, I live on Main Street and I have no choice but to be right in the middle of the fiasco anyway. It is a bit like watching a TV reality show unfold right before my eyes.

The Jazz Aspen Snowmass June Jazz Festival was great! I managed to catch the Jackson Browne and the Tedeschi Trucks Band shows via festival lawn seating in the midst of writing this post. It still amazes me how good the sound is outside of the music tent, and the casual atmosphere lends itself to relaxation and socializing with friends one hasn’t seen in a while.

Here’s a slideshow of the Aspen summer fun so far:


Upcoming Aspen Summer Events

No rest for the weary, I’m adding more and more events to my calendar.  Here are some of the likely candidates:

Aspen Ideas Festival: A global and local favorite for years, the event has begun even as I write this post. There are too many related events to list here, but the link above provides all of the details.

I don’t yet know which all of the events I will attend this year, but I have volunteered to be a telescope operator for the “The World’s Most Awesome Stargazing Event at 11,212 Feet”, co-hosted by the Aspen Science Center. I’m looking forward to helping out even though I haven’t operated a telescope in years.

The Science Center is looking to move into the old Art Museum Space and would use the facility in the following ways:

“• As a center for informal education in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM).
• As a center to gather collaborating non-profit science and educational organizations in the Aspen Valley for joint projects and events.
• As a center to hold a variety of educational events for the public, especially children.
• As a Museum of Science with hands-on displays for children of all ages.”

They also host the Aspen Science Festival, a summer-long celebration of science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics, and they hold a “Science Street Fair” in August.

Physics lectures: The Aspen Center for Physics has lectures and presentations running throughout the summer. The Heinz R. Pagels Memorial Lectures and Public Dialogues presentations are always quite fascinating – I’m sure I will attend a few.

I haven’t even started to talk about the Aspen Music Festival yet, which gets underway this week, and the USA Pro Challenge cycling event that comes through in August!

More on these later - time to put down the pen (computer), take a deep breath, and enjoy the next onslaught of the oh-so-many wonderful Aspen summer events that await.

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