With the summer madness now over with, the early part of the fall in mountain towns is all about stacking the calendar with events to make sure people still come up before the real shoulder season starts in mid-October. Beer festivals, art events, fundraisers, and ski movie premieres are all part of the lineup, and this weekend is especially packed with scheduled happenings, like the premiere of the CRJ documentary at Squaw Valley, Oktoberfest at Vail, the Fall Arts Festival in Jackson, and the annual Ruggerfest rugby tournament in Aspen. Here's Curbed's guide to all that's happening in the Mountain West this weekend.
· Two competing events are taking place this weekend at Squaw Valley. First, a free premiere of CRJ, a documentary highlighting the life of Squaw Valley local and late professional skier CR Johnson, is going down outside at the KT Base Bar at 6 pm tomorrow, followed by an after-party at the Plaza Bar. Around the same time, the Friends of Squaw Valley, an advocacy group working to influence KSL's plans for a base village there will be hosting a showing of the 2007 movie, Resorting To Madness, which highlights some of the downsides of the current ski industry development model. That starts at 6 pm at the Resort at Squaw Creek, and will be preceded by an update on KSL's plans for the base village.
· Crested Butte's Vinotok Festival, which starts this Sunday and runs through the 21st, harkens back to the town's original population of immigrant miners from Eastern Europe with a Slavic fall harvest festival that has elements of wine tasting, storytelling, a community feast on Thursday, and other events that culminate in a paganish ritual on Saturday in which an effigy of something called the Great Grump is sacrificed in a bonfire as a "scapegoat for the discordance between nature and technology." Sound intense!
· On a much lighter note, the annual Rubber Ducky Race returns to Steamboat Springs tomorrow, where residents will release up to 3,000 rubber ducklings into the Yampa River, with the owner of the fastest duck claiming a $1,000 cash prize. The event, a fundraiser for the Yampa Valley Medical Center, starts at 10 am.
· The Whistler Village Beer Festival kicks off as a one-day event tomorrow afternoon in Whistler's Olympic Plaza, celebrating brewers from across Canada and the Pacific Northwest. A number of sideshows are listed for both tonight and tomorrow night as well, including beer halls, beer and meat pairings, a bunch of after-parties, and a beer brunch to nab the hair of the dog on Sunday morning.
· On the tail end of the annual Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival, which has been running since the 5th, is the QuickDraw Art Sale and Auction, where national, regional, and local artists get 90 minutes to create a painting or sculpture from scratch, which is then immediately auctioned off. Taking place at 9 am in Town Square, the event is a chance to watch the creative process from end to end in a super condensed format, with many of the works depicting local landscapes and wildlife.
· Vail's annual Oktoberfest runs through tomorrow, and given Vail Village's obsessive faux-Alps appeal, is probably the best venue to be enjoying a German beer festival if you're forced to be stateside for it. Aside from all the drinking, their are Bavarian bands, stein lifting contests, keg bowling, and if you need a break to sober up, The America Cup fly-fishing tournament is taking place on International Bridge and rivers around the area.
· Aspen's annual Ruggerfest, touted as "the world's only all-age, full-contact rugby tournament," finishes up this weekend at Wagner Park in the heart of downtown. The Open Division Championship Match goes down on Sunday at 4:00 pm, and is your one chance a year to actually watch people play rugby at Wagner Park. The rest of the year those weird wooden field goals just serve as pee breaks for local dogs.