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Vail America Days™ Preview

  • 28 June 2017
Vail America Days™ Preview

Summer Fourth of July Preview 2017

Make the most of your holiday with music, fireworks and a patriotic parade in the heart of Vail. Gather up the family and enjoy the fun!

Vail America Days Schedule

Celebrate the USA with Vail America Days™ Parade

The region’s largest parade begins at 10 a.m. in Vail on Tuesday, July 4. Grand Marshals Sally and Bill Hanlon, longtime community boosters, will help lead this crowd-favorite extravaganza. The parade winds its way from Golden Peak on Vail Valley Drive, then west to Hanson Ranch Road, north on Bridge Street, west on Gore Creek Drive, north across the International Bridge, west along Meadow Drive and finally through the Lionshead Mall to finish at approximately noon. Watch for the best patriotic-themed entries that deliver on the parade theme: “America the Beautiful.” For a good view of the parade, arrive by 9:30 a.m. and pick a location along the parade route. No water fights, please. Also, consider leaving your dog at home where it will be safe from the crowds and loud noises which could startle your pet. To help reduce congestion, spectators are encouraged to ride their bikes or take the bus to the parade. Live coverage begins at 10:30 a.m. on local cable Channel 5 or on the web at

Traffic Detours

Beginning at 7 a.m. Tuesday, traffic on Vail Valley Drive will be designated one-way westbound from east of the soccer field to South Frontage Road. Traffic will be rerouted at the intersection of Vail Valley Drive and South Frontage Road just east of the Vail Village parking structure. Parade vehicles and local traffic will access Golden Peak from the east along Vail Valley Drive near the Vail Golf Club. Staging of floats and participants will be on the south side of Vail Valley Drive. This street will be closed to all vehicle traffic from east of the soccer field to South Frontage Road from 9:45 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Honoring Sally and Bill Hanlon

As the newly-announced Vail America Days™ Parade Marshals for 2017, Sally and Bill Hanlon have been part of the Vail community for decades and were instrumental in helping to create the parade in those early years. They were also involved in working with local organizers to support parade appearances by talented musicians from Los Angeles. For many of these young, inner city band members, it was their first trip across the country and an inspiration of what the future could hold. The Hanlons are the proud owners of Wild Bill’s Emporium, located in the heart of Vail Village. We salute the Hanlons for all they have done and continue to do to show their enthusiasm and support for Vail.

Public Parking & Event Access

Arrive early on Tuesday, July 4 to enjoy free parking in the Vail Village and Lionshead parking garages. The 2,500 parking spaces will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis and typically reach capacity prior to the 10 a.m. start of the parade. Please pull a ticket upon entry to access the free parking and insert the ticket to exit. Once the two structures fill, additional free parking will be available on the north side of the South Frontage Road until 11 p.m. Close-in parking at Ford Park will be available for $10 on a first-come, first-served basis from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Vail and ECO Transit will offer increased bus service throughout the holiday week. This includes free express buses which will provide 6- to 8-minute Frontage Road service between Ford Park, Vail Village and Lionshead from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Also, enjoy increased bus service on the East Vail, Golf Course and Sandstone routes all summer long. In addition, Vail’s in-town shuttle extends to Ford Park via Vail Valley Drive from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Call 970-477-3456 for Vail bus information or 970-328-3520 for ECO schedule details. Visit for expanded and extended transit routes and parking info.

Patriotic Concert

In addition to the variety of other events taking place, the annual patriotic concert performed by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra presented by Bravo! Vail and the Vail Valley Foundation, will take place at the Ford Amphitheater at 2 p.m. Tuesday. All pavilion tickets will go on sale at 8 a.m. Saturday, July 1. Each purchaser is limited to four tickets at $25 per ticket and will be available only to walk up customers at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater Box Office. All proceeds from ticket sales benefit the Vail Veterans program.

Fireworks Show

The celebration in Vail continues throughout the day and into the evening and will culminate with a fireworks show at Golden Peak on July 4th at dusk (conditions permitting). The fireworks will be synchronized to a powerful musical soundtrack and the show is suitable for all ages. Please tune in to 97.7 FM, the Zephyr for a simulcast. Check,  and local media outlets for status updates in case of changing circumstances that would require cancellation. 

Fireworks/Open Burning

Public safety agencies in Eagle County would like to remind everyone that the personal use of most fireworks is prohibited. Illegal fireworks include those that fly into the air and those with a loud bang such as bottle rockets, firecrackers, cherry bombs, Roman candles and M-80 salutes. To ensure a safe and fun holiday, Eagle County agencies encourage guests and residents to view the public professional displays that are taking place in Vail, Avon, Beaver Creek and the Eagle Valley community. 

Annual Friends of Vail Public Library Book Sale & Bake Sale

Beginning Monday, July 3, and running through Thursday, July 5, the Friends of Vail Public Library will be sponsoring their annual Fourth of July Book Sale which will be highlighted by a bake sale on Tuesday from 8 a.m. to noon in front of the library. Come peruse the diverse selection of books, DVDs and CDs in Vail Public Library’s Community Room during the Book Sale hours: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, July 3; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, July 4; and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, July 5.  All proceeds from the Book Sale and Bake Sale will benefit the Friends of Vail Public Library. For more information, please contact Lori Barnes at or call 970-479-2194.

41st Annual La Sportiva Vail HillClimb

Named best trail race by Colorado Runner Magazine in 2006 and 2011, the Vail HillClimb is a Vail tradition and tests local, regional and national runners with a 7.7 mile climb from Vail Village to Mid-Vail. The Vail HillClimb will begin at 7 a.m. on Saturday, July 8 in Vail Village and finish at Mid-Vail after ascending the traditional HillClimb route and over 2,200 vertical feet. Race participants will follow the historic gravel double-track route that has made the HillClimb a favorite among trail running enthusiasts. For more information and registration, visit

Epic Discovery at Vail Mountain

Zip, fly, climb, tube: how will you discover Vail Mountain? With ziplines, an alpine coaster, new climbing wall and much more, the options are endless at Epic Discovery, the ultimate on-mountain playground! Now, kids 12-and-under can ride the gondola for free with a paying adult, allowing for even easier access to adventure. With ticket options varying from an all-day, unlimited Ultimate Adventure Pass to the new individual activity tickets, you can make the most of the time you have and explore Vail through all the big-time thrills Epic Discovery has to offer.

Environmental Art Installation

Enjoy Vail’s new environmental art installation “Symmetree,” located on West Meadow Drive east of the Vail Public Library, sponsored by Art in Public Places. Created by Ben Roth, artist of the acclaimed beetle-killed lodge pole pine installation “Singing Trees” installed previously in Ford Park, the artist along with Sam Macke and Timo Macke, constructed his latest interactive installation using six felled diseased spruce trees capturing the raw beauty of nature. A native of Colorado, Roth currently resides in Jackson, Wyo.

Art Walks

Join the Art in Public Places Coordinator on Wednesdays for the free weekly Art Walks and tour of Vail Village. The tour meets at 11 a.m. each Wednesday through Aug. 30 at the Vail Village Welcome Center on the top level of the parking structure. The tour lasts approximately one hour.

Enjoy River Waters Safely

While this is an excellent time to find fun and adventure on Colorado’s rivers, be sure to plan ahead before heading off downstream. Recommendations from Vail Fire and Emergency Services include using a professional guide if you’re inexperienced. Also, regardless of experience, the right gear is essential. Never enter the water until you’re equipped with a Personal Flotation Device (life jacket), helmet and appropriate cold-water protection, such as a wet suit or dry suit. Finally, look out for each other. Keep an eye on children and dogs, ensuring they are a safe distance from swift moving currents and debris. Prevention is the most effective form of rescue.

I-70 Vail Underpass to Open this Fall

Several more months of construction remain until the I-70 Vail underpass opens to traffic. The project includes new roundabouts on the North and South Frontage Roads and will be completed this fall - before the beginning of ski season. Until then, the Frontage Roads are restricted to one-way travel for the short distance through the project site. Transit riders are being directed to the West Vail Red line as the Green route has been suspended during construction. For project updates, visit


Expanded Bus Service Offered as Pilot Program

Outlying bus routes in the East Vail, Golf Course and Sandstone neighborhoods have doubled in frequency for the summer to encourage additional ridership during peak times. With this added convenience, residents and guests are being challenged to leave their vehicles behind this summer and enjoy the economical and environmental advantages of Vail’s free transit system. This increased frequency will make it easier to attend an event, run an errand, get to a job, go shopping or dining, or recreate. Racks on the outlying buses hold up to three bikes.

Bus it to Hike it

Avoid the inconvenience of overflow trailhead parking in Vail and use public transit to start your trek – hassle free. The town has launched a new “Bus it to Hike it” campaign this season featuring an easy to use directory connecting 3 bus routes to 9 trailheads from West Vail to East Vail. Hikers are encouraged to park in the Vail Village or Lionshead parking structure and catch an outlying bus from the top of the Vail Village Transportation Center to travel to and from the trailheads. The information is available in a pocket-sized guide available from the Vail Welcome Centers, on the buses or on the web at

Neighborhood Picnics are Coming

Mark your calendars for the Town of Vail’s 18th annual neighborhood picnic series Tuesday, July 25 at Bighorn Park in East Vail and Tuesday, Aug. 15 at Donovan Pavilion in West Vail. Each picnic will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. with free food and drink provided by the town on a first-come, first-served basis. New this year will be a children’s activity area sponsored by the Vail Recreation District, so bring the kids! The picnics provide an opportunity to offer comments and suggestions about various community topics and to meet members of the Vail Town Council and town staff. Of course, there’s no need to wait for the picnics to contact the town. Feel free to email at any time with your feedback.

Short-Term Rental Survey

An online survey is being conducted by the town to collect public comment on potential updates to policies governing the community’s short-term rental market. The survey is at and takes only a few minutes to complete.

Pioneer Weekend Returns to Vail

After coming together to celebrate Vail Mountain’s 50th Anniversary in 2012, Pioneer Weekend is returning to Vail Sept. 22-24. The event is a reunion for employees and other “pioneers” who helped in the transformation of Vail from 1962 to 1983. Sponsored by the Vail Chamber and Business Association, the weekend will include fun events and activities, including dining and dancing as well as a memorial service and lunch at Eagle’s Nest on Vail Mountain. Lodging partners to date include Austria Haus, Antlers at Vail, Arrabelle, Evergreen Lodge, Gasthof Gramshammer and Lodge at Vail. Please book your visit early as this event will sell out quickly. For details on activities and other announcements, contact the VCBA at 970-477-0075, email or visit 

We’re on Facebook!

We’ve expanded our Town of Vail Facebook presence to connect with community members and to share announcements on town-sponsored community events, environmental activities, neighborhood services, special events and more. Vail’s Police, Fire and Library pages will continue to thrive with accounts established previously.
View and like the new Facebook page here: To see Town of Vail stories and updates in your News Feed, click “Follow” on the Town of Vail Facebook page menu.

Vail-Mail is a project of the Town of Vail Community Information Office. For comments or suggestions, please contact Suzanne Silverthorn at or call 970-479-2115.


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