Inspired by a vintage photo showing a festive picnic during Vail’s early days, a reboot event is being organized to rekindle that same spirit. Today, nearly 50 years since the earlier gathering, community members are invited to make plans to enjoy a new tradition in the middle of town. The Vail Social community potluck dinner will be taking place from 5 to 7 p.m. on Sept. 24 at Solaris Plaza in Vail Village. The event is free and will be held rain or shine. Details, including how to sign up to attend, are available at VailSocial.com
Building on the original Vail event from 50 years ago, the town has also incorporated ideas from other successful community dinners in Buena Vista, Leadville and Eagle. The Vail Social will provide outdoor seating for up to 500 community members – 8 to a table. Volunteers will sign up as “hosts” to coordinate the dinner menu for their respective table so that everyone knows what to bring. Restaurant grab-and-go specials will be available for added convenience.
A project of the Town of Vail and supported by the Vail Chamber & Business Association, the purpose of the Vail Social is “to celebrate our home and connect our community,” says Vail Town Council Member Travis Coggin, who grew up in Vail and has been thinking of ways to create a new, fun event that is easily accessible to locals of all ages and backgrounds since he joined the Town Council. “There is nothing simpler and more genuine than sharing a meal with a group of friends and neighbors, and what better place to do it than in the heart of Vail,” he said.
In addition to socializing with friends and neighbors, the event will include lawn games from Bol, music from KZYR radio and two free beverages from Vail Brewing Co.
Participants will be asked to consider making a voluntary donation to the Hope Center of Eagle Valley
in honor of the event. Hope Center is a 24-hour crisis center that is available to assist individuals with any emotional crisis and connect them with resources in the community.
The town’s zero-waste efforts will play a prominent role at Vail Social where compostable table settings, reusable water bottles and recycle stations will be emphasized. Eagle River Water & Sanitation District will provide water filling stations for the event. In addition, complimentary bamboo cutlery sets will be given away to each participant to promote the community’s sustainability actions.
This first annual Vail Social event will need an epic team of volunteers, according to Coggin. This includes table hosts, event greeters and assistance with set-up and break-down.
To learn more about Vail Social, including how to host or help, visit VailSocial.com
or join the Vail Social Community Dinner Facebook group for updates and announcements.