With the first snow on the Maroon Bells this week, fall is in the air and the summer season is officially winding down. There’s still plenty to take in, especially with the eighth annual MountainSummit: Mountainfilm in Aspen taking over the Wheeler Opera House through Sunday. Celebrate the indomitable spirit with more than 40 documentaries about environmental, cultural, adventure, political, and social justice issues with special events, including SHEL in concert on Saturday night. Here, we arm you with an agenda to help you navigate the sea of arts and activity schedules—unparalleled among any other mountain town.
Friday, August 26
MountainSummit: Journey Friday
5:30 p.m. & 8:30 p.m.
Our must-see pick for the festival welcomes the filmmaking team from Almost Sunrise, preceded by Nascent, for the first program, followed by the "Meet the People" package featuring eight short-form films.
Food Truck Friday
3—8 p.m., Woody Creek Distillers
For folks downvalley, head into the weekend with your favorite craft cocktails and fare from Munch Mobile Kitchen on the outdoor deck.
Shakespeare in the Park
5:30 p.m., Galena Plaza
The Hudson Reed Ensemble, which attracts a talented group of local actors, stages the classic gender-bender As You Like It in an outdoor setting on Fridays through Sundays through September 4.
Saturday, August 27
ACES Family Saturdays
10 a.m.—3 p.m., Hallam Lake
Give the little ones some extra motivation for the school year with nature-inspired activities throughout the day at this 25-acre preserve in the heart of town. And don't miss the popular Eagles, Hawks, and Owls program, followed by a feeding demonstration at 2 p.m.
$10 suggested donation per family
Summer Happy Hour
3 p.m., Aspen Art Museum
Soak in the last of summer with spectacular mountain views, live music, and free bites at SO café.
Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Encore!
8 p.m., District Theatre
Celebrate the retirement of ASFB’s longest-standing company member, Samantha Klanac Campanile, now in her fifteenth season. The 20th anniversary summer finale features seminal choreographer Jiří Kylián’s Sleepless; Alejandro Cerrudo’s 2015 ballet for ASFB, Silent Ghost; and Cayetano Soto’s Huma Rojo.
Aspen Valley Land Trust's Save the Land Dance
5:30—10 p.m., Nieslanik Ranch
The 13th annual benefit honors the families who have protected their properties in perpetuity as open lands and features a silent and live auction, BBQ dinner by the Hickory House, the rocking sounds of Halden Wofford and the Hi Beams, and a sheepdog-herding demonstration in preparation for the National Sheepdog Finals next month.
Sunday, August 28
Red Bull Rise
7 a.m., Aspen Mountain
In this running adaptation of the former 24 Hours of Aspen ski race, competitors run a vertical K up Aspen Mountain, take the gondola down, and repeat—for 12 hours. Those with the most laps prevail.
Festival Las Americas
11 a.m.–8 p.m., Sopris Park, Carbondale
The Roaring Fork Rotary's (a.k.a. “Club Rotario”) 15th annual fundraiser for local educational projects celebrates "two continents, one community" with live music, food vendors, artist exhibitions, and recreational activities for the whole family.
Guest Faculty Lecture: Kathleen Loe & Christian Rex van Minnen
7–8 p.m., Anderson Ranch Arts Center
Spend an evening with two of this summer’s guest faculty member at Anderson Ranch as they present slides of their work and speak about their inspiration, creative process, and studio practice in painting, drawing, and ceramics.