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The Downtown Aspen Art Festival returns on Saturday and Sunday for its 15th year on Monarch St. 

Friday, July 21

 
 
Artist Talk: Glenn Ligon
6 p.m., Aspen Art Museum
 

Throughout his career, Ligon has pursued critical perspectives of American history and its social, cultural, and political relations. He has been the subject of solo museum exhibitions at Camden Arts Center, London, the Power Plant, Toronto, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, the Studio Museum in Harlem, Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, and the Kunstverein München, Munich. Free, aspenartmuseum.org

Aspen Chamber Symphony
6 p.m., Benedict Music Tent

AMFS Music Director Robert Spano opens the program with Ravel’s Mother Goose Suite, a delicate and imaginative suite of fairy-tale pieces. Ranging in mood from whimsical to nostalgic, the piece is full of exquisite orchestral color and detail. In the concert’s second half, singers from the Aspen Opera Center present Ravel’s one act opera L’enfant et les sortileges. $80, aspenmusicfesival.com 

Hairspray
7:30 p.m., Hurst Theatre

Get your beehives ready for the Tony Award–winning musical based on the 1988 John Waters film. The Theatre Aspen production will be helmed by director and choreographer Mark Martino, whose Hurst Theatre credits also include Les Misérables, Cabaret, and Mamma MiaHairspray runs through August 19. From $29, theatreaspen.org 

Jazz Aspen Snowmass Summer Benefit
8 p.m., Belly Up Aspen

This year it's an all out dance party at a concert celebrating the 50th anniversary of Sly & the Family Stone. Proceeds from the evening will support Jazz Aspen Snowmass’s in-school music education programs. $150, jazzaspensnowmass.org

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 Savor a meal on Saturday that is as close to farm-to-table as you can get—all ingredients come from within 1,200 feet of your plate.

Image: Jordan Curet

Saturday, July 22

 
 
Aspen Saturday Market
8 a.m.–3 p.m.

The best way to spend a summer Saturday morning in Aspen? At the U-shaped farmer’s market in the heart of town, perusing plenty of locally grown produce, handmade crafts, jewelry, and souvenirs. Free, aspenchamber.org 

Downtown Aspen Art Festival
10 a.m.–5 p.m., Monarch St. & Durant Ave., Aspen (adjacent to Wagner Park on Monarch St.)

Think a farmer’s market, but for fine art. The 15th annual traveling festival kicks off its road show in Aspen for two days of visual inspiration ranging from sculpture, photography, glass, painting, mixed media, and one-of-a-kind jewelry. Free, artfestival.com

The World According to Snoopy
10 a.m., Hurst Theatre

Theatre Aspen's production of the new musical features Charles Schulz's iconic Peanuts characters, under the guidance of that consummate showman Snoopy, as they sing and dance their way through witty philosophies about love and life as only the Peanuts gang can. $25, theatreaspen.org

Music on the Mountain
1 p.m., Aspen Mountain

Beyond the Benedict Music Tent, the Aspen Music Festival and School students perform a repertoire of their own choosing every Saturday through August at 11,000 feet. Pack a blanket and hit the Butcher’s Block before you go for supplies to picnic in the gorgeous meadow—a short walk out Richmond Ridge at the top of Aspen Mountain. Free with the purchase of a gondola ticket ($22), aspensnowmass.com 

Shop Aspen Art Walk
2–7 p.m., Downtown Aspen

During this new Aspen Sojourner-sponsored event, held in conjunction with the three annual art fairs in town during the summer (Aspen Antiques, Jewelry and Fine Arts Fair on July 8), participating art galleries offer cocktails and bites. Red balloons mark the party spots, with official Shop Aspen Art Walk maps to guide the way (available at the Aspen Ice Garden, Aspen Chamber Resort Association office, and the Guest Pavilion on the Cooper Ave. Mall). Free, aspenchamber.org  

2nd Annual Midsummer's Ranch Dream 
 
4–10 p.m., Sustainable Settings

Join Chef Mark Hardin and the Field 2 Fork Kitchen crew for an evening in the fields and at the table with artisanal culinary and local libations from Roaring Fork Beer Company, Local Colour Wines, Nowhere in Particular Brewing, and Marble Distilling Co. Before sitting down to dinner, take a ranch tour with Sustainable Settings co-founder, Brook LeVan who will share his Biodynamic farming practices. $175, field2forkkitchen.com

A Recital by Daniel Hope
8 p.m., Harris Concert Hall

The South African-born violinist returns to Harris Concert Hall for a recital with the remarkable pianist and longtime AMFS faculty member Anton Nel, who is also from South Africa. $55, aspenmusicfestival.com

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 Jean-Yves Thibaudet, hailed as one of the best pianists in the world, performs Sunday with the Aspen Festival Orchestra.

Sunday, July 23

 
 
Downtown Aspen Art Festival
10 a.m.–5 p.m., Monarch St. & Durant Ave., Aspen (adjacent to Wagner Park on Monarch St.)

Think a farmer’s market, but for fine art. The 15th annual traveling festival kicks off its road show in Aspen for two days of visual inspiration ranging from sculpture, photography, glass, painting, mixed media, and one-of-a-kind jewelry. Free, artfestival.com

Basalt Sunday Market
10 a.m.–2 p.m., Downtown Basalt

We love the community and family-friendly vibe at this weekly farmer’s market filled with local produce, unique art, handmade crafts, and freshly prepared foods. Plus, there’s live music. Living or staying upvalley? We recommend biking down the Rio Grande Trail in the morning to get there (the bike rack–outfitted RFTA bus can bring you back). Free, basaltsundaymarket.com

Bluegrass Sundays
12–3 p.m., Aspen Mountain

Take a hike up Ajax; once you make the summit, nothing beats a cold beer and a free open-air concert on top of the world as a reward. The roster of local bluegrass bands rotates each week, and if you’re not up for the hike, catch the Silver Queen Gondola ($22), which starts spinning at 10 a.m. Free, aspensnowmass.com

Aspen Festival Orchestra
4 p.m., Benedict Music Tent

Always a compelling Liszt interpreter, pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet takes on the Second Concerto, full of inventive transformations of themes and shifts in mood. $82, aspenmusicfestival.com

Mary Chapin Carpenter
8 p.m., Belly Up Aspen

A five-time Grammy winner with a career going nearly 30 years strong, the country crooner will take the stage preceded by rising star Emily Barker. $55, bellyupaspen.com 

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Special Events

Shop Aspen Art Walk

Downtown Core

This new Aspen Sojourner-sponsored event in partnership with The City of Aspen and the Aspen Chamber Resort Association, is being held in conjunction with th...