Aspen Weekend Agenda: September 16-18, 2016

Editor’s Picks to help you navigate the sea of schedules.

By Katie Shapiro September 16, 2016

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The forecast for this weekend is autumn at its finest for prime leaf-peeping. When you're off the trail, head to Snowmass for a trio of festivals or to the Belly Up for the return of an iconic rocker. Downvalley, we're celebrating the fall harvest at Sustainable Settings and supporting the Art Base on Saturday. Here's a full agenda to help you navigate the still jam-packed arts and activity schedules—unparalleled among any other mountain town.

Friday, September 16

Snowmass Balloon Festival
Times vary through Sunday, Snowmass Softball Field & Base Village
Over three days, 30 pilots compete in challenges such as a distance race that covers the whole Roaring Fork Valley. One of the highest-altitude balloon events in the country, the celebration continues after sunset Saturday with "Evening Glow" on Fanny Hill with bright balloons lighting up the sky and live music. 

The Finest Automobile Auction
Times vary through Saturday, Snowmass Club
Proxibid is bringing its latest in auction technology to town along with a fleet of the most sought after collector cars from across the globe. Bid on your dream car at the live auction on Saturday (3–7 p.m.) or just cruise through in admiration. 
$10 (preview), $100 (auction registration)

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Aspen Ruggerfest 
Times vary through Sunday, Wagner Park & Rio Grande Park
Snow, rain, or shine, men’s and women’s rugby teams from around the country, and some internationals, compete in this annual tourney hosted by the Gentlemen of Aspen. Cheer ’em on at Wagner Park. Ka Mate! Ka Mate! 

Ruin and Rose World Premiere
8 p.m., Wheeler Opera House
Formerly of indie production powerhouse Sweetgrass Productions, acclaimed writer/director Ben Sturgulewski has joined the award-winning team at Matchstick Productions to deliver Ruin and Rosea dreamlike journey following the talents of the world’s top skiers. There’ll be a party off screen too, with DJ Berkel beats on stage, athlete appearances, and giveaways—including a heliski trip from Selkirk Tangiers.

The Mick Fleetwood Blues Band featuring Rick Vito
8:30 p.m., Belly Up Aspen
The legendary co-founder of Fleetwood Mac is back on tour with a new band and celebrating his blues heritage paying tribute to original hits plus his own material.

Saturday, September 17

Snomwass Wine Festival
1:30–5 p.m., Snowmass Town Park
The Snowmass Rotary returns with its annual Grand Tasting of a vast variety of award-winning wines and cuisine from the best-known local chefs with live music, fine art, and a silent auction. Funds raised benefit non-profit organizations across the Roaring Fork Valley.

The Off Base Ball
5 p.m., The Art Base
The Art Base's annual gala benefit honors the Wyly Coyotes—a group of volunteers who have supported the nonprofit from the beginning. Join the 20th anniversary celebration featuring dinner and drinks, live music, and the "10 x 10 Name Unseen Silent Auction," including 100 artworks donated by local artists, beginning at a $100 bid.
$50 (cocktail reception), dinner sold out

Sustainable Settings Harvest Festival
10 a.m.–4 p.m. (activities & speakers), 4–9 p.m. (dinner & dancing)
This annual fundraiser is about as organic as it gets, showcasing the ​food ​grown ​and ​raised ​at ​the ​base ​of ​Mount ​Sopris, ​where ​the ranch has operated since 1997. ​Guest speakers, tours, horse-drawn wagon rides, tastings of local libations, and live entertainment fill the day, followed by a seated dinner featuring dishes prepared by local chefs and a barn dance. 
$30 (speakers), $160 (dinner)

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Image: Bret Cody

Sunday, September 18

National Sheep Dog Finals
Times vary, Strang Ranch

Rise and shine early to catch the culmination of the 2016 USBCHA National Sheep Dog Finals or catch the dog demo sessions throughout the day (10 a.m.2 p.m) before the awards ceremony. The herding competition showcases land conservation, stewardship, and the region's ranching heritage with food and craft vendors throughout the weekend.

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