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Arts & Culture, Dining, Summer

Foodie Heaven: The Sun Valley Harvest Festival

As the annual harvest moon sat poised to rise over the Pioneer Mountains and shine down on the Wood River Valley, foodies from all walks gathered in the Ketchum Town Square eager to taste their way around the town for the fourth annual Harvest Fest Restaurant Walk. Four hundred and fifty fortunate attendees filtered into the square between 4:00 and 5:00 pm where taste buds were promptly greeted with delightful up-and-coming Idaho wine tastings. As guests primed their palettes, strategies and routes for navigating the 20+ restaurants were drawn. With only two hours to sample, a certain level of planning was necessary in order to enjoy this culinary festival the fullest.

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Arts & Culture, Summer

“This Must Be the Place”, with Baron Von Fancy

Sun Valley via NYC Gordon Stevenson aka “Baron Von Fancy” takes a few moments to talk about his local roots.   From across the brightly lit room, an object of deep familiarity snags my eye.  It’s as though I am a trout having an atavistic response to something in the water ahead.  A connection to childhood synapse, I can almost hear the sound of canned audience applause, a beautiful yet overdone hostess turns a card as a Pat lets out a familiar, “Do we have an ‘S’ ?” and so I am introduced to the work of Gordon Stevenson, aka Baron Von Fancy.  A throwback Wheel of Fortune photo evokes a sense of Americana, the phrase peeled back by Vanna revealing more about Stevenson’s work as you dive in and begin to get it.  This installation spans mediums but the impression that is left behind is a tie to the past, making things old new again and slathering it with a cheeky sense of fun, romance and occasionally, irony. Life’s simple pleasures. Stevenson has that side dialed.   Baron Von Fancy represents the side of Stevenson which commercializes his art, and the success of this work has landed him collaborations …

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Arts & Culture, Summer

Wine Auction Weekend: Where the Wine Flows Like Beer

For four glorious days here in Sun Valley, the wine flowed like beer, the beautiful women instinctively flocked like the steelhead of Stanley, Idaho and some serious funding to foster future arts and humanities opportunities for the Wood River Valley was raised. The 32nd annual Wine Auction Weekend invited attendees to partake in copious amounts of world renown vino varietals, mouth watering bites from the valley’s finest culinary experts, and boot stomping live entertainment. While the long weekend showcased a wide variety of wine induced events, two major spectacles took center stage. Friday night played host to the Wine Auction Gala where, “high spirits, great wine, superb food, good company, and a little friendly competition” melded together for some serious fund raising.

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Arts & Culture, Summer

A MASSV WEEKEND

The 4th of July weekend brought an alien invasion of sorts to the Sun Valley area this year with the arrival of the second edition of the MASSV Music Festival.  The Music and Arts Showcase Sun Valley's (MASSV) vibe permeated the air from the Trail Creek parking lot filling the town's street with throngs of youth wearing costumes which no doubt turned many a head in our typically conservative little town.  As the day turned to evening you could hear the excitement building with the thump of bass which gave way to night.

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Arts & Culture, Summer

Not Bad. Friends Who Make Art and Other Awesomeness

Chatham Baker (L) and Andy McCabe (R) Twist and Pout outside Ochi for their "Not Bad" exhibition.   Around these parts you can get a lot of action in before the sun sets for the day. It was a dream-like Friday and it felt like we all had senioritis all over again.  Staring out the window at work, the 5 o'clock whistle could not come early enough.  When it rang we went straight to the garages, grabbed the dirt bikes, geared up and took off. Within four hours we had covered half of Blaine County's trails and found ourselves walking into Ochi Gallery for our buddies', Chatham and McCabe's, Gallery Debut. Nate Farrell (Smith Optics Snowboard Team Manager) and the infinitely entertaining Chris Johnston   DJ Zeb? Anything is possible, my friends continue to amaze me.   Walking into the gallery the world could not have changed more dramatically in the matter of a few steps.  From the woods to the refined space of Ochi Gallery, it was like taking a shower in light and art. Zeb was spinning (I didn't even know he had yet another talent) and outside an unlikely group of troubadours picked endlessly through a broad …

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Arts & Culture, Bucket List, Spring

The Greatest Golf Tourney On Earth – The Ketchum Wide Open

The official score card of destiny         Harley’s for hangovers, Banks Gilberti must still be looking for his passport. It began nearly a quarter century ago as a way to pass time during spring slack season at a time of year when the tourists are not on tour and the locals are getting a little restless.  It’s a basic yet brilliant concept: the bars and restaurants in town rally together and each creates a mini-golf hole to try and befuddle even the savviest golfer.  Athletes congregate in teams of two and play a round of ultimate mini golf. Bonuses are awarded for various actions and everyone tries to make it all the way around town before the closing bell rings.   Costumes are taken seriously in Sun Valley and the KWO as it is affectionately known brings out the best of the best. The Vikings and the Americans battle for the title.   It’s no joke and if there was ever a winter of preparation to get ready for this event Sun Valley has got it. Spend hours upon hours at apres and you are the finely tuned machine who will come and represent. The Mutant Turtles …

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Arts & Culture, Spring, Winter

Film, Parties, Food, and Fun – Taking in The Sun Valley Film Festival

It’s the budding of spring and you can feel Sun Valley kickstarting back to life, switching gears, and you can almost hear the creative juices flowing.  It’s not just the longer days and warmer temps, though. Within the heart of the valley a new bud is sprouting–the Sun Valley Film Festival: an extra long weekend of film, live music, seminars, and workshops which welcomes attendees in our customary fashion.

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Arts & Culture, Winter

Dudes in Dresses and Flying Porta Potties… Groover’ing it at the Sawtooth Winterfest

Waking up to several inches of new and long-awaited powder is pretty exciting. But despite the fresh snow in Sun Valley on Saturday, we headed north to enjoy the Annual Stanley-Sawtooth Winterfest. Anytime you get to take part in a community event that brings a small town together for a day of costume, creative racing and street dancing, you are a lucky visitor. A little overcast, but nonetheless, the Sawtooth Mountains provide a breathtaking backdrop. Wait til' you see this on a bluebird day!   (above) Our neighboring town of Stanley, Idaho, sits 61 miles north of Sun Valley and is located near the headwaters of the Salmon River. Population: 62 lucky people. The annual Stanley "Drag" Race—an all out sprint from the Kasino Club to the Rod and Gun Whitewater Saloon. I'm pretty sure the lady on the far right ran the whole thing blind.   Seeing locals dressed in drag racing down Ace of Diamonds Street on snowshoes is a sight to behold.  And as if that weren't enough, the locals then challenged themselves to an equally ridiculous three-legged race. Three-legged race. Even the guys in dresses and flip flops wore them all day. Even crazier is that Stanley …

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Arts & Culture, Fall, Spring, Summer

Fine Art & Cheap Wine

Most of the time it’s hard to forget we live in a ski town, but once a month we are invited to indulge and be surrounded by the mad and creative folk of this mountain community. And tonight is my favorite type of Friday night: Gallery Walk–an evening of sipping wine and chatting about art all over town.