A Season of Festivals -- Culture and Class Head West

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Exploring seven cultural festivals in Colorado, California, Utah, and Oregon. Theatre, art, film, and classical music have become prevalent in a number of mountain communities.

One does not usually associate Nevada with grand Shakespearian stage performances. Colorado is not a state known for independent film or the Blues. However, scattered throughout the nation’s western states are annual, cultural festivals celebrating theater, opera, symphony, film, and jazz. Some are little known. Others are world renowned. Each is an ideal excuse to visit the epic American West.

Telluride Film Festival – Telluride, CO

The world-famous Telluride Film Festival comes to town each September and showcases many up-and-coming film directors, producers and writers. See young stars in the making against the magnificent backdrop of the beautiful Rocky Mountains and Telluride Ski Area. As September is technically slow-season, Telluride lodging deals are abundant.

Telluride Blues and Brews Festival – Telluride, CO

Telluride Blues & Brews Festival is also held every September in Telluride. Blues and Brews features three days of world-renowned musicians performing live on the famous Telluride Town Park stage, late night jams in the local juke joints, and 50 choice microbreweries serving up their handcrafted "cream of the barrel.”

Park City International Music Festival - Park City, UT

Park City Music Festival has been offering classical performances for more than 20 years. Truly an event for connoisseurs, Park City is a magical locale for chamber music and is listed as “one of the top ten things to do in Park City.” The summer festival takes place in July and the Autumn Classics Festival is scheduled for Sept 18 through October 9. Park City lodging and Music Festival tickets can also be purchased in one convenient package.

Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival - Lake Tahoe, NV

For those that love outdoor live theatre, Nevada is host to the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival. This year from June 13 through August 20th, visitors can indulge in classic theatre with seats at Othello or the Twelfth Night set against the backdrop of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Add Shakespeare to a Tahoe vacation and introduce the kids to classic literature outside of the classroom.

Vail Film Festival - Vail, CO

Spring in Vail welcomes the Vail Film Festival. Last year the occasion was host to more than 10,000 visitors gathered in celebration of the art of film. Many up-and-coming talents can be seen here first. Also, as an added bonus, between showings, guests can partake in skiing at one of the world renowned winter resort destinations: Vail Mountain.

Bravo Vail Valley Music Festival – Vail, CO

Bravo 2006 featured 40 acclaimed soloists, ensembles and three outstanding resident orchestras -- the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic. For nearly 20 years world class performances have been held each summer in Vail, at the heart of the Rocky Mountains. The Bravo Vail Valley Music Festival makes a perfect cultural addition to any Colorado vacation. Vail lodging for these events should be reserved as soon as possible.

Cascade Music Festival - Bend, OR

At the end of August, as summer is coming to a close, Bend, Oregon welcomes the Cascade Music Festival for a week of classical performance as well as jazz, blues, country, and world musical sets. The Festival is more than a decade old and considered a cultural jewel for central Oregon. The Seventh Mountain Resort offers Bend Oregon lodging among epic scenery.    

The Western United States is known for exceptional beauty, extensive wildlife, epic scenery, and friendly people. Few, however, are aware that the citizens and towns scattered throughout the west have continually strived to bring art, classical music, and theatre to their mountain communities. These are just a small sample of what the west has to offer.


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Chris Adema
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