One Glorious Steamboat Week to Feed Your Soul

You’re bound to be feeling groovy after rockin’ your yoga mat at the inaugural Steamboat Movement Fest. What’s a person to do after four transformative days (July 23 - 26) of live music, mountain adventures and practicing with yogis like Gina Caputo, Cristen Bakken and Steamboat Springs’ finest hometown teachers?

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Since you’re already on the path to enlightenment, stick around for a serious dose of Steamboat’s arts and culture.

Art pervades the fabric of this community. It can’t be helped with are iconic institutions tucked into our midst like  Perry-Mansfield, the nation’s oldest continuously-operating performing arts school and camp, and Strings Music Festival, an internationally famous musical smorgasbord that lights up the Yampa Valley with everything from classical concerts to bluegrass bands.

One particularly jam-packed week of artistic and cultural immersion kicks off on July 29 with the arrival of the Drepung Loseling monks. In a much-anticipated return after their 2010 installation, the Tibetan Buddhist monks will spend five days (July 29-August 2) creating a  mandala sand painting in Library Hall at the Bud Werner Memorial Library. Admission is free throughout the entire process, allowing visitors to witness this extraordinary Himalayan art form as the monks carefully place millions of grains of colorful sand to form an intricate mandala. Next to the monks’ mandala, a community sand painting will be available to work on, so everyone who visits can try their hand at this ancient art.

Continue to feed your mind with Seminars at Steamboat, the smarty-pants summer lecture series that presents free and not-to-miss talks by some of the nation’s top thinkers. July 30 brings  Chris Barrett, director of the Charles Dyson School of Applied Management and Economics at Cornell University, speaking in the Strings Pavilion about global food security and sociopolitical stability.

Indulge your inner cowgirl on Friday and Saturday nights, downtown under the lights at the Brent Romick Rodeo Arena, where the Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo promises the region’s biggest gathering of ranch hands, ropers and bronc riders, and a front-row seat for Steamboat Springs’ real-deal Western culture. During the day on Saturday, see how that ag heritage is taking root in modern-day farmers (and foodies) at the  Steamboat Farmers Market.

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Strings Music Festival keeps the lineup especially eclectic throughout this seven-day span. Try a classical concert on July 29, with “Puccini, Rossini & Verdi: Opera Arias with Brass and Piano,” which includes an appearance by Strings Music Director Michael Sachs on trumpet. The stage turns to award-winning  Broadway theater on July 31 with Alan Safier starring as George Burns in “Say Goodnight Gracie.” Chamber music with David and Julie Coucheron fills the Strings Pavilion on August 1. And finally, Guinean djembe master Fara Tolno returns to the Strings stage for two shows on August 4 with his Kissidugu dance and drum troupe and an outrageous lineup of West African dancers and drummers, true masters of their art who are convening in Colorado for the famous Camp Merveilles later in the month. These are all-ages shows, and West African dance and drum aficionados of all experience levels (including never-evers) can even take a community dance or drum class with the stars from Camp Merveilles on August 3 in the Steinberg Pavilion at Perry-Mansfield.

Round out your culturally diverse week on August 5 with reggae at 100-year-old Howelsen Hill. The incomparable Ziggy Marley is guaranteed to rattle the ski jumps during a free concert, one of five Steamboat Free Summer Concerts that are rockin’ the ‘boat this season.

That’s one sweet sampling of summer arts and culture in Steamboat Springs, and we haven’t even delved into the richness of the  All Arts Festival (August 10-16)… but that’s not until the next week.