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What’s Happening in Sun Valley: August 2019

It’s August in Sun Valley, and the pace of life in the mountains slows down a bit from the craziness of July. Still, you’ll need to keep some time open in your schedule for a few of Sun Valley’s world-class summer events.

An early Labor Day means that the annual Wagon Days Festival and Big Hitch Parade should be a part of your August plans. Add that to the traditional August events like the Summer Symphony and the Ketchum Arts and Crafts Festival, and you’ll have a full calendar for the month.  Don’t worry, with all the events, you’ll still have plenty of time to sneak away for a few casts on the Big Wood or a hike in the mountains.

Sun Valley Music Festival

One of the most highly anticipated events of the summer, the Sun Valley Music Festival’s Summer Concert Series offers admission-free concerts for every musical taste. Starting on July 29 and running through August 22, the Festival offerings range from Beethoven’s 7th Symphony to Pops Night featuring the music of George Gershwin. Conductor Alasdair Neale leads the Sun Valley Symphony a plethora of inspired performances.

Before the performances, join other music lovers on the Sun Valley Pavillion Lawn. Having a delicious picnic spread brings the music to the next level. Bring your picnic baskets, wine, and low backed chairs for an evening of food, friends, and world-class music.

43rd Annual Killebrew-Thompson Memorial

Each August since 1977, like-minded golfers have convened on the fairways of Sun Valley to support cancer research during the Killebrew-Thompson Memorial Golf Tournament. Founded in honor of Minnesota Twins shortstop, Danny Thompson, who died of leukemia at the age of 29, the tournament has grown into one of the leading cancer research fundraisers of its kind.

On the course, you’ll join celebrities, politicians, professional athletes, musicians, and supporters in the goal of finding a cure for cancer. This year “the KTM” runs from August 14-17, and includes a welcome BBQ, Auction Gala, Benefit Concert, and cocktail party.

Sign up for the Killebrew-Thompson Memorial and be a part of finding the cure.

Sun Valley Arts & Crafts Festival

From August 9-11, The Sun Valley Arts & Crafts Festival features juried artists from a variety of disciplines. In Atkinson’s Park, adjacent to Hemmingway Elementary School, you have the chance to stroll through booths of fine ceramics, woodworking, jewelry, painting, and more. At the three-day festival, you’ll have the opportunity to purchases pieces, or just enjoy one of the finest art shows in the valley.

The Elevated Table

Raising money for the Local Food Alliance, the Elevated Table Dinner is an elegant outdoor dining experience featuring locally produced food served family-style. Purchase your tickets to join a group of food and wine enthusiasts sampling regional cuisine served in the dramatic Idaho landscape on August 9 at Silver Spring Ranch.

Wagon Days and the Big Hitch Parade

Labor Day comes early this year, which means the Wagon Days Festival and Big Hitch Parade spans the weekend from August 30 to September 1. Events include Cowboy Poetry recitations and a barn dance in the Ore Wagon Museum, the Papoose Club Pancake Breakfast, and of course the famous Big Hitch Parade. At the parade—the largest non-motorized parade in the US—you’ll watch the Big Hitch navigate the streets of Ketchum.

The Big Hitch is a carefully restored Ore Wagon once used for hauling mining ore out of the mountains. The wagon is hitched to a team of mules and hauled down Sun Valley Road before making a well-orchestrated turn onto Main Street. The fancy footwork of the mules and the precision steering of the mule skinners is a sight to behold. After the Parade, join revelers for a street party at Ketchum Town Square featuring music by Brandon Lay.


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