Nicole Inglis: Labor Day in Steamboat a double-edged sword

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Nicole Inglis: Ski Town Beats

Nicole Inglis' Ski Town Beats column appears periodically in the Steamboat Today. Contact her at 970-871-4204 or ninglis@SteamboatToday.com.

Find more columns by Nicole here.

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— Sept. 1 and Labor Day weekend always sidle up next to summer sooner than welcome with a sly wink and a chilly breeze.

I knew it was coming. For the past few weeks, I’ve watched it slowly approach on the calendar, a looming, double-edged sword of a holiday.

Personally and professionally, Labor Day weekend is a love-hate dichotomy for me. At the office, it’s a breath of fresh air to have to compile about half the events I usually do for the arts and entertainment schedule.

Gone are the daily outdoor happy hours, the intensive weekend event schedules during local festivals, rodeos and concert series.

The hundreds of entertainment events each month now are boiled down to the bare necessities — weekend concerts, weekly open mic nights and a few one-off major events.

Running a calendar is much easier in the offseason, but at the same time, if the calendar is spare, then what am I supposed to do with all my free time?

On a personal level, I’ll miss the long days and summer sports leagues, but it’s been summer since approximately March — if you can even count last year as a winter — and I’m more than ready for the snow to start flying.

In September, get ready for some annual traditions (ski movie premieres, anyone?) and a few new acts coming to town.

Here’s a rundown of some interesting entertainment events on tap for the month:

Labor Day

There’s a lot to love this weekend, like chili and airplanes. The Wild West Air Fest kicks off Saturday at the Steamboat Springs Airport, and the annual Chuck Wagon Chili Challenge starts at 11 a.m. Sunday at Eighth and Oak streets. You’ll get to sample chili from some of the best chefs in town and dance to tunes from Trevor G. Potter and Ragweed.

Sunday night will be like another Saturday night because of the holiday, and the downtown sidewalk sale will offer a chance to stock up on new items for fall and winter from your favorite downtown shops.

Live music

As the summer season winds down, so do many music venues. But look to the usual suspects to keep a steady calendar of music on weekends through September.

The Tap House Sports Grill is bringing back Vinja, brother of local DJ Theory, for a special Womp Wednesday next week, and Ghost Ranch is bringing a few interesting acts this month like The Magic Beans and Grant Farm.

magic beans

At Sweetwater Grill, DJ Harry returns Sept. 7 joined by violinist Ilya, of Emancipator, and Carl’s Tavern has Fijian reggae artist Wise 100 Doors on Sept. 13.

At Old Town Pub on Sept. 8, catch local singer Nicci Curd and the band All About Me. Curd was featured in an article after she was invited to a callback audition for The Voice’s third season.

The great thing about the offseason? The fun is usually free.

OktoberWest

I can’t wait for this fourth annual event, and it’s not just because of the beer. Well, a lot of it is about the beer. But it seems that this event, set for Sept. 21 to 23, is getting bigger and better every year. This time around, all of Gondola Square will be part of the festivities, which include outdoor concert from Austin, Texas, band The Wheeler Brothers. With a beer tasting, lamb cook-off and cruiser bikes galore, this is a true kickoff to a Steamboat fall.

The Wheeler Brothers

Gearing up

Ski movie premiere schedules are starting to pop up. In September, Level 1 Productions’ film “Sunny” will premiere on the 21st at the Tap House. Tickets cost $10.

There will be a few more premieres this fall, so in the coming weeks I plan to brush up on my bro-speak and learn about all the newest skis on the market so I’m up to speed when I talk incessantly about how it’s going to dump this year. And all of the drool-worthy, slow-motion powder shots? It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

To reach Nicole Inglis, call 970-871-4204 or email ninglis@ExploreSteamboat.com

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