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We already told you everything you need to know to catch the free, world-class races at the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships. But we know living in Colorado doesn’t automatically make you a skiing fanatic. So do the organizers of #Vail2015, who packed the calendar with concerts, free breakfast, and more. Here, our five don’t-miss, off-the-slopes events.
Opening Ceremony: OK, so it’s not the opening ceremonies of the Olympics, but this will be a bigger spectacle than you usually see in the mountains, with fireworks, live music, and the promise of special guest appearances (we can only assume there will be some top athlete—Vonn? Shiffrin?—sightings). Oh, and it’s free to attend. Friday, Feb. 2, 7 p.m. (gates open at 5 p.m.); Championships Plaza/Solaris, Vail
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Concerts: Days of thigh-burning races (sympathy thigh-burning of course) and medal ceremonies will give way to free outdoor concerts every evening (starting at 7 p.m. in Championships Plaza/Solaris at Vail). Our top picks: Michael Franti & Spearhead (Feb. 3), Mix Master Mike (Feb. 5), O.A.R. (Feb. 7), Barenaked Ladies (Feb. 9), and Ceelo Green (Feb. 14). Also be sure to check out the free shows in Avon (2 to 5:30 p.m. on the Main Street Mall), along with a street fair full of food, craft beer, cocktails, and a winter market.
Décimo: If you want to do more than just listen to music, head to Décimo, Vail’s nightclub at 10,250 feet, and burn some calories while dancing to the electro-pop beats of Porter Robinson. Hop on the gondola to reach the club, which is only open for six nights this winter. Friday, Feb. 13, 9 p.m.; tickets start at $100
Skiing with Dogs: If you’re so over watching skiers race down icy slopes at 80-plus miles per hour, head to Minturn (about eight miles from Vail) to watch skiers hooked to horses race during RMX Skijoring. (Find a primer on the throwback sport here.) Stick around for the awards ceremony and entertainment at the Minturn Saloon. Thursday, Feb. 5, noon to 4 p.m.
Jane Lynch in Concert: Yes, everyone’s least-favorite cheerleading coach is coming to the Rocky Mountains… for her solo concert debut. “See Jane Sing! With Jane Lynch” promises an intriguing and surely entertaining evening of music and comedy. Sunday, Feb. 15, 7:30 p.m.; Vilar Performing Arts Center, 68 Avondale Lane, Beaver Creek Village; tickets start at $98