Ski action is not the only thing that's taking place under the changeable Sun Valley skies this weekend. Indeed, Ketchum will become The Ski Tour central. Don't even think you can escape it. Much like the annual Wagon Days parade, The Ski Tour will snarl traffic and crowd aisles at the same time it offers up great entertainment, parties, kids' events, demonstrations and music.
Musically, look for everything from rock band Hinder to Three Days Grace, DJ Aero, and classic reggae band, the Wailers.
Famous for their influence and work over the past three plus decades, the Wailers gained their greatest notoriety when Bob Marley was the band's front man from 1969 to his death in 1981. But it is Aston "Family Man" Barrett, the bass player and musical leader of the band, who was a dominant musical force in creating reggae music as a genre.
Other bands on stages around Ketchum will be the Vancouver hip-hop trio Swollen Members, the Northwest's favorite instrumental hip-hop band Kamphire Collective, and Elan with DJ Zuz. Also, there will be shows by electronica darling Jillian Ann, bluesy-guitar driven rocker Danielia Cotton, and reggae maestro Don Carlos.
"Don Carlos is the sleeper show of the whole weekend," said Ketchum resident Reggie Crist, one of the organizers of the event. "He is a forefather to reggae back in that era. He's one cool cat."
Don Carlos is from the same rough West Kingston, Jamaica, neighborhood from which Family Man and his brother, Carlie Barrett, hailed. He started his singing career as one of the original members of Black Uhuru and has since gone on to release 12 albums.
"I knew them before they were Wailers," DC said from his studio in San Diego. "They were the Upsetters in the 1960s. Whenever we meet up we hang out still."
DC added that he'll be at The Ski Tour with "love that I have to give to the people and positive consciousness. I look forward to see all those lovely people at the concert."
DJ McClain will be on Main Street during the street and bar parties, alternating with Valley of the Suns Drumworks, a group of Wood River Valley residents who play music from Guinea, West Africa.
On Friday evening will be an array of street performers including fire jugglers from Salt Lake City, Shan Ingleby and Marcus Wilson; professional models to help with party giveaways and to appear in a fashion show; professional hip-hop dancers; and the bearded-juggling clown Troy "Chuy" Hartman. A 17-year Idaho resident, Hartman, who now lives in Hailey, began clowning five years ago after he was recruited to play with a rugby team called the Clowns.
"When I got there they were all full on clowns and jugglers. I went home and taught myself to juggle. I totally fell into it. I will be working with the crowds on Main Street," he said. "On Saturday at the skating party it will be more of a sit down show for the kids, with face painting."
Darlin Baker, a U.S. Figure Skating Double Gold medalist and International medalist in Ice Dance, U.S. Open Bronze Medalist and National competitor, will perform at the skating party on Sunday at the Atkinson Park ice rink next to Hemingway Elementary. Accompanying her will be the children of the Sun Valley Figure Skating Club.
One of the highlights of the weekend's entertainment will be the Pro Photo Shootout, which comes on Friday before the Wailers.
"This is the first big event and really kicks it off. It will get the (foot) traffic flowing," Crist said.
Five world-class photographers—Scott Markewitz, Tony Harrington, Charlie Munsey, Corey Rich and Gene Dwarkin—will each have five minutes to show their five best adventure shots. At the close, the audience will text message their votes to choose the winner of the shootout.
"A telephone number will be randomly chosen from those who text in a vote, as the winner of a brand new pair of skis. The winner will have to be present to win. So if you wander off to bars early you miss it," Crist said.
On Saturday, showcasing the year's best action sports segments from the biggest producers in the game, the Limelight Film Festival will present action-adventure films, along with special guests.
Catch the ice sculpture demonstration by Twin Falls sculptor Danny Spangler who created many stunning ice sculptures in Sun Valley earlier this winter. He will be at Dollar Mountain on Saturday.
Also on Saturday, Corbin Maxey, aka the Reptile Guy, will bring his family-friendly educational show that includes snakes, turtles and hissing cockroaches in the Atkinson Park Rec. Room, next to Hemingway Elementary School
A fashion show in Warm Springs Lodge on Sunday is being organized by Debbie Burns of Burnsie's Boca.
"It's myself, Sturtevants, Ice Breakers and a new character, the Sun Valley fashion icon Bunny Hill, with her clothing available," Burns said. "I want to revive the feeling of what après ski used to be. It will be young with The Ski Tour models and some of our own models. Lenny Joseph will be the DJ, and I'll emcee."
Fashion, DJs, street performers and bands in downtown Ketchum. It all adds up to one righteous sounding weekend party.
"It's been a long time since Main Street was closed off. Throwing a good party is about creating that energy and atmosphere," Crist said. "We're pulling out all stops."