Friday, January 27, 2012

From the sidelines

Parties, music and a snowshoe dance all part of Nordic Fest

Express Staff Writer

Tim Snider and Sound Society will join with crowd whoops and cheers as skiers compete in a series of sprint races in downtown Ketchum on Thursday, Feb. 2, as part of the week’s Nordic Festival, which starts Saturday, Jan. 28, and runs through Saturday, Feb. 5. Photos courtesy Sun Valley Center for the Arts

For those who "ski the rails" or just party like someone who did, there's a place in the Nordic Festival for all, with live music and street dances rounding out the offerings.

On Saturday, Jan. 28, the Blaine County Recreation District will host its annual Ski the Rails event, a free cross-country ski tour along the Wood River Trail for everyone and their dog. 

Though aid stations along the way will keep energy up along the tour, the bottom line is at Sun Valley Brewery in Hailey, where lunch can be had and drink specials enjoyed. This is also the location to catch a free shuttle to the race start on Serenade Lane in Ketchum, starting at 9:30 a.m.

Arrive at HQ by noon and enjoy the music of Paddy Wagon until 2 p.m. Revelers need not have participated in the Ski the Rails to party at the brewery.

One of the most anticipated good times of the nine-day festival is the Downtown Jam and NordicTown USA Sprint. The sprint elite competition will begin at 5:45 p.m.

This year, along with food and drinks and a bonfire to keep spectators warm, Sun Valley Center for the Arts will host Tim Snider and Sound Society on Thursday, Feb. 2. The concert will be held from 5:30-7:30 p.m. across from the Ketchum Post Office.

The band blends music from all over the world into a high-energy, soul-stirring, foot-stomping stew. Snider has traveled to Europe, Cuba, Morocco, Spain, Indonesia and much of Central America in his personal journey to study musical styles. The result: a spicy mix of American roots, world beat and Latin rhythms that give the audience an irresistible urge to dance.

Whether that rhythm will produce good dancing will be determined by judges of the World Snowshoe Dance Competition, which starts at 6:30 p.m. and is open to all who want to join in. There will be some snowshoes on site, but participants should bring their own if they have them.

Kids are welcome and sustenance will be provided for purchase by Galena Lodge and Wood River Pizza Oven.

The Ketchum Downtown Jam and NordicTown USA is made possible through the collaboration of the Blaine County Recreation District, the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation, the Sun Valley Center for the Arts, the Boulder Mountain Tour, The Elephant's Perch, Backwoods Mountain Sports and Galena Lodge.

For more information on all the events, visit or or call 726-9491.

Après Ski the Rails

Saturday, Jan. 28, at noon, wrap up your Nordic skiing or meet up with friends at the Sun Valley Brewery in Hailey. Lunch to music by Paddy Wagon.

Ketchum Downtown Jam

Thursday, Feb. 2, from 5:30-7:30 p.m., congregate in the parking lot across from the Sun Valley Center for the Arts in Ketchum for music with Tim Snider and Sound Society and the legendary World Snowshoe Dance Competition at 6:30 p.m.

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