Sun Valley, Ketchum and Hailey may not offer the concrete stadiums like large cities, but big name musicians seem to be drawn to our majestic mountain acoustics none the less. In August of 2008, Sun Valley Resort unveiled the Sun Valley Pavilion, new home to for the Sun Valley Summer Symphony.
From the world famous to the neighborhood jam bands the hills are alive with the sound of music in the Sun Valley area. Our event schedule is packed full of music events that everyone will love. In the summer most days of the week are filled with free outdoor concert offerings, and weekends full of world class artists. In the winter, music is still alive indoors, in the streets and under a main stage tent.
“Ketchum’s lovely landscape inspires a lively art scene. Upward of 30 galleries dot the town and visitors can tour them on their own or during monthly Gallery Walks.” – New York Times
The sophistication of Sun Valley’s thriving art scene is obvious from the range of work you’ll find in our galleries at any given time – from modern masters to renowned contemporary artists. Monthly gallery walks allow visitors to meander from gallery to gallery, meeting friends, discovering artists. Stroll to area art galleries open throughout the evening.
On Labor Day Weekend the Cities of Ketchum and Sun Valley host the historic Wagon Days Celebration. The holiday weekend is packed with a variety of activities, many of which celebrate the valley’s mining history.
The Big Hitch Parade is the highlight of the celebration. It has grown into one of the largest non-motorized parades in the West, displaying a number of museum-quality buggies, carriages, tacks, carts, buckboards, and wagons of every variety in existence today. The Wagon Days Big Hitch, historic wagons used to haul ore from the area, are powered by an authentic 20-draft mule jerkline.
Adding spice to the parade is a lively assortment of authentically costumed individuals, and numerous breeds of horses, from Arabs to Morgans to Pasos. Plus, professional and scholastic marching bands from around the state and the intermountain west. A kids’s carnival, pancake breakfast, and rubber duck race in the Big Wood River round out the weekend.
Sun Valley’s thriving art scene offers a variety of different and exciting mediums. The Sun Valley area was listed 18th in the recently published book, The 100 Best Small Art Towns in America – “a great small art town with a nice balance between the visual arts, theater, and music.” Art galleries and craft shows showcase local talent, theater groups perform professional pieces in various local venues, and the sounds of symphony and jazz fill the summer’s crisp night air and cozy winter nights.
The Sun Valley Arts Foundation maintains a comprehensive website listing of all local on-going arts programs, events, and organizations and publishes the annual Sun Valley Arts Advisor magazine, which provides a detailed wrap-up of the Sun Valley cultural arts scene.
Museums and Gardens
Sun Valley’s multifaceted history encompasses legendary mountain men, the largest sheep producing area in the United States, the first chair lift, home of legendary artists, writers, and the Hollywood elite, and of course America’s first destination ski resort. Our local museums pay homage to this vibrant history. Stop by to view relics of Sun Valley’s past. While exploring the town perhaps you will be lucky enough to spot local historian Ivan Swaner and his trademark mustache. He can often be spotted having a sip of coffee at Atkinson’s Market and is always willing to share a piece of local lore to the eager visitor.
In addition to the rich history examined by the local museums Sun Valley is home to the the Sawtooth Botanical Gardens the center piece of which is the Garden of Infinate compassion. In conjunction with the Dalai Lama’s visit in September, 2005, a beautifully carved Tibetan Prayer Wheel was located in this Garden. It is one of only two in North America, and the only one blessed by him. It was created by Buddhist monks in northern India in the Tibetan capital in exile Dharmasala, and is filled with over one million written mantras. The Garden of Infinite Compassion was designed by renowned landscape designer, Martin Mosko. Giant boulders keep watch over reflecting ponds and a quiet, meandering stream. The water from the stream turns the Prayer Wheel, sending out blessings and hopes for peace and compassion to all the world.