What to do Friday 4:00PM – Sunday 11:30AM

IT’S an open secret that Aspen isn’t just a glamorous winter resort. As the lineup of private jets at the tiny airport will attest, summer is when the mountain town’s festival scene brings in celebrities of almost every category — the likes of Yo-Yo Ma for the seasonlong Aspen Music Festival, Mario Batali for the Food & Wine Classic and Sandra Day O’Connor for the Ideas Festival. Along with them come classical-music fiends who carry their own scores and Food Network fans who go wild for live knife-skill demos from the stars of “Iron Chef.” Your seatmates on the puddle-jumper from Denver, however, are just as likely to be semi-pro cyclists or whitewater hounds sniffing out the best place to shoot the rapids. They know that summer in Aspen is when nature is in full swing, and the glowing fields of wild blue flax, prairie smoke and sunflowers, framed by snowcapped peaks and groves of aspen, do a fine job of wooing attention away from the glitterati. Not that you have to choose one world over the other. It’s entirely possible to go high-adrenaline by day and highbrow culture by night.
By Bonnie Tsui, July 21, 2011 NYT

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