Who, What, Where, Now!
Downtown Jam and Sprints
photography by Nils Ribi
It’s no surprise that Ketchum is special. But just what makes it so? There are plenty of mountain playgrounds in the West, rife with fancy restaurants and celebrity cameos. What is it about Sun Valley that makes it so gosh darn lovable?!
My current answer: The Sun Valley Nordic Festival Downtown Jam and Sprints.
As silly as it sounds, I’m serious: Thursday evening’s Nordic party is the kind of event that has built and sustained this community. Remember the heart-warming Christmas Tree lighting? What about those free concerts with the Sun Valley Summer Symphony? The more gatherings taking place in a community, the better - and they take place pretty regularly here in Ketchum. This town’s soul has little to do with above average snow-making or the amount of jacuzzis per capita. The not-so-secret secret is the jams and slams that bring us together.
Now held as a fixture of the Sun Valley Nordic Festival, the Downtown Jam and Sprints featured sprint races for all ages, hot food and beverage stands, local sponsor booths and a stage for Tim Snider and the Sound Society to beat the cold with melodic energy. The event basically spawned a pop-up Nordic village in the middle of the empty field across from the post office, where friends and neighbors could share this beautiful late afternoon together. The actual sprints, which took place in the middle of everything, with some of our local professional racers and even an Olympian or two, were simply the perfect means to make the party happen.
Today, the open field across from the Ketchum Post Office is empty. It’s back to waiting for next year, when another throng of fun-loving locals will once again sprint and dance their way out of the ordinary and into something special.