Armed with an oversized blanket and a few delicious goodies I picked up earlier in the day from the Wood River’s Ketchum Farmers Market, I biked the ten minutes from Sun Valley Lodge to Forest Service Park to watch my first Ketch’em Alive show.

Now if there’s one summer event that every visitor to Ketchum has to attend, one with no age limit or activity restrictions, it has to be Ketch’em Alive. Part outdoor concert, part town picnic, this event brings locals and visitors together to enjoy one of those perfect summer nights in Sun Valley that people fall in love with. I’d been told that I’d really enjoy this concert series, but before attending my first show, I didn’t realize just how much I was going to fall in love this summer to-do. 

With the soft glow of the slowly setting sun overhead, a gentle breeze in the air and a beer cart within arm’s reach, you’d be hard pressed to find a better way to spend a Tuesday night in Sun Valley or Ketchum. Oh, and the best part, it’s free!

I spread my blanket out over the grass and made a few friends in the park as we waited for the band to start. It’s not a huge space, but that just adds to the hominess and community feel. There’s plenty of room for everyone to relax and have a good time. Some people brought lawn chairs, some camped out on the grass, and others stood, dancing with their beers as the music started.

The crowd grew as the music ramped up and the band had a great repport with the audience, getting everyone involved with a little call and response singing and encouraging everyone to get up and dance. Even though I had just met my new friends, I felt like I was immediately part of the Sun Valley family as we started dancing together. 

A few kids, ages 2-6, were really having a great time, inventing new moves and entertaining the nearby crowd. For families not ready to turn in for the night, this is a great way for the kids to get out any leftover energy (spilkies!) before bedtime. 

The band played their final song around 9 p.m., and much to my delight, the sun was still shining on Dollar Mountain. The late sunset really made biking and walking to the venue enjoyable (and a good option to burn off those Farmer’s Market treats, guilt-free). 

On my ride home, I caught myself whistling a few of my favorite new songs and stopped by the horses at Sun Valley Stables to give them a little show. While they were happy to see me, I think I’ll leave the performances to the professionals from now on. 

Details: Ketch’em Alive is a free concert series every Tuesday night throughout the summer. You can catch a different band playing each week from 7 -9 p.m. There are ample spots to park your bike or car and Forest Service Park is an easy to find location in downtown Ketchum.