Vail, Colorado wears many hats to various visitors and locals throughout the year; but, something steadfast within the valley is a universal esteem held for its intrinsic history.
The founders of Vail, as many of us know, were Pete Seibert and Earl Eaton. Seibert was enrolled in the 10th Mountain Division as he served in WWII. His training was held at Camp Hale (an area at 9,200 ft. outside of Leadville). The men of the 10th were apart of the division who trained in the harshest alpine conditions for warfare scenarios at a very high altitude.
After the war ended, many of the 10th mountain division soldiers returned to the mountainous regions in which they were trained. Therefore, Siebert returned to Vail and joined with Earl Eaton to pioneer what has become the most successful ski area in North America.
The Legacy Parade is an event Vail Village hosts to honor men of war and celebrate what came from the dedication of WWII 10th Mountain Division soldiers. Travelers and locals alike are invited a few times a year to watch and partake in festivities. Skiers clothed in traditional 10th Mountain Division serviceman attire perform a torchlight ski down Vail Mountain. After they end by Gondola One, veterans of war join them, now marching together through the village and under the well known covered bridge. The parade is completed as the men reach the base of a prominent 10th Mountain Division statue, standing twelve and a half feet tall. Don’t miss such an honoring and valuable experience!
There will also be an educational showing of a Camp Hale 10th Mountain video with fireworks, and hot chocolate throughout the brisk evening! This year, the dates of such a unique event occur at 6 pm, meeting at Gondola One on both February 15th and March 8th.
If you’re interested to learn even more about such a historic time in history, head over to Colorado’s Snowsport Museum which is also in Vail Village. Here you can explore those in the hall of fame and celebrate, through the adventures, how far we have all come.