Ski Spree and fireworks party set for weekend |

Ski Spree and fireworks party set for weekend

Dan Sprick rides a rail during the 2013 Rail Jam at Ski Spree. Photo by Todd Patrick
Todd Patrick |

A fireworks show will once again accompany Ski Spree this weekend, with a half-hour show planned for 8 p.m. Saturday.

The display itself is arranged by the city of Glenwood Springs in lieu of a Fourth of July show.

According to Glenwood Springs Fire Chief Gary Tillotson, the tradition started three years ago when the summer show was canceled due to high fire danger. The pyrotechnics company that had been hired for the show offered to reschedule rather than have the town forfeit the deposit. After considering several dates, the council decided to attach the event to Ski Spree.

“It sort of stuck,” Tillotson said. “The next year we didn’t even bother scheduling a Fourth of July show. Because we have the luxury of shooting in the winter months, we’re able to do a more traditional high-altitude fireworks show.”

A summer event would either need to be lower altitude or find a new venue.

“It’s not out of the question, but we are going to have to take a hard look at the locations,” Tillotson explained.

The Ski Spree fireworks will be set off from Two Rivers Park, which will be closed for the duration of the event. The pedestrian bridge on the south end of the park will be open, and along with the Grand Avenue pedestrian bridge, is a popular place for spectators.

The show should also be visible from Ski Spree events at the Hotel Colorado and most of downtown. Many families find a place to park to watch the fireworks, although Tillotson discouraged parking along the railroad tracks. Though it’s likely to be chilly, the winter timing lets the show take place earlier in the evening and may make it easier to keep easily frightened pets inside.

Moreover, it benefits from Sunlight Mountain’s lineup of weekend events. That kicks off with a treasure hunt on the mountain. By the time the lifts start running at 9 a.m. Saturday, numerous oversize dollar bills worth corresponding prizes will be scattered around the Sunlight slopes.

“We’ve had a lot of good local businesses offer a nice lineup of prizes,” said Sunlight marketing and sales director Troy Hawks.

Among them is a season pass to the resort, as well as gift certificates from everything from a car wash to massages. You may still run across a bill after Saturday, but most will hopefully be redeemed by 4 p.m..

“You’re going to have to use a bit of imagination to find some, but we want them to be found,” Hawks said.

After that, the action moves to the Hotel Colorado, where blues band Tight Thump will provide entertainment while attendees vote for the best chili in a competitive cook off.

“You can really indulge yourself in some of the finest chili in the Roaring Fork Valley,” Hawks said.

There’s also a drawing for more prizes, including a set of Meier skis.

Ski Spree bracelets are available for $10 apiece at Sunlight Mountain, Sunlight Ski & Bike, ANB Bank of Glenwood Springs and the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association, and are good for the chili cook-off and $10 off a $60 lift ticket on Feb. 6 and 7. You can also get an extra $10 off Sunday if you show up in Broncos attire.

On Sunday, get your game face on with a Rail Jam and Need-4-Speed, in which competitors are clocked by radar in two straight runs.

“Normally, the winning speeds have been in the 70 mph range,” Hawks said.

In the end, the proceeds go to a good cause.

“The funds raised go right back into our learning programs to introduce kids to skiing and snowboarding and having fun outside,” Hawks said.

“It’s also way for us to connect with our local community,” he added. “We’re really the community playground, particularly in the winter. We’re so thrilled to have the support from the city and the community. People have a real connection to our little ski hill. You don’t see that with the corporate facilities. It’s a vibe that makes Sunlight really unique.”

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