Salute the season at Winterskl |

Salute the season at Winterskl

Staff Report

For those who thought toasting is done now that New Year’s is past, guess again.Aspen and Snowmass will host the 54th annual Winterskl, a wild “skol” or “toast” to winter celebration from Jan. 13-16. The four-day event features on-mountain activities, a parade, a canine fashion show, a world fair, fireworks, and more. On Jan. 16, Snowmass winds up the festivities with a full day of SwissBob races, a free concert and family fun.Snowmass pays tribute to Winterskl’s flair with SwissBob races in downhill, giant slalom, and bobcross competitions. SwissBob, which involves traveling down a slope on a highly maneuverable 12-inch-by-12-inch sled with handles, has recently attained cult status in the winter sports world. Last year’s race lured more than 40 participants, and local John Hembel, who holds the North American record as the fastest speed skier, swept past the competition with speed and style.”This is the second year we’ve had SwissBob races at Snowmass,” said Snowmass event organizer Josh Behrman. “People come in costumes and get really festive and crazy about it.”Behrman said SwissBobbing is extremely easy to pick up. He advised people pre-register by calling 925-1663 or by visiting Christy Sports on the Snowmass Village Mall. Cash prizes of $100 (first place), $50 (second place), and $25 (third place) will be awarded, along with Leedom helmets, at the afternoon SwissBob awards ceremony at the ticket pavilion. A winner-takes-all prize of $100 will go to the person with the best costume. The entry fee is $20 for racers without a sled, or $10 for those with their own. The event has been moved from Assay Hill to Fanny Hill so spectators can line the course to cheer on the breakneck races. Afterwards, the action moves to the mall where Jammin’ Jim the Juggler and Timothy the Stiltwalker will entertain kids.Newcomers Home takes to the stage in the afternoon to rock the Snowmass Village Mall in a free concert. Expressing the lyrical strength of folk, the acoustic sensibility of bluegrass, the passion of rock, and an exhilarating live show, this up-and-coming band weaves vocal harmonies with mandolin, fiddle, guitar and a hard-hitting rhythm section.Winterskl dates as far back as 1951 when locals decided to celebrate the area’s Nordic lifestyle with an eclectic weekend of festivities. More than five decades later, the tradition continues. For more information, call (800) SNOWMASS or 925-1940.

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