X marks the spot for entertainment | PostIndependent.com

X marks the spot for entertainment

Submitted Photo Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley will play at 10 p.m. at Wagner Park in Aspen after Saturday's X Games events. Hip-hop band Flipsyde will open for "Jr. Gong," reggae legend Bob Marley's youngest son.

Aspen isn’t the only town getting into the Winter X Games spirit.Downvalley residents of Carbondale, Glenwood Springs and beyond are gearing up for the annual winter action sports event that will feature nearly 250 top-level athletes competing in moto X, skiing, snowboard and snocross categories.”They’re very excited,” said Stuart Sampels, of his 12- and 15-year-old daughters who will be visiting from Richardson, Texas, to attend the X Games for the first time. “They’ve never been, so that’s sort of cool. They’ve written letters and are talking about how excited they are. There’s no vacation right now, so to get to come out to go to the X Games – it’s perfect for their ages.”The X Games appeal isn’t just limited to teens. Sampels’ wife, Angie, said she is just as excited to check out the action at Buttermilk.

“We’re going because the girls are coming in, but I’m looking forward to it, too,” she said.Rob Tramazzo, of Carbondale, not only plans to attend this year’s X Games, but hopes to profit from his attendance at the ESPN-sponsored event that runs through Tuesday.”I might be working security on Sunday,” he said. “I actually looked on the Web site and they said they needed 150 people to do security.”The Sampels and Tramazzo will join the more than 15,000 expected to attend the Winter X Games, which is in its fifth consecutive year at Buttermilk.For those not willing to brave Aspen’s chilly winter temperatures to watch the competitions live, there’s always a seat on the couch in front of the TV.

The ESPN and ABC networks will offer 15 hours of live programming through Tuesday. ESPN2 plans nightly highlights until Wednesday, totaling 19 hours of original programming for Winter X Games Ten.The X Games will also be televised in more than 190 international locations in Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and the Pacific Rim. SportsCenter will return with live telecasts from Buttermilk Monday and Tuesday.Winter X Games entertainment is not just limited to winter sports action. Free live music is also part of the event’s draw.The Aprés-X concert series begins with Juliette and the Licks at 9:30 p.m. today on Aspen’s Wagner Park live stage. The band opens for retro-rockers Louis XIV, a band from San Diego that has toured with The Killers and Hot Hot Heat.At 10 p.m. Saturday, the music continues in Wagner Park with hip-hop band Flipsyde opening for reggae artist Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley, Bob Marley’s youngest son.

Sunday’s AWOL Aspen wall-ride competition on Aspen Mountain features Southern California punk band The Vandals.Visit postindependent.com (click on the blue Winter X Games Ten link) or expn.com for a complete list of Winter X Games events.Contact April E. Clark: 945-8515, ext. 518aclark@postindependent.com

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