When Wintersköl, Aspen’s annual toast to winter, was started in January 1951, its primary purpose was to rid locals and visitors of the midwinter doldrums. It clearly was a different era back then given January’s chock full of festivities from X Games to Gay Ski Week to the influx of international visitors who travel in droves to enjoy skiing in Aspen and all there is to do, which is seemingly endless. Among the new traditions during Winterskol is a Storybook Hour with author Jill Sheeley reading about her dog Kip’s adventures, following on the heels of her previous pup Fraser’s popular children’s stories.
The literary nonprofit Aspen Words has been welcoming some of America’s leading authors this season for its Winter Words series from January to April, including Pulitzer Prize winners, New York Times best-sellers, and the U.S. poet laureate. Author Christina Baker Kline spoke most recently, detailing the inspiration behind her New York Times best-seller “A Piece of the World,” about the relationship between artist Andrew Wyeth and the subject of his best-known painting, “Christina’s World.” The affable, charming and extremely well-prepared presenter revealed the inspiration behind her writing, took several questions from the audience and signed books afterward at Paepcke Auditorium.
Bravo’s “Top Chef,” the popular cooking competition TV show, is nearing its conclusion for the season. Filmed entirely in Colorado last May and June, the show premiered Dec. 7 in Denver with a screening and reception presented by Colorado Tourism Office and the participating host communities of Denver, Boulder, Telluride and Aspen. The competition started with 15 cheftestants, two of whom hailed from Colorado: Brother Luck, of Colorado Springs’ Four by Brother Luck and Carrie Baird, head chef of Denver’s Bar Dough. Many Colorado chefs, restaurants, sommeliers, star attractions and celebrities have been featured throughout the series and the Maroon Bells is the backdrop for the season 15 graphic. This week, the competition takes place in Aspen with an episode staged at T Lazy 7 airing Thursday, March 1, at 8 p.m. and the finale, which was filmed at the Aspen Mountain Club and The Little Nell, airing on Thursday, March 8, at 8 p.m. For those interested in watching together, Chair 9 at The Nell is presenting a screening party for the finale with multiple screens, drink specials, complimentary truffle popcorn and bar menu offerings available.
To reach May with invites and insights, email allthewaymaymay.com
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In the summer of 1957, Aspen welcomed its first summer ice-skating rink complete with two skating professionals on hand for instruction.