Legends & Legacies: Winter carnival’s auspicious start | AspenTimes.com

Legends & Legacies: Winter carnival’s auspicious start

Two costumed skiers riding the T-bar during the first Winterskol in 1951. One man is wearing a striped costume, and the other is wearing a suit with a sign that says "Mighty Mouse." A caption on the back reads: "The first Winterskol (toast to winter) brought costumed skiers out for a race. This t-bar tow was torn. Little Nell, Aspen, Colo."
Durrance Collection / Courtesy Aspen Historical Society

Aspen’s first Wintersköl celebration was held in January 1951 and was called the Winter Carnival that first year. As The Aspen Times noted on Jan. 18, 1951, “the Carnival Week will be packed with something different, something fun every day, and will start with a bang opening day featuring a Sleigh and Ski Parade led by a band. Everyone who has a sleigh, any kind, or can ski-jor is invited. A jeep and dog parade, both of which abound in Aspen, will take place January 27th complete with band following the crowning of the queen at the Ball Park. The Queen and her two attendants will be carried at the head of the parade on a float furnished by the Hotel Jerome. The last day of the Carnival, January 28, a slalom race featuring internationally known skiers, Barney McLean, Gordy Wren, Georgette Thioliere-Miller of France, Pete Seibert, Steve Knowlton, Gale Spence, Michael Ann Healy and lots of others. Fred Iselin may even do one of his famous clown acts. Everyone can get into the act at the Winter Carnival and it promises to be the best winter carnival produced anywhere!”

This photo and more can be found in the Aspen Historical Society archives at aspenhistory.org.


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