Aspen-area briefs: Ascendigo’s annual event ready to go; Winterskol honorees, events announced |

Aspen-area briefs: Ascendigo’s annual event ready to go; Winterskol honorees, events announced

11th annual Ascendigo Blue Aspen event on tap

Ascendigo Blue Aspen 2022, which is an annual event over Presidents’ Day Weekend, is going to offer a twist with a western-chic themed gala Feb. 19 at the Hotel Jerome.

Ascendigo Autism Services, a nonprofit, nationally recognized autism service and outdoor recreation provider located in the Roaring Fork Valley since 2004, is hosting its 11th annual benefit, and the weekend starts with a cocktail reception Friday night at a private Aspen estate for sponsors and VIP ticket holders. Then, Saturday’s Ascendigo Blue Aspen starts off with drinks and music in the Hotel Jerome Antler Bar before moving to the ballroom for an evening of fundraising, distinctive cocktails and a chef-curated dinner. A live auction will include deluxe vacation trips, restaurant packages and luxury apparel.

“The western chic theme is a reminiscent nod to Aspen’s western culture and the historic Hotel Jerome venue,” Julie Kaufman, Ascendigo Chief Development Officer, said in a news release. “Tickets are selling fast, so don’t wait to get involved.”

The goal of Ascendigo’s signature fundraising event is to generate awareness and much-needed funds to assist families and children with autism in the Roaring Fork Valley, western Colorado communities and beyond. All proceeds from Ascendigo Blue Aspen directly benefit Ascendigo Autism Services’ programs.

VIP tickets and tables are available at Ascendigo will continue to monitor and comply with all Pitkin County health guidelines regarding COVID-19 and community transmission.

Winterskol events set, locals being honored

Long-time educator Beth Wille and Aspen Animal Shelter Director Seth Sachson have been named as the royal honorees for Aspen’s 71st annual Wintersköl celebration next week.

The Wintersköl Committee selected Wille and Sachson “as they exemplify the Wintersköl 2022 slogan ‘Positive Altitude,’” organizers said Wednesday in a news release. However, because of the current COVID-19 spike, the Wintersköl luncheon has been canceled.

The current schedule of events includes a torchlight parade at 8 p.m. Saturday on Aspen Mountain with fireworks to follow immediately.

The Wintersköl Snow Sculptures will return to the Mill Street Mall from Jan. 13-16 and will be created by local artist Thomas Barlow. The Kidsculpt event on the Mill Street Mall is Jan. 13 starting at 9 a.m.

For updates on the event, go to

Winter Words cancels ‘Powder Days’ event

The literary nonprofit Aspen Words has canceled its Jan. 12 Winter Words author talk by “Powder Days” author Heather Hansman at Paepcke Auditorium, with plans to reschedule for later this winter when the rate of coronavirus infection subsides locally.

The series, with both virtual and in-person options for events, is slated to continue with a virtual-only panel of memoirists on Feb. 15, a hybrid event with “How the Word is Passed” author Clint Smith on March 15 and a hybrid event talk with Pulizer Prize winner Richard Powers on March 29.

More info at