Aspen picnic moved to golf course |

Aspen picnic moved to golf course

Carolyn Sackariason
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN ” Elected officials on Monday moved away from tradition and decided to relocate the community picnic out of downtown Aspen and into the offseason.

The community picnic, traditionally held in Paepcke Park the Thursday before Labor Day weekend, will now take place at the Aspen Golf Club on Sunday, Sept. 14.

That is the date of “St. Andrews Day” when the municipal golf course will be closed to golfers so it can be opened to the community at large to enjoy one of the city’s largest swath’s of open space.

Plans are in the works for games and events, ranging from miniature golf to Frisbee, a well as football and a community photo.

“We want to make it a family affair, rather than just eating a hotdog and hamburger and leaving,” said Nancy Lesley, director of special events and marketing at City Hall, adding moving the event from a weekday to a Sunday will generate more participation because most people have that day off from work.

The community picnic slated for Paepcke Park was going to cost $12,000, which was just for food. But with the additional activities, the budget the council on Monday approved was increased to $23,000.

The public gathering, called “St. Andrews Day,” follows Scottish tradition.

For more than 500 years, golf courses in Scotland have been viewed as open space parcels of land to be enjoyed by all. Non-golfing Scotsman routinely use golf courses for other activities.

And city officials believe that because the golf course is used by a small segment of the population, the public amenity can’t be enjoyed by the entire community. St. Andrews Day is a way to give people access to one of the first open space parcels the city of Aspen acquired.