Aspen revs up for Honda Ski Tour
Skiing and partying. Partying and skiing.This weekend, the two locally favored pursuits come together is a big way as the Honda Ski Tour rolls into Aspen/Snowmass for the third leg of a four-stop circuit, bringing a host of musical acts and top athletes along for the ride.In case youre wondering about the stage that popped up at Rio Grande Park, its the tours BaseCamp Pavilion one of several venues that will host the BaseCamp Music Experience accompanying the tour.On the slopes, familiar names in skiercross and skier halfpipe competition will face off at Snowmass, competing for piece of the $500,000 purse up for grabs over the course of the tour, which culminates with the championships in Squaw Valley on March 8-11.Skiercross competitors expected at Snowmass include Aspens Casey Puckett, who leads the tours point standings and won the event at last months Winter X Games at Buttermilk; Stanley Hayer, currently in second place on the tour; and former U.S. Ski Team racer Daron Rahlves, who holds down third place despite a series of crashes. Also battling for the $25,000 winners check at Snowmass will be former X Games gold medalists Lars Lewen, Zach Crist and Enak Gavaggio, and world champ Tomas Kraus.The skier halfpipe competition will feature tour leader Simon Dumont, Carbondales Peter Olenick (currently in second place), Tanner Hall (currently in third place), Matt Philippi and Mike Riddle. (Hall edged Dumont for X Games gold last month.) The top prize in each halfpipe event on the tour is also $25,000.Dancehall reggae star Sean Paul headlines the veritable music festival taking place in conjunction with the tour. The event also brings a free street concert by reggae artist Joseph Israel. See Friday’s Aspen Times for more on some of the performers in town this weekend.Tour action got under way Thursday with skiercross training runs and halfpipe practice. The rest of the tour/music schedule shapes up like this:FRIDAY8:30 to 9:30 a.m. skiercross training10:05 to 11 a.m. skiercross qualifying10 a.m. to noon halfpipe practice12:30 to 1:25 p.m. skiercross heats1:30 p.m. skiercross finals, followed by awards2 to 4 p.m. aprs parties in Snowmass Village and at Cirque Caf5 to 7 p.m. street party and skating at Silver Circle rink in Aspen5 to 8 p.m. public beer garden in the back patio of Ruths Chris Steakhouse (located at corner of Cooper and Galena)6 to 7:30 p.m. reggae artist Joseph Israel performs on the Cooper Avenue Mall (free)8 p.m. fireworks8:30 p.m. reggae artist George Clinton and P-Funk at Belly Up Aspen (sold out)11:55 p.m. reggae artist Elan at Belly Up Aspen ($15)8:30 to 11 p.m. DJ Logic at The Sky Hotel, followed by Tommy Lee and DJ Aero from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. ($99 in advance, $104 at the door)SATURDAY8 to 8:45 a.m. halfpipe practice9 to 9:45 a.m. halfpipe first heat (16 athletes, 2 runs each) 9:55 to 10:20 a.m. halfpipe practice10:30 to 11:30 a.m. halfpipe second heat (16 athletes, 2 runs each)11:40 a.m. to noon halfpipe practice12:15 to 1:15 p.m. halfpipe finals (top 12 athletes, 2 runs each), followed by awardsNoon to 1:30 p.m. ice-carving demonstration at Snowmass Village2 to 5 p.m. aprs parties in Snowmass Village and at Cirque Caf, and in downtown Aspen at The Cantina and The Tavern5 to 7 p.m. Silver Circle rink in Aspen open for public skating7:30 p.m. concert at BaseCamp Pavilion (Rio Grande Park) featuring Canadian hip-hop group Swollen Members opening for reggae artist Sean Paul at 8:50 p.m. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $30 in advance (available at Belly Up Aspen or at ticket booth in gondola plaza from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Saturday) and $35 at the door.10:30 p.m. British indie rock band Gomez with Joe Purdy opening at Belly Up Aspen (sold out)SUNDAY3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Fashion show party at The Tavern (formerly Ajax Tavern) at the base of Aspen Mountain
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