On the Town: A party about saying hello, not goodbye
The past two weekends of my life have been busy, but busy in the best way possible partaking in events that have consumed much of the town.
With the mountains in Aspen-Snowmass closing — first Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk on April 8 and then Aspen Mountain and Snowmass on Sunday — there has been no shortage of events celebrating the end of the winter season.
One party that I attended recently, however, was not about saying goodbye to the 2017-18 ski season; instead it was a party that was all about making friends.
It was an event called The Snowball Party.
While most people this time of year are saying goodbye to friends who have seasonal jobs and choose to get out of Dodge for the offseason or to friends who have decided that it’s time to grow up and leave the ski-bum lifestyle behind, I was at The Snowball Party with the intention of turning unfamiliar faces into, at the very least, acquaintances I could smile and wave at as we pass each other on the Aspen pedestrian malls.
So on the evening of April 6, not quite knowing what to expect, I followed the instructions of a mysterious text telling me to go to the Only Natural Pet store at 6:30 p.m. sharp to meet my partner and kick off the party.
Organizers describe The Snowball Party as “a town-wide scavenger hunt where participants collect people and experiences, not things.” And after the event, I would say that although vague, that is a fairly accurate description of what went down.
I also need to be honest and say that initially the event seemed to be extremely disorganized. After meeting the person I was paired up at the pet store — I later learned I was lucky to have a partner since some participants were left alone for the first few stops — and determining from a very scientific Buzzfeed quiz that if we were a dog we’d be a corgi, the two of us were left hanging with no further instructions, so we went rogue and grabbed beers at Ryno’s and chatted while we waited for another text.
Our second stop of the night was D’Angelico Guitars, where we met up with three other Snowball participants and had an awesome time lounging on the couches at D’Angelico’s, listening to music and getting to know one another.
From there it was on to Rickhouse Social for an improv session with another group of participants that got us to let loose and left us laughing, and then our rad group was off to Bootsy Bellows for an abbreviated figure-drawing class called Nudes and Brews (if you haven’t heard of it, look it up on Facebook, it’s a dang good time).
The night ended at Outdoor Voices, where all the Snowball participants came together for a party complete with drinks, snacks, a photo booth and games. It was reminiscent of a college party, except that it was held in a clothing store.
At the end of the evening, while I left hungry due to hours of traipsing around Aspen with nothing but White House french fries to snack on, I also left the event having achieved my goal of making new acquaintances and, dare I say, friends, and felt happy that I said yes to a new adventure.
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The city of Aspen’s office building is exempt from paying encroachment fees, yet private developers have to now pay $9 a square foot, per month, starting in 2020.