Lots to do in Aspen this holiday weekend
The Aspen Times
Skiing, crawfish boils, live music and a service to remember America’s fallen servicemen highlight Aspen’s soft opening to the summer tourist season on Memorial Day weekend.
Yankees and Westerners often call them “crayfish.” In the South, and in Louisiana where they are plentiful, people call them “crawfish,” “crawdads” or “mudbugs.”
However you wish to refer to the tasty freshwater crustaceans, they’ll be plentiful in the area.
Riverside Grill in Basalt is hosting a crawfish boil Saturday from 5 p.m. until the restaurant runs out. Server Joaquin Urteaga, an eight-year employee of the restaurant, said 300 pounds of live crawfish have been ordered from Louisiana.
It’s an all-you-can-eat affair, for about $25 per person.
“It will be like a buffet, with the boiled crawfish in the middle of the dining area,” Urteaga said.
The band 3 Dollar Dewey, featuring Geoffrey Morris on guitar, Dave Johnson on bass and Lee Dudley on drums, has been lined up for the event.
Jimmy’s restaurant in Aspen also is planning a boiled-crawfish affair starting at 2 p.m. Monday.
General manager Jessica Lischka said the occasion will mark the second straight year that the restaurant has held a spring crawfish boil on its outdoor patio. The crawfish will be available for $10 for the first pound and a lower price for additional pounds.
Jacob Hatty, a Jimmy’s bartender, will oversee the affair. The restaurant has ordered 200 pounds for the event.
Not only will Jimmy’s serve spicy crawfish, but other Louisiana specialties will be offered, including chicken gumbo, crawfish etoufee, Abita beer and New Orleans-style cocktails. The restaurant won’t begin offering items from its regular menu until around 4:30 p.m., Lischka said.
“We had a great party last year, and we’re expecting it to be just as much fun this year,” she said.
Those who aren’t familiar with methods for eating crawfish are reminded not to get too technical with it. Just suck the heads and pinch the tails, and you’ll be fine.
Memorial Day is considered a soft opening for Aspen’s summer season, said Bill Tomcich, president of reservations firm Stay Aspen Snowmass. Many hotels, restaurants and bars that were closed during the spring offseason tend to reopen, including the Hotel Jerome and its popular J-Bar.
“It’s when things start to bounce back,” Tomcich said. “It’s a slight uptick toward summer.”
Lodging-occupancy reports show that plenty or rooms are available tonight, Saturday and Sunday. Tomcich said, with Aspen Mountain open for skiing and snowboarding. With Independence Pass having opened Thursday, he expects a lot of drive-in traffic this weekend, especially since the weather forecast is favorable.
“There’s a lot of room in the inn,” he said.
Here’s a partial rundown of local Memorial Day weekend events. The list does not purport to be all-inclusive:
Skiing: Thanks to the late-season snowfall, Aspen Skiing Co. will open upper areas of Aspen Mountain for skiing Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Plans call for the Silver Queen Gondola and the Ajax Express lift to begin running at 10 a.m.
Nearly 90 acres of terrain can be accessed, including the following trails: Silver Bell, Pussyfoot, Silver Dip, Blondie’s, Dipsy Doodle, Dipsy Headwall, Summit, Buckhorn, Pumphouse, Tourtellote Park and North American.
For updates or more information, including pricing, visit http://www.aspensnowmass.com or call 970-923-1227.
Veterans’ memorial: A ceremony to honor those who died serving in the U.S. armed forces will begin at noon Monday at the Roaring Fork Veterans Memorial on the east side of the Pitkin County Courthouse, 506 E. Main St.
The annual event is open to the public. Following the ceremony, Aspen Elks Lodge No. 224 will provide food and beverages for a community picnic at Connor Park next to Aspen City Hall, 130 S. Galena St.
For more information, call Dan Glidden at 970-927-4183 or Dick Merritt at 970-927-5178.
Live music: Belly Up Aspen near the corner of South Galena Street and Durant Avenue will hold a local artists showcase starting at 9:30 p.m. Saturday. It’s an all-ages show, and there’s no cover charge for those 21 and older. A $5 surcharge must be paid by those 20 or younger.
Musicians on the bill include: Trenton Allan, Jai Vatuk, Dana Underwood, The Starletts, The Lost Keys, James Newman Band, Liv and Keelyn and Nick Devore.
Today beginning at 8 p.m., Tommy Malone, former guitarist and singer for the Subdudes, a longtime roots-rock act from New Orleans, will perform at the PAC3 theater in Carbondale, 520 S. Third St. Tickets are $15 at the door.
For more information, visit http://www.pac3carbondale.com.
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