Mellowness rules the day at Food & Wine Classic | AspenTimes.com
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Mellowness rules the day at Food & Wine Classic

Steve Benson

Like bees to honey, visitors swarmed Aspen’s Wagner Park over the weekend, but not everybody was sporting the orange Food and Wine pass. Some were unwilling to throw down $900 – the price of admission to the exclusive event – while others just didn’t have any interest. “I couldn’t care less,” said Joel Evans of Montrose, who owns a house on the Roaring Fork River near Woody Creek. “But I don’t drink wine.” Alex Brough of Aspen had tickets to the event but opted not to go. “I just don’t like the Food and Wine people. They’re rude and obnoxious – they get so drunk, it’s such a problem,” Brough said. “But I like the money they bring, so I can’t complain too much.” But Food and Wine participants said they didn’t find anything like what Brough described. “You’d have to be pretty old to have that attitude,” said Barbara Kelly of Sarasota, Fla. “People are just having fun.” Brough is 20 years old. “Everybody is so relaxed and casual,” added Nancy Cramer of Dallas. “I have met so many nice and friendly people.” Cramer said one bad seed can create a sour impression. “It only takes one rude person, and you’re going to get it in any crowd,” she said. “But you just flick them off your shoulder and move on.” Both Cramer and Kelly have visited Aspen in the winter, but this was their first trip in the summer. “The environment is just incredible,” Kelly said. “It changes the whole thought process – summer is better for me.” Looking up at Aspen Mountain, Cramer agreed. “There’s so much to do … the nature and hiking. It reinvigorates me, inspires me.” Frank and Cynthia Riggall of Orlando, Fla., said the location of Food and Wine made the event extra special. “The nature that’s here brings on a whole different perspective,” Cynthia said. “It paints a whole different picture.” While Wagner Park and downtown Aspen were buzzing, event security and police were bored. “It’s a fairly mellow crowd to begin with,” Dave Paschal, a community safety officer with the Aspen Police Department, said Saturday afternoon. “It’s been very uneventful.” Jose Martinez of Aspen, who was helping with security, said aside from a couple people trying to sneak in without passes, things were quiet. “It’s really crowded – I think there are more people here this year than last,” he said. “But there have been no problems.” Steve Benson’s e-mail address is sbenson@aspentimes.com


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