Skico goes down under |

Skico goes down under

Staff report

Aspen Skiing Co. is planning celebrations later this week associated with Australia Day.

Australia Day is the national day of Australia, celebrated annually on Jan. 26. It marks the anniversary of the 1788 arrival of the First Fleet of British Ships led by Gov. Arthur Phillip. The First Fleet’s mission was to create a penal colony that would become the first European settlement in Australia.

Today, community and family events surround the date, with an emphasis on Australian history.

On Thursday at 2 p.m., a Pavlova contest will be held on the rooftop of the Residences of the Little Nell. Australian celebrity chef Neil Perry will judge the affair. Pavlova is a meringue dessert with a crisp crust and a soft, light inside, named after the Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova. The nationality of its creator has been a source of argument between Australia and New Zealand for many years. Viceroy Snowmass, Caribou Club, The Little Nell and Victoria’s Cafe are the participating restaurants.

On Sunday, Australia Day proper, Skico will provide festive Australian flag decorations at the gondolas and chairlifts at the base of each of the company’s four mountains. Aspen Mountain will open its gates one hour early at 8 a.m. for the occasion. Also at 8 a.m., a Vegemite eating contest will be held in Gondola Plaza at the base of Aspen Mountain.

Aussie Burger, with beetroot, pineapple and fried eggs, will be offered with beers at a special price for lunch at on-mountain restaurants such as The Sundeck, Elk Camp, Ullrhof and Merry Go Round.

Tim Tam cookies will be given away at guest-service stations while supplies last.