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Snowmass Rodeo

Mary Eshbaugh Hayes

Because horsemanship and ranching was what Snowmass was historically all about, a group of Snowmass residents in 2003 formed the Snowmass Western Heritage Association (SWHA) to preserve and enhance the western heritage of Snowmass Village and the Roaring Fork Valley.

The founding board members are Archer Bishop, John Canning, Chris Kelly, Doug MacKenzie, Leah Moriarty, Marty Pickett, Edgell Pyles and Dave Taylor. The board members recently held a dinner party at the Owl Creek home of Sandie and Archer Bishop to explain their programs to other Snowmass and Aspen residents.

Edgell Pyles, chairman of the newly formed association, told the group that a Championship Buckle Program will be a fund-raiser for the Snowmass Rodeo and other programs. People can purchase belt buckles of gold, silver and bronze for prices from $500 to $15,000.

A Snowmass tradition for 30 years, the rodeo will be held on Wednesdays and Saturdays throughout the summer, starting June 23, at the Rodeo Grounds on Brush Creek Road. The Silvertree Hotel will provide the accompanying barbecue dinner.

As a special event, the rodeo will play a role in Michael Martin Murphy’s WestFest, a celebration scheduled to come to Snowmass on July 2-5. There will be a special Saturday-afternoon rodeo on Saturday, July 3.

Said Pyles, “We will offer a high-quality, family-oriented event that will give visitors the ‘Old West’ feeling they look for when they come to Colorado.”

In addition to the rodeo, the SWHA will offer daily horseback rides, fishing, cowboy poetry, concerts, free reining and a children’s petting area at the rodeo grounds.

Patrick McLennan, son of Kathleen McLennan, manager of Christian Dior, and Richard McLennan, general manager of The St. Regis Aspen, has been signed to the golf team of Middle Tennessee State University. McLennan had been playing at Faulkner State Community College in Alabama, which captured the NJCAA Division I Men’s Championships.

Helen Roberts is back in Aspen for three weeks. She spent the winter in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, and Austin, Texas, and will soon head back to California to work at Fetzer Vineyards for the summer. She says to come visit the winery when in California.

Ute Indian young people will dance in tribal finery from 3 to 3:45 p.m. in Gondola Plaza (base of Aspen Mountain) on Saturday, April 10. Dancing will be the Northern Ute stars of the Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Opening Ceremonies. There will also be a blessing ceremony led by Northern Ute Loya Cesspooch and Woody Vaspra of Hawaii. The event is being sponsored by Suzee Chafee’s Native Voices Foundation and Joanie Klar’s Integrative Sustainable Solutions. Hosting dinner for the dancers while they are in Aspen are Elaine and Bill Johnson in their Red Mountain home and Mia Margolis at her Buttermilk Mountain home. The Indians danced a Snow Dance at the Colorado Snowsports Expo in the autumn, to which many credit this winter’s abundance of snow.

Tom and Leighann Markalunas announce the birth of a daughter, Ella Grace Markalunas, born Jan. 21 in Vail. Paternal grandparents are Jim and Ramona Markalunas of Aspen, and maternal grandparents are Virginia and the late Col. J.D. Oliver of San Marcos, Texas.

Undercurrent … Those big strawberries look so fabulous in the market. But they taste like cardboard! I wish some fruit grower would bring back smaller, tastier strawberries.


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