Thank you to all who made the Wintersköl fireworks fly |

Thank you to all who made the Wintersköl fireworks fly

We’re going to keep this editorial simple: Thank you.Thank you to Ink! coffee, Antonio Banderas and other businesses and individuals that have donated money to help pull off Wintersköl 2005. Donations from these parties will ensure that this 54-year-old locals’ celebration will continue for another year and will include both long-standing traditions like the fireworks show on Aspen Mountain and new contests and events like Boogie’s “Soup-Sköl” cook-off.Of all Aspen’s festivals, concerts, celebrations and special events, Wintersköl is perhaps the most local, the most truly ours. Without huge reservoirs of outside funding or ticket sales to raise money, the Aspen Chamber Resort Association has struggled to stage Wintersköl in recent years. ACRA President Hana Pevny even suggested in December that the festival might not occur without substantial help from outside the community in the form of major corporate sponsorships.Well, we didn’t need to turn the malls into an Audi sales lot to raise the needed money. Instead, the community stepped up. And all of us who will enjoy the festivities this week should thank the donors who made it possible.It’s worth mentioning here that “the community” includes part-time residents and second-home owners. Banderas, whose new men’s fragrance company is providing an undisclosed amount to help stage the fireworks, is a perfect example of a wealthy part-time Aspenite whose generosity benefits Aspen.Wealthy second-home owners are the target for quite a bit of local anger and bitterness; locals rightly complain about gentrification, rising real estate prices and the arrogant rich. But there’s another side to the coin, and nobody should forget that the wealthy deliver enormous benefits to Aspen. The Wintersköl fireworks this year are one example.

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