Time for Aspens favorite Skl | AspenTimes.com

Time for Aspens favorite Skl

Janet Urquhart

Aspen, CO ColoradoASPEN Aspen’s 56th annual salute to winter begins today with the opening of a four-day Wintersköl celebration highlighted, as always, by a parade Saturday and fireworks over Aspen Mountain.This year’s Wintersköl king and queen are David “Wabs” Walbert, owner of the Red Onion, and Aspen Mayor Helen Klanderud, who wraps up her final term in the office this spring. They’ll be part of Saturday’s parade, which, by the way, is open to last-minute entrants until 5 p.m. Friday. Go to http://www.aspenchamber.org and print out the parade registration form to participate. Entry is free.New this year is an air-guitar competition. Locals presumably have been tuning up for this chance to show off their chops on their imaginary instruments. Returning popular events include Soupsköl – restaurants battle for best-soup kudos, as judged by any slurpers who’d like to sample the goods, and Wintersculpt – an opportunity for artistic types to decorate the downtown malls with snow sculptures as they vie for more than $5,000 in prize money, not to mention frozen fingers.The Wintersköl schedule (at least, the main events) shapes up like this:Today8 a.m. – Wintersculpt begins in downtown Aspen.Noon – Aspen Chamber Resort Association opening luncheon at the Crystal Palace. Tickets are $40 for chamber members and $50 for nonmembers; call 925-1940.5-7 p.m. – Art After Hours at the Aspen Art Museum. Free admission, music, refreshments and gallery tours.7 p.m. – Local air guitar competition and a screening of the documentary “Air Guitar Nation” at the Wheeler Opera House. Free.Friday9 a.m. – Wintersculpt sculpting continues and Kidsculpt, a kids’ version of the main event, begins.10 a.m. to noon – Apple Strudel Downhill at Aspen Highlands. Racers get a complimentary piece of strudel, hot chocolate and possible bragging rights at the finish line, though boasting should be kept to a minimum since Apple Strudel is a green run.5:30-7:30 p.m. – Soupsköl in downtown Aspen. Local restaurants offer free soup samples and consumers vote for their favorite.8 p.m. Texas singer-songwriter Robert Earl Keen performs a sold-out show at the Wheeler Opera House.6:30-9 p.m. – Teen night at the ARC. $5 admission. Fifth- through eighth-graders welcome to hang out at the Aspen Recreation Center and use it’s pools, ice rink and climbing wall.Saturday9-10:30 a.m. Wintersculpt judging and awards in downtown Aspen.9-11:30 a.m. Snowman Building Contest for families at the Red Brick Center for the Arts on Hallam Street. Prizes for first, second and third place.Noon – Canine Fashion Show next to the clock tower at Wagner Park. (Registration starts at 11 a.m.)11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. – WinterFest on the Cooper Avenue Mall features clowns, face-painters, musicians and more.1 p.m. – Wintersköl Parade in downtown Aspen.2:30 p.m. – Complimentary hot chocolate, cookies and marshmallow roasting at Aspen Highlands Village in the plaza, plus a costume contest; parade of participants and judging from 3-4 p.m.2 p.m. – Public skate at the Aspen Ice Garden.4 p.m. – Aspen Skating Club presents a skating exhibition at the Aspen Ice Garden.6-8 p.m. Nordic Bonfire Dinner at the Aspen Cross Country Center (the city golf course). Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 the day of the event, with discounts for children and families. An Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club benefit.6:30 p.m. – Classic folk group the Limeliters perform at the Wheeler Opera House. Tickets are $27.50 and $30, available at the Wheeler Box Office.8:30 p.m. – Torchlight descent on Little Nell run on Aspen Mountain.8:45 p.m. – Fireworks on Aspen Mountain.Sunday7:30 p.m. – Hike for Hope uphill race at Buttermilk. Registration is $25, in advance at Ute Mountaineer or race day at Bumps from 6-7:15 a.m. (Fee doesn’t include slapjacks at Cliff House.)8 a.m. – Pancake breakfast at the Cliff House atop Buttermilk. $5.11 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Snowmass Swissbob Bobcross and Uphill Swissbob Challenge. Registration is $20 from 9-10 a.m. in front of the Ticket Pavilion on the Snowmass Mall. First 20 entries get to keep their Swissbob (we think it’s a sled of some sort).2:30 p.m. – Bluegrass band the Wayword Sons performs on the Snowmass Village Mall.3:30 p.m. – Swissbob awards ceremony on the Snowmass Mall.7 p.m. – Fireworks on Fanny Hill at Snowmass.