Winterskl goes off at Highlands |

Winterskl goes off at Highlands

A packed day of events at Aspen Highlands is planned today for Winterskl, beginning with breakfast and ending with a traditional aprs-ski bash.The ski area is making the most of today’s Highlands Day, both on the mountain and in Highlands Village with a lineup of activities for spectators and participants. Businesses in the village are donating their talents and resources, hoping to make the activities as much of a memorable celebration of winter as they can.Between this morning’s Sopapilla Eat-Off and Mexican breakfast at Iguana’s and a friendly competition between two teams representing Aspen and Vail, Highlands will stay on its toes with live music and free giveaways.”Capturing the irreverent spirit of Winterskl was our objective, and what better place to do it than the home of irreverence, Aspen Highlands?” said Steve Skadron, a member of Winterskl planning committee.Skadron is creative director at The Darnauer Group, which markets the Aspen Highlands Merchants Association.”Highlands Winterskl Day is our small tribute to the outrageous history of Aspen Highlands, Winterskl and ski towns everywhere. Everybody is into the mountain frame of mind,” he said.This morning visitors are welcome to pick up a free “Culinary Rally Card” for specials on food from Highlands Plaza merchants. The specials will be available today until 5 p.m.The Sopapilla Eat-Off begins today at 8 a.m. at at Iguana’s. One efficient sopapilla eater in 15 minutes will win a Nidekker snowboard.”Our sopapillas are amazing ? we just wanted to share the love in the spirit of Winterskl,” said Scott Franklin, Iguana’s general manager. Breakfast at the restaurant is $5 per person.The Skico-sponsored Apple Strudel Downhill begins at 10 a.m. down the Apple Strudel run on Highlands Mountain, where skiers who charge down the run in honor of the late Gretl Uhl are greeted by a slice of her famous apple strudel at the finish.At 12:30 p.m., folk-rock group Jonasay, who have opened for Edwin McCain and Sister Hazel, will perform two sets of live music in the Highlands Village.At 1:15 p.m. the first annual Aspen/Vail “Fracas, Mle & Skirmish” begins in the plaza, featuring two teams of six participants from each ski town doing the “Ski Boot Bop,” a sort of musical chairs in ski boots, the “Schuss & Hobble,” a relay on skis, and the “Disrobe Invitational,” where teammates change ski clothes.One of the teams will be awarded with the “Rules Trophy,” a used ski boot mounted on one-half of an old snowboard and painted gold.From 2:30-3:30 p.m. “the Lug & Skull ? an Adult Beverage Relay” will feature teams of five challenging each other to guzzle beer at Worldlink Cafe & Wine Bar. The cafe’s owner, Christian Hedberg, said the relay is the “greatest drinking game on Earth” and is a Down Under tradition.The day at Highlands ends with beer and bands at Iguana’s, Worldlink Cafe and Willow Creek from 3-5:30 p.m.Events in the Aspen area tonight include the Wheeler Gong-Skl at the Wheeler Opera House at 8, and Jonasay playing at Mecca at 9, followed by dance music by DJ Mike Nakagawa.Winterskl activities continue through this weekend with Aspen Mountain Day on Saturday, including the parade at 1 p.m. and fireworks at 8:15 p.m. Sunday is Buttermilk/Snowmass Day. See schedule of events on page A1 for details.[Naomi Havlen’s e-mail address is]

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