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Wintersköl here to break doldrums

Aspen Times Staff
Hundreds of people turned out for last year's Soupsköl cook-off during Wintersköl. This year's event starts at 5:30 p.m. Friday on Cooper Avenue. (Aspen Times file)
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It’s time to dip into the ‘Sköl.Wintersköl, Aspen’s annual toast to winter, celebrates its 55th iteration, beginning today and running through Sunday. Wintersköl dates to January 1951, when locals first decided to rid themselves of the midwinter doldrums and celebrate Aspen’s alpine lifestyle with an eclectic weekend of festivities.

One of the event’s highlights, Anderson Ranch Arts Center’s Wintersculpt, begins this morning. During the 48-hour snow sculpture and carving competition, huge blocks of snow will be transformed into unique works of art. Passersby can watch the artists in action. Altogether, there will be more than 40 events in downtown Aspen, Snowmass Village and the four ski mountains – truly something for everyone.On Friday, the Apple Strudel Downhill race will kick off Aspen Highlands Day. Best of all: Free strudel for all participants! There will also be the always-entertaining vintage costume contest from 3 to 3:30 p.m. In Aspen on Friday is the Kidsculpt snow sculpture contest and the incredibly popular Soupsköl, now in its third year.

Everyone, from those with delicate palates to people who shove down food as fast as possible, can sample delicious broth from restaurants and vote on their favorite.Friday will also see a concert titled “Stardust” at the Wheeler Opera House. The evening of songs will feature selections from the golden age of jazz.Saturday, Aspen Mountain Day, judges will give awards for Wintersculpt at 9 a.m. in the Aspen mall area. The Canine Fashion Show follows at noon, with registration an hour before. Then it will be time for Wintersköl’s oldest tradition, the annual parade, starting at 1 p.m. Register at 925-1940.

The night will be capped with the torchlight descent on Aspen Mountain at 8 p.m., followed by fireworks.Sunday is Buttermilk and Snowmass Day, and includes the Hike for Hope race up the ‘Milk. Over at Snowmass, the Swissbob Downhill race begins at 11 a.m., followed by a big air event at 2 p.m.This is a partial rundown of all the weekend activities; a Wintersköl program is available at The Aspen Times and from the Aspen Chamber Resort Association. Each day’s activities will also be listed in the daily events calendar in The Aspen Times, and the schedule is posted in the Arts and Entertainment section of this website (the schedule is subject to change). For more information, call 925-1940 or visit http://www.aspenchamber.org.


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