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Wintersköl set to feature new take on past traditions

Chad Cornish, left, and Luis Roseles wait for more snow to be dumped into the large wooden boxes to prepare for the Anderson Ranch Arts Center Wintersculpt event happening during this year’s Winterskol in Aspen. Winterskol begins on Thursday, January 9 and runs through Sunday, January 12.
Kelsey Brunner/The Aspen Times

IF YOU GO…

A listing of the major Wintersköl 2020 events. For a comprehensive list, visit aspenchamber.org.

THURSDAY, JAN. 9

12 to 2 p.m.

Aspen Chamber Resort Association’s Helen K. Klanderud Wintersköl Awards Luncheon at the St. Regis Resort. $55 for ACRA Members, $75 for non-members.

3 p.m.

Anderson Ranch Arts Center WINTERSCULPT, a 48-hour snow sculpture competition on the corner of Mill & Hyman streets.

5:30 p.m.

Aspen History 101 theatrical crash course in local lore, presented by the Aspen State Teachers College at the Wheeler Opera House. Advance reservations recommended.

7:30 p.m.

After Aspen History 101, stay at the Wheeler for a free screening of “Aspen Extreme,” the story of two ski bums who ditch everything to live the dream in Aspen. Advance reservations recommended.

FRIDAY, JAN. 10

ALL DAY

Anderson Ranch Arts Center WINTERSCULPT, a 48-hour snow sculpture competition, continues on the corner of Mill & Hyman streets.

7 to 10 a.m.

Free Friday Morning Uphill Social co-hosted by Mountain Flow Eco Wax and the Aspen Chamber Resort Association at Buttermilk Mountain. Free breakfast at The Cliffhouse Restaurant after the uphill climb, along with Wintersköl raffle prize and Mountain Flow Eco Wax giveaways. Contact the Ute Mountaineer for details about rentals for the uphill social.

9 a.m. to noon

Anderson Ranch Arts Center KIDSCULPT, a snow sculpture competition for middle-school teams from across the Roaring Fork Valley. Judging at noon.

10:30 a.m. to noon

Apple Strudel Run, a fun, “everybody wins” race down the Apple Strudel Run on Aspen Highlands, and it includes strudel and hot chocolate at the finish line. No pre-registration necessary, free to attend.

4 to 6 p.m.

Soupsköl 2.0 competition at the Aspen Art Museum. Free and open to everyone, with drink specials at SO Café and entertainment by DJ Dylan.

SATURDAY, JAN. 11

ALL DAY

Anderson Ranch Arts Center WINTERSCULPT continues on the corner of Mill & Hyman streets

11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Torah Bright, Olympic athlete, X Games medalist and Aspen Snowmass ambassador, will host a mini-shred competition for riders and skiers ages 7 to 17 at the Low Down Park in Snowmass. Participants must be an intermediate level rider or skier to participate, helmets and lift tickets are required.

Noon to 3 p.m.

“WINTERFEST” at Wagner Park and the Clock Tower Pedestrian Mall. Includes the Bow Wow Kids Zone, Canine Fashion Show and performance by both the U.S. Air Force Drum and Bugle Corps and The El Jebel Shrine Pipe Band.

3:30 to 7 p.m.

W Aspen Wintersköl Après and Aspen Glow Parade

Après specials at W Aspen before taking part in the pedestrian glow parade to Wagner Park. Parade begins at 6 p.m. at W Aspen and is free to enter but registration is required.

7 to 8:30 p.m.

Wintersköl Bonfire at Wagner Park. Includes free food, hot chocolate and live music.

8 p.m.

Torchlight Descent down the Little Nell run on Aspen Mountain, followed by the Fireworks Extravaganza (8:15 p.m.). Free and open to everyone. Those interested in being in the torchlight parade need to be at base of the Little Nell lift at 7:30 p.m.

Wintersköl kicks off in Aspen this weekend with a toast to winter flavored in past tradition and present flair.

Guided by this year’s community-chosen slogan, “Legendary Past, Visionary Future,” the Aspen Chamber Resort Association (ACRA) is bringing two of the local longtime winter celebration’s lost components — the Soupsköl competition and parade — back in 2020 with a new twist.

“This is a great opportunity to reflect on what took place historically and bring it back in a new way,” said Jennifer Albright Carney, vice president of event marketing for ACRA. “We want to embrace the community that’s here now and give a nod to its history.”

That history dates back to 1951 when Aspen’s longest running winter event was first established. As previously reported in the Aspen Times Weekly, Wintersköl quickly became an annual party weekend, with the parade serving as “a forum for people to poke fun at the establishment,” and Soupsköl as a way for local restaurants to show off their skill.

However, while Wintersköl traditions including the torchlight descent on Aspen Mountain and crowning of festival royalty have remained, the winter parade ceased to exist after 2009 and Soupsköl after 2016, both reportedly due to lack of participation.

This year, Carney said ACRA felt the timing was right to revive both historically staple events with help from other local organizations.

She said the Aspen Art Museum expressed interested in hosting some sort of soup-themed event for this year’s winter celebration, which ACRA suggested be a “Soupsköl 2.0” competition.

Nine restaurants, including the museum’s SO Cafe, will participate in the soup battle at the art museum Friday evening, and the winner will be determined based on feedback from a three-person panel of judges and the community.

“We wanted to be sure this was an opportunity for restaurants to have fun, be part of the community and get a reward,” Carney explained.

To overcome past challenges and encourage participation in Soupsköl, Carney said ACRA upped the prize money prices and helped cover soup ingredient costs.

Similar incentives also were put in place to encourage people to come out for this year’s Aspen Glow Parade, a free pedestrian, costume-encouraged parade that will start Saturday evening at W Aspen and go down Cooper Street to the Wintersköl bonfire in Wagner Park.

Carney said W Aspen will offer après specials before the parade begins, and that there will be a T-shirt making station with glow paint at the hotel for participants. She also said the first 100 registered parade goers will receive a ticket — one per registered group or individual entrant — that guarantees them $20 when they reach Wagner Park to turn it in, and a chance to win an $202 raffle.

Outside of the glow parade and soup competition, Carney said Winterskol-goers can expect a schedule full of community-centered, collaborative events through the weekend similar to years past, and encouraged all locals and visitors to come out to celebrate the season.

“This year is the 69th anniversary, which shows how the event is a historical part of the community,” Carney said of Wintersköl 2020. “We hope all of Aspen comes out and joins in.”

For a full list of Wintersköl events, visit aspenchamber.org/events/acra-annual-events/winterskol.

mvincent@aspentimes.com


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