Chandler: Wintersköl’s past |

Chandler: Wintersköl’s past

Letter to the editor
Letter to the editor

This morning, my wife and I were reminiscing about the early ’70s in Aspen. She worked at Andre’s. Not the Prada place but across the street on the alley. I was an Aspen cop. We remembered Wintersköl, one big party for pooped-out locals who had weathered the Christmas holiday onslaught. Back then, I lead the Wintersköl parade in a Saab cop car. Three floats were always crowd favorites: 

The first was The Dragging Christmas Tree entry. Some dude would take his old jeep over to the discarded tree lot. He’d tie up 40 trees with rope, secure the wad to his bumper. He invited all his highly-inebriated friends to straddle the trees, which would be dragged through the parade route. By the end, most of the riders had fallen off. A real award winner, that one. 

The second was the Aspen Rugby Team’s Snowball Fight Float. The entire team would load a flatbed truck with a dozen trash cans filled with snowballs. They surrounded the cans and, using trash-can-lid shields, would travel the parade route pummeling the crowd. Spectators would head to building rooftops for aerial bombardment. Back then, another Wintersköl Award. Today? Probably arrests for snowball assault. 

But, the most memorable entry was the Silver Queen float. You see, the Police Department had been charged to find the original Silver Queen first displayed at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, so we could put it in the Wintersköl parade. Last seen in Pueblo in 1939, the Queen disappeared.

But, rather than disappoint the locals, a bunch of guys went to Sid King’s Strip Club on 
Denver’s East Colfax and hired the most buxom lady to appear as the Silver Queen herself. A flatbed float festooned with trees and garlands surrounded a majestic throne. Sid King’s stripper took to the throne. Wanting to give it her all, that’s exactly what she did from the waist up. The float won Gold; the stripper caught a chest cold. 

Somehow, I don’t think this year’s Wintersköl organizers would appreciate the ’70s version.

Michael Chandler