Marolt: College Fair — don’t let the name fool you. |

Marolt: College Fair — don’t let the name fool you.

Colorado Western Slope College Fair: It has to be the worst name for one of the greatest local annual events Aspen hosts. The Root Canal Festival would be as good as what they’ve come up with. Nobody wants to think about school on Sunday, right? Did I mention this event at the school campus is this Sunday? It’s been around for 12 years now and they still haven’t come up with something better to call it, so I suppose they are concentrating on other things, like how to control the mobs who have discovered it and wouldn’t miss it, but we’ll talk more about that.

What I need to do right off the bat is dispel a few rumors that are floating around about the fair. First off, I’m sorry to say that Bobby Mason and his band, Starwood, are not having a reunion concert at the event this year. Secondly, there is absolutely no chance that Dr. Kathy Klug, one of the event’s directors, is going to reveal what field of study she earned her Ph.D in. And, finally, there will be schools other than Georgetown University there despite the wishes and efforts of the event’s Chief Assistant Deputy Vice Director and Parking Lot Micro-Manager Kelly Doherty in establishing screening criteria that would preclude all others. In fact, more than 250 colleges and universities will slip through the cracks to be there this year.

It’s obvious why high school kids are excited about this event. They get all kinds of information and meet representatives from colleges and universities so they can find a good fit and, thus, drain their parents’ savings accounts wisely or at least understand what they are getting for their money. Yes, California is really nice in February.

It’s not just for high school kids, though. If you have younger children and want to figure out how much it costs and what other criteria is necessary to get into the colleges you would like them to attend some day, the fair is for you. If you are a grandparent and want to pick a good school near you to bribe your grandchildren to go to, this is the event for you. Even if you don’t have a dog in the fight, perhaps you have lost touch with your alma mater and think it would be cool to see what’s changed since the Reagan administration. This is a great opportunity to get the scoop directly from somebody who works there, knows all about it and can get you on their donor list.

The thing is, as we get older, it never really seems appropriate to wear our college swag around. Here’s a chance to throw on the old university sweatshirt and prance proudly. You might be surprised at who else went to the same school!

“Wow, you went to East Ezekiel Idaho College, too?”

“Go, Stink Bugs!”

“I got my degree in pudding there in 1962. I, or rather my team, came up with butterscotch, not the flavor, per se, but we were the first to put it in pudding. It was kind of revolutionary; lots of chocolate and vanilla before that. I thought we were going to make a name for ourselves, but by the time we published, somebody else was already doing strawberry. I kick myself for not thinking of that.”

“Huh. I studied psychology.”

Make sure you take the bus to the fair. They will be running continuously from the Buttermilk and the Music Tent parking lots. I speak from experience on this.

Two years ago I was foolishly put in charge of parking for the event and am now known in local law enforcement circles as “that guy who caused the biggest traffic jam in Aspen’s history.” It was horrible. The police wrote more than 60 tickets to people who patiently followed my parking instructions to the letter while others who ignored them completely and parked in the middle of fields got off scot-free. Through utter incompetence, I single-handedly had traffic backed up from the roundabout all the way to Highlands, the hospital, Paepcke Park and the Aspen Business Center at once. Satellites picked it up from space and it was said to be the largest peace sign ever made. Back on Earth, it was anything but peaceful.

Anyway, come on out. There are interesting workshops between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. You can talk to representatives from more colleges than you know the mascots of. You’ll see lots of friends … and enemies. If you liked the community picnic, this is that on steroids. I’m hoping someone will even put out a suggestion box for a new name for the event.

Roger Marolt hopes to see another Torrero at the event, but will be satisfied just to meet someone who even knows what that is. Email at

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