Annual Snowmass Village community potluck put on pause this year |

Annual Snowmass Village community potluck put on pause this year

snowmass food drive dropoffs

With the cancellation of the annual Snowmass Village community dinner, people are invited to drop off food in Snowmass for local food drives.

Hosted by Aspen Family Connections, in collaboration with the Snowmass Village Rotary:

-- Clark’s Market at Snowmass Center (16 Kearns Rd.)

Hosted by the Aspen Board of Realtors:

-- Alpine Bank (15 Kearns Rd.)

-- Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty (50 Snowmass Village Mall)

-- Slifer, Smith and Frampton Real Estate (110 Carriage Way #3104 in Base Village)

There will be no yards-long buffet tables, no “Best Salad” competitions and certainly no large-scale gathering with hundreds of attendees at the Westin Snowmass Conference Center this year.

The John Bemis Community Potluck Dinner, a longstanding Snowmass Village Thanksgiving tradition, is just the latest in a long line of events canceled due to COVID-19 and restrictions designed to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.

The event, which last year drew upward of 600 attendees for a shared meal the weekend before Thanksgiving, will be sorely missed by community members this year.

“Anyone who has been there will miss it — it’s an opportunity to just enjoy each other,” longtime Snowmass resident and integral potluck organizer Joan Bemis said. “It’s just a magic part of the community.”

The event prompts fond memories for Bemis: she and her late husband, event namesake John Bemis, were part of a group of community members who helped expand the event in 2008 when it outgrew the space limitations at the Snowmass Chapel.

The lack of a potluck this year may leave a gap in the holiday calendar for longtime attendees. But according to Travis Elliott, president of the Rotary Club of Snowmass Village (a potluck sponsor), there won’t be a virtual event this year to replace the festivities.

“The original intent of really just breaking bread with your neighbors and community members … would be lost on any of those virtual or social-distanced events,” Elliott said.

The potluck also has served as a food drive in years past, generating hundreds of pounds of food for LIFT-UP, a local food bank. That “giving back” mentality won’t go away even though there’s no physical potluck this year; there are several locations throughout Snowmass Village where community members can support area food drives.

This year, Bemis noted, caring for the community looks like staying home rather than gathering and putting others at risk.

“I hope that everyone will be safe and sensible and strong and take care of themselves and take care of their neighbors by taking care of the community by staying home,” Bemis said. “I’m 88 now, and by golly, I will be there next year when I am 89.”


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