Snowmass history: Pickin’ on the peaks
“Third pickin’ and fiddle contest set,” The Aspen Times announced on Aug. 6, 1981. “The third annual Pitkin County Fair Pickin’ and Fiddlin’ contest Aug. 15 and 16 at the Snowmass Rodeo Grounds promises to be the biggest and best ever, according to Sandy Munro of the Great Divide Music Store, organizer. The competition is part of the county fair which also includes 4-H events, a livestock sale, a rodeo and other family events. Last year’s contest drew 18 fiddlers and 15 pickers. Munro expects there will be more this year. Among them will be a girl who is a classical musician with the Aspen Music Festival (as well as the West Coast Fiddle champion); Danny Wheetman and Chris Phillips of Aspen. … The pickin’ contest is a wide open event with banjos against mandolins against whatever. It’s a crowd-pleasing event with the prices going to whoever does the best with what they’ve got. New this year will be a bluegrass and old-time band contest. A special feature will be a concert by Flying Fish recording artists Hot Rize. Munro says Hot Rize is simply the best bluegrass band in the country. Their first album won them an immediate European tour. They also do a western Swing show as Red Knuckles and the Trailblazers.”
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