One of Aspen, Colorado's biggest events is kicking off this week with a toast to winter.

Photo Credit: Jeremy Swanson
Photo Credit: Jeremy Swanson
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Each year, the city of Aspen celebrates winter and all it brings by hosting a 4-day festival. This year the event will take place January 13-16.

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The History of Wintersköl | Aspen, Colorado

The annual celebration that we know and love today originally began back in 1951 as a way to celebrate "Aspen's unique alpine lifestyle."

Chris Council and Emily Chaplin
Chris Council and Emily Chaplin
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Even the locals back then knew that winter on this side of the Rockies was far superior to any other.

Wintersköl Themes Past and Present

Like any good party, a theme is a must. This year's Wintersköl slogan is Positive Altitude and was submitted by Bill Simon.

Here's a look at the past 10 years of slogans:

  • 2021 - "70th Wintersköl - The Snow Must Go On"
  • 2020 - "Legendary Past, Visionary Future"
  • 2019 - "Aspen, Original by Design"
  • 2018 - "Together We Move Mountains"
  • 2017 - "Our Cup Runneth Over"
  • 2016 - "Aged to Perfection"
  • 2015 - "Drop In & Dream"
  • 2014 - "Locally Grown, Internationally Known"
  • 2013 - "Vintage Spirit"
  • 2012 - "Seize the Summit"

Each year a slogan contest is held to determine what the year's theme will be. A commemorative button with the slogan is created and given out to attendees for free during the festival. Since the 1960's people have collected these buttons as keepsakes and the hobby is still going strong.

Chris Council and Emily Chaplin
Chris Council and Emily Chaplin
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What Happens at Wintersköl?

There are a ton of events and activities for the whole family when visiting the festival. These are just a few favorites:

  • Bike Races
  • WinterSculpt - adult snow sculpting competition
  • Live Music
  • Kidsculpt - a lively kids snow sculpting competition
  • Interactive art and light displays
  • Ice Skating Disco Party
  • and.......the Torchlight Descent & Wintersköl Fireworks Extravaganza!
Chris Council and Emily Chaplin
Chris Council and Emily Chaplin
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There's Even Wintersköl Royalty

For such a fancy and much-anticipated event, there has to be some royalty around. Each year a Wintersköl King and Queen are nominated by members in the Aspen community.

I mean forget about being prom or homecoming royalty when you could be Wintersköl royalty!

Chris Council and Emily Chaplin
Chris Council and Emily Chaplin
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This year's honorees are Beth Wille and Seth Sachson.

Here's a list of the past 10 years of honorees:

  • 2021 - Dr. Kimberly Levin & Jimmy Yeager
  • 2020 - Nina Gabianelli & Mark Patterson
  • 2019 - Lissa Ballinger & Mike Monroney
  • 2018 - Kathy & Warren Klug
  • 2017 - Pat Callahan & Julie Lampton
  • 2016 - Tom & Jody Cardamone
  • 2015 - Duncan Clauss & Darcy Conover
  • 2014 - Tom Anderson & Georgia Herrick Hanson
  • 2013 - Travis McLain & Susan Cross
  • 2012 - Ted & Christy Mahon

Ready for Wintersköl?

I don't know about you, but I'm ready to celebrate! Four fun-filled days at one of the most beautiful places on Earth sounds delightful.

Chris Council and Emily Chaplin
Chris Council and Emily Chaplin
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