Aspen’s annual “toast to winter” kicks off today with four days of fabulous events, on and off the slopes. This year’s theme is a “Vintage Spirit,” and the celebration started in 1951 as a way to inject some pizzazz into the weeks following Christmas and New Year’s. Today, it combines participation from restaurants, businesses, musicians, nonprofits and all community members. Here are some of the highlights:
Mad Hatter’s Ball: Resurrecting a favorite pastime, revelers don their craziest hats for a party at the Wheeler Opera House featuring live music from Dr. Sadistic & the Classical Cry Babies and Jes Grew. The fun starts tonight at 7:30 p.m. and it’s free.
Soupskol: On Friday, taste the best soups the restaurants in Aspen have to offer. Last year, Ute City took home top honors for the town’s favorite soup, but hit the streets of Hunter and Cooper to sample from booths and make the decision for yourself. 4-6 p.m.
Men’s and Women’s Health Village: Stop by the tents in Gondola Plaza for spa, food and exercise product samples to keep you powered on the slopes all day long. A DJ will even spin later in the afternoon, but the tents are open fro 9-5 p.m. daily.
Ka-boom!: If you missed both firework shows on New Year’s Eve, then the 8:30 p.m. extravaganza on Saturday night is a chance to make up for it. Preceded by a torchlight parade, the fireworks are the culmination of the weekend’s events.