Skiers and snowboarders have a common bond - there love of snow and their
passion to party. Every ski season there is reason to celebrate, with
costumes and music, big air jumps and beach like atmospheres on the snow. Annual
themed ski parades, après ski balls, and contests bring together crazy locals
and snow lovers for a good time on and off the slopes at these popular ski
resort towns. Here are our top picks, in no particular order - they are all fun,
for the best ski events and ski resort parties:
Aspen Winter X Games
While pro skiers, riders and snowmobilers huck themselves off huge jumps at
Aspen’s Buttermilk, the town of Aspen
is jumping with celebrities and parties at every pub and
Aspen après ski spot.
Ironically most of the Winter X Games
watchers don’t hit the slopes, so the skiing is pretty sweet during this late
January event, perfectly timed by ESPN the weekend prior to the Super Bowl.
Kitzbühel's Hahnenkamm Kitzbühel's legendary ski race takes
place on the steep, wildly pitched Streif, is the biggest Downhill in the world.
This medieval Austrian ski town takes ski racing seriously, its a huge party at
the finish line, this week long event is the Super Bowl of Skiing, or perhaps
the Kentucky Derby of skiing since racers take 2 minutes to complete or crash on
the 2 mile long course, while 100,000 spectators drink schnapps in lieu of Mint
Durango at Purgatory Mountain Annual Snow Down Weekend Purgatory Mountain at Durango is a fun place
all ski season, but the silliest weekend is Snow Down when locals get their
freak on and show off their Purgatory pride. For over 35 years, a zany theme dictates
the dictates the on slope costumes, the music at The Beach, the Parade and
Fireworks in downtown Durango and the Dummy Jump.
Quebec City Winter Carnival
This 400 year old French Canadian City celebrates winter with joie de vivre,
especially early February. The Annual Quebec Winter Carnival is a weeklong
frosty festival with parades, ice palaces and carvings and a crazy canoe race
down the icy St Lawrence Seaway. Monsieur Bonhomme, the master mascot, resembles
the Michelin Man but with a bright red scarf and chapeau. Enjoy skiing at nearby
Mont Sainte Anne and
Le Massif by day and party like the
convivial Quebecois at Carnivale in
Quebec City at night.
Taste of Vail is a four day food and wine fest as your
après ski. Vail's best
chefs and vintners from around the globe put their best taste forward at this
vertical venue. Wine tastings, a Vail Village Chef Cook-Off, a Mountaintop
tasting lunch, and Grand Tasting Evening are the signature
Taste of Vail events in early April - a perfect accompaniment to
Vail's amazing spring skiing.
Spring Back to Vail and World Championship Pond Skimming
Spring skiing in Vail is usually EPIC, sunshine, soft snow that turns mashed
potato by afternoon and great après ski in Vail Village. Spring Back to Vail is
highlighted by live outdoor concerts, and the World Championships
Pond Skimming ion a very long slushy pool – costumes are encouraged and typically
crazy at Vail Resort's on snow version of spring
Dirt Bag Day at Big Sky
Montanans come out of the wood work in their worst attire for this alpine
festival of skiing, riding, flying off a big jump and of course lots of drinking
at this extraordinary ski resort. The Dirt Bag Ball is the culmination of this
crazy ski resort romp. Big Sky Resort
gets big snow, and has big terrain – especially off the ominous Lone Peak tram.
Whitefish's Winter Carnival in Montana makes other ski towns
look pale in winter. From
World SkiJoring Championships on the snow-covered airport to the Parade
through the authentic western ski town,
Whitefish knows how to celebrate snow with a Penguin Plunge, Yetis, a Prime
Minister and Snow Princess and lots of local brew - saluting their love of their
Big Mountain home.
Aspen Highlands Closing Day
A big party marks the closing of Aspen’s final ski resort to close –
As the ski area shuts down in mid April, usually with all its terrain still
ski-able, locals come out in crazy costumes, drink, get high on spring at the
12,392’ summit of Highlands Bowl, and finish off
Aspen's ski season in wild style.
Sugarloaf’s Reggae Fest
For 27 years, Sugarloaf transforms to Jamaica North with a lineup of great
reggae bands that play out on the beach as the base of
Sugarloaf Mountain. Dread locks,
dancing and lots of drinking (etc) cap this mid-April four day event, often a
sellout. Secret tip: very few Reggae fest participants hit the ski slopes,
leaving the packed powder or spring corn to those who get out of bed after a
long night of partying.
Sunday River’s Parrothead Weekend
Jimmy Buffet fans flock to Sunday
River for this spring ski weekend for live music, pond skimming and
margarita tasting. Costumes are encouraged and soft spring corn snow is usually
the on mountain snow conditions.
Whistler Blackcomb Telus World Ski and Snowboard Festival
TelusFest has been celebrated at Whistler
Blackcomb since 1995, and has grown to over 250,000 people streaming in to
BC for the 10-day fete in April. Telus Fest features big air, slopestyle and
superpipe competitions, attracting ski and snowboard athletes, musicians,
videographers and artists who love snow sports as much as partying.
Zermatt Unplugged held each April is an amazing venue of the
best Swiss bands, up and coming rock stars, playing après ski music in this
amazing setting in Switzerland - concerts are held on the mountain in the
afternoon, at ski bars for après ski and at the best Zermatt nightclubs and
hotels in the evening. #ZermattUnplugged is a must for lovers of skiing, Swiss
mountain ambiance and music! See our ski
review of Zermatt Switzerland where your backdrop is the Matterhorn.
Lauberhorn World Cup Downhill at
Wengen in the Jungfrau Region of Switzerland. Every January, the best ski racers
and most hard core fans flock to this beautiful ski region to witness the
longest fastest downhill course, 4.2 kilometers reaching speeds of 100 mph. You
can ski the long, demanding Lauberhorn anytime but during the World Cup, or just
have a drink and enjoy the view of the Eiger from the Start Bar at 8,111'.