The beautiful city of Aspen is located in the Colorado Rockies and provides visitors with a world-class outdoor experience year round. Although most known as the home of epic winter sports, the city has a unique history, candid cultural touch and unmatched small town charm. From the pristine slopes of the winter to the exhilarating Rio Grande Trail in the summer, Aspen events are sure to keep your adrenaline high no matter the time of year. Let’s check out Rad’s 8 best events in this not so average ski town:
If you ever find yourself in the area for the November holiday, don’t forget to drop by Aspens’ Thanksgiving event. Recently moved to Snowmass on Fanny Hill, this high profile competition is sure to leave you in awe.
The most talented snowboarders in the area face-off in an epic bout of freestyling tricks for cash prizes and bragging rights. Entry is free but the turkey isn’t.
Dates: Thanksgiving Weekend
Location: Fanny Hill at Snowmass
Entering its 29th season as non-profit organization Jazz Aspen Snowmass (JAS) has become one of the city’s premiere music festivals. With big-time headlining acts including Smokey Robinson, The Isley Brothers and the Doobie Brothers in years past, this jazz-tastic event will be sure to keep your body grooving every Labor Day Weekend.
If you can’t make it that weekend, JAS’s organizers even hook it up with another marquee festival in June for a week-long musical throwdown.
Dates: Labor Day Weekend
The X Games returns to the buttery slopes of Aspen in January of 2019. It’s pretty easy to get pumped for the world’s best winter action sports event when musical performances from Lil’ Wayne, The Chainsmokers and Kygo prepare to rock your world.
This all encompassing action packed, music and festival experience is internationally televised and features more than 200 world-class athletes competing for medals and prize money. If you are a slope-head, you definitely don’t want to miss this.
Dates: January 24 – 27, 2019
Location: Buttermilk Mountain
Known as Aspen’s “toast to winter,” Winterskol is a rich celebration of the city’s Nordic lifestyle dating back to 1951. The four-day event features a wide array of events including Winter Sculpt, WinterFest, a dog show, fireworks and scrumptious food varieties..
Admission is free and memories are priceless as fat-bike races, ski parties and more await at the 68th anniversary of Winterskol.
Dates: January 10 – 13, 2019
Location: Downtown Aspen
Don’t miss out on this ultra-charming winter wonderland full of holiday celebration during the last week of December for 12 Days of Aspen. Aspen visitors will be pleasantly surprised to find free ice skating, carolers, concerts and endless amounts of Christmas lights lining the downtown streets.
The ski town comes alive with a plethora of free holiday activities and festive treats to celebrate the joy of the season. Even Santa and his crew will be there. This one is a no-brainer to experience a true White Christmas.
Dates: December 20 – 31, 2019
Location: Downtown Aspen
Colorado is home to the Rockies, the metropolis city of Denver and even a slight taste of the Wild West. Enjoy a collection of traditional rodeo events including bull riding, barrel racing and a variety of roping competitions. Watch as brave cowboys and cowgirls strap onto fired-up horses and bulls and take a ride of a lifetime. Kids can even get in on the fun with several junior competitions.
As with any true rodeo event, make sure to come hungry. The Snowmass Rodeo is loaded with Hickory House BBQ dishes to enjoy under the star-filled sky.
Dates: June 6 – August 21, 2019
Location: Snowmass Village
Rated as one of Aspen’s best summer festivals, the Food and Wine Classic glorifies only the finest of wines and cuisine. Top world chefs line up their stations in a culinary battle providing only the most scrumptious dishes to indulge in with friends and family.
Take a stroll down the tent-lined venue and find endless wine tastings, food samplings and inspiring cooking demos to ignite that classy personality within.
Dates: June 15 – 17, 2019
Location: Wagner Park
Concluding our list of the Raddest events in Aspen comes a festival quite different then the outdoor adventures that the city represents. The Aspen Ideas Festival is as unique to the entertainment industry as anything else out there.
Nearly 200 speakers gather to discuss topics on culture, policies and world views in order to preserve a healthy and productive community at large. Panels, debates, interviews and presentations draw some of the greatest thinkers in the world to the Rockies.
Dates: June 23 – 29, 2019
Location: Aspen Meadows Campus
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Feature image credit: X Games
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Rad's top 10 action sports, adventure events and music festivals in 2019