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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Quirky Winter Festivals in Colorado

The Stagecoach Classic on January 25 kicks off the wild and wacky winter festival season in Winter Park as Colorado’s Favorite Playground hosts events featuring dogs, beaches, Nordic and downhill skiing, a ‘legendary lady’ and much else.

The Stagecoach Classic (Tabernash & Winter Park) on January 25 is a 30km/15km classic cross country ski race and tour. It starts at Devil’s Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa, traverses through the former Idlewild Ski Area, and finishes with a post-race BBQ and live music at Hideaway Park in downtown Winter Park. This race follows the Idlewild Trail System, which used to link Tabernash, Fraser and Winter Park and offers a rare chance to ski a beautiful “off the map” course.

The Winter Park Carnival – Mary Jane’s Birthday Bash (Winter Park Resort & Winter Park) on January 25 and 26 pays homage to Mary Jane Mountain’s namesake, a well-known madam and local lady of the evening who lived in the area in the late 1800s. The 38th birthday bash kicks off at the Yager House at Devil’s Thumb Ranch, then the party continues in Winter Park. Highlights of the weekend include an ice and snow sculpture contest, a “Mary Jane and The Miner” look-alike contest, a pancake and birthday cake breakfast, free ski clinics, a Mary Jane sticker contest, a night parade in downtown Winter Park, and fireworks.

During the weekend of February 15 and 16 the Winter Park area goes to the dogs (literally!) with the Grand Park Dog Days of Winter (Fraser) and guests are in for a “howling” good time. The International Sled Dog Racing-sanctioned event features a number of different categories of teams.

The 39th annual Wells Fargo Ski Cup (Winter Park Resort) on February 21 to 23 is the longest-running professional ski race in the country, and it’s the only race in the world where disabled skiers compete head-to-head on parallel courses, in the same format used in professional events.

March events include the Beach Bash, Ski Granby Ranch (Granby)on March 22, a fun-filled event for the whole family which features activities, games and beach music, followed by night skiing, and on March 29 the Winter Park Wipe Out, part urban scavenger hunt, part adventure race.

Winter Park-Fraser Chamber is a non-profit Colorado corporation created to help further and maintain responsible growth in the Winter Park-Fraser Valley area, located in the Rocky Mountains just 65 miles west of Denver.

For more information about top events in Colorado take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in Colorado