Huck Finn and his dear friend, Jib, jam
The Widow Douglas might think it uncivilized, but tremendous persistence and hard work have gone toward the production of the second Bridge Street Jam, so that snowboarders and skiers have the opportunity to huck and jib rails through the streets of Vail today from 7-9 p.m.
The Bridge Street Jam acts as a qualifying event for Vail Jam Railjam 2, which is scheduled to take place in March at Dobson Arena. Of the 30 skiers and riders at the Bridge Street Jam, 15 will qualify to compete at Railjam 2 while a blazing band plays – last year brought the Black Eyed Peas.
“When we first conceived the idea, we were trying to differentiate ourselves. So, we came up with the concept of holding the event on the city streets,” said Bridge Street Jam producer J.J. Jorgensen. “For anyone who opens a snowboard magazine and says, “Hey, I can do that,’ this is your chance.”
Skiers and snowboarders from anywhere can sign up to compete by calling 479-5314, or by showing up at the Red Lion. The first 30 people to sign up are in. The entry fee is $15, and for those participants under 18 years of age, a parent or legal guardian must sign a waiver.
“Where else can you sit and have a beer at the bar and see people (performing tricks on rails)? It’s something different to see,” said Jorgensen.
However, the spectacle has required a great deal of event visionary Jorgensen’s time and effort. To produce the inaugural event in 2001, Jorgensen had to give up his car for funding.
“I gave up my car and everything for this business because I believe we’re going to take this thing to the national level,” said Jorgensen.
And, when Jorgensen was informed that Jurassic 5 would play for last year’s Vail Jam Railjam, he had to come up with $25,000 in one night.
“I went to the Tap Room and my partner for the event, Barclay Miller, loaned me $10,000, a roommate loaned me another $10,000 and within minutes another person loaned me the other $5,000,” said Jorgensen. “The entire $73,000 it took to produce Vail Jam Railjam last year all came from local loans. People believe in what we’re doing.”
Jorgensen has also attended countless town council meetings, he joined the Vail Chamber of Tourism and Business, and he recently received his first town check.
“It was only $1,500, but at least it shows that we’ve got the town behind us,” said Jorgensen. “The mean age of people who visit Vail is 29, and we want the store owners to be psyched about this.”
There will be an after party at Sanctuary featuring D.J. Rob from the Front Range.
“He’s somebody different, so we’re pretty psyched,” said Jorgensen. “He brings the latest metro-style music to light up the streets and get things going.”
Big Dog Excavating will be providing their services by hauling in the necessary snow. And, the event should be fun, but tinged with an eerie air.
“It was malicious intent that made us put this event on the day and time we did. Friday the 13th just has a certain ring to it,” said Jorgensen. “Everything we do, including the date, has to be different. We want people to walk away with an impression like, “Wow! Vail was really great that night.'”
Andrew Harley can be reached at (970) 949-0555, ext.610, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.