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SnowDaze brings Counting Crows

Cassie PenceVail CO, Colorado
Special to the Daily Counting Crows headlines the new Snow Daze party, celebrating the early ski season at Vail. The pop rockers play Dec. 9 at Ford Park, and tickets are on sale.
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VAIL – As a kid, the best gift Mother Nature could give was a snow day. After waking up to a backyard freshly painted in white, I would wait attentively by the radio for a voice to report my school closed for the day. Hearing those magic words, I’d rush for my snow pants, rummage through the bench filled with mismatched hats and gloves and head outside for a full day of unbridled fun in the snow. I would build snowmen and snow forts, sled down the driveway and eat snow when I was thirsty. I wouldn’t return inside until the snot had frozen solid to my face, and I could no longer feel my fingers and toes.Living in a ski town, the euphoria felt from newly fallen snow remains similiar, but it’s hard to replicate those youthful days when the only worry was whether or not the snowball whizzing toward your face was made of ice or sticky powder.Starting Monday, the crew from Highline Sports and Entertainment, along with Vail Resorts, are trying their best to recreate those serendipitous snow days. Only their version – Snow Daze – is a two-week long party, featuring the on-snow games you remember as a child, but suped-up for adults.”It’s all about playing in the snow,” Jeff Brausch, president of Highline, said. “Take a snow day from work, get up to Vail and come play.”It all starts off with a traditional Snow Dance performed by full-blooded Southern Ute Eddie Box Jr. and his family. His family gave the first-ever Snow Dance in Vail in 1962, returned in December 2002 for Vail’s 40th anniversary and are back Monday to kick off Snow Daze. The public is welcome to participate in the dance.”The ceremony that is going to take place is a prayer ceremony to god, so he can let there be more moisture in the mountains,” Box Jr. said. “It’s not just so it snows so people can have fun skiing. We’re doing it so we can nourish mother earth. So when spring comes there is enough water for the plants to grow. But on top of that, we’ll ask to give something for us humans to enjoy.”As the party progresses, there are free ski tip clinics, a speed dating party at Red Lion, a Streetwater Gallery fashion show at Samana and snowball eating contest. Not to worry, these snowballs aren’t the slush-rush kind, but the coconut Hostess variety. On Saturday, Dec. 9, after teams of three, dressed in snowman suits, play King of Hill at Mid Vail, pop rockers Counting Crows take the stage at Ford Park. Week two features similiar parties, along with Retro Ski and Ride Day Dec. 13. Revelers are encouraged to wear their flashiest one pieces, and on mountain Spirit Patrol will award prizes. Snow Daze culminates Saturday, Dec. 16, with the Dummy Gelunde World Championships.Reminiscient of Highline’s World Pond Skimming Championships – which happens each spring during its end of season bash, Spring Back to Vail – during the sport of Dummy Gelunde, contestants will build dummies, attach them to some sort of snowriding device, launch them down an on-mountain course and hope for victory. Celebrity judges will rate contestants on overall speed, best crash and burn, biggest air, most creative costume and dummy agility.”It was popular in the ’70s. We remember seeing it in the old Warren Miller movies,” Brausch said. “Creativity is encouraged.”Mix Master Mike of the Beastie Boys closes out the part Dec. 16 with a free concert in Vail Village.To sign up for Dummy Gelunde, or any of Snow Daze’s on-mountain contests, visit http://www.gohighline.com/snowdaze or call Highline’s Vail office at 476-6797.

Monday 11 a.m. – Snow Dance at Lionshead/Base of Gondola11 a.m. – Free Ski Tips at Mid Vail/Ski School Desk3-6 p.m. – Après Ski Party at Vendetta’sTuesday11 a.m. – Free Ski Tips at Mid Vail/Ski School DeskNoon – Snowball Eating Contest at Mid VailWednesday 11 a.m. – Free Ski Tips at Mid Vail/Ski School Desk7 p.m. – Speed Dating Bar Party at Red LionThursday 11 a.m. – Free Ski Tips at Mid Vail/Ski School Desk9 p.m. – Streetwater Gallery Fashion Show and Post Party at SamanaDec. 8 All Day – Her Turn Women’s Ski/ Snowboard Clinic at Vail Ski & Snowboard School11 a.m. – Free Ski Tips at Mid Vail/Ski School Desk3-6 p.m. – Après Ski Party at Los AmigosDec. 9 All Day – Her Turn Women’s Ski/ Snowboard Clinic at Vail Ski & Snowboard School

11 a.m. – Free Ski Tips at Mid Vail/Ski School DeskNoon-1 p.m. – Snowman King of the Hill Challenge at Mid Vail/Look Ma5 p.m. – Headliner Concert Featuring Counting Crows at Vail/Ford ParkDec. 10 All Day – Her Turn Women’s Ski/ Snowboard Clinic at Vail Ski & Snowboard School11 a.m. – Free Ski Tips at Mid Vail/Ski School DeskAll Day – Football Mania, Broncos vs. San Diego (2:15 p.m.) at Vail Village andVail MountainDec. 1111 a.m. – Free Ski Tips at Mid Vail/Ski School Desk3-6 p.m. – Après Ski Partyat the Tap RoomDec. 12 11 a.m. – Free Ski Tips at Mid Vail/Ski School DeskNoon – Snowball Eating Contest at Mid VailAll Day – Ladies’ Day at Vail Sports9 p.m. – Bar Party at Ski Bar



Dec. 13 11 a.m. – Free Ski Tips at Mid Vail/Ski School DeskAll Day – Retro Ski and Ride Day3-6 p.m. – Karaoke Après Party at GarfinkelsDec. 14 8:30 a.m. – Happy Birthday Vail at Base of Gondola1 a.m. – Free Ski Tips at Mid Vail/Ski School Desk2 p.m. – Adventure Ridge Grand Opening at Adventure Ridge at Eagle’s NestDec. 15 11 a.m. – Free Ski Tips at Mid Vail/Ski School Desk3-6 p.m. – Après Ski Party at Los AmigosDec. 16 2-5 p.m. – Dummy Gelunde World Championships at Golden Peak5 p.m. – Free Concert and street party with Mix Master Mike of the Beastie Boys and Warren Miller Movie Screening at Vail CrossroadsArts and Entertainment Editor Cassie Pence can be reached at 748-2938, or cpence@vaildaily.com.Vail Daily, Vail Colorado CO


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