Around The Hoop

June is jamming in Aspen, Colorado

By Troy Hooper
Real AspenJune 3, 2011

The trails are thawing around Aspen making this an opportune time to get out and enjoy the whistling birds in the blossoming trees, the rush of the melting snow spilling out of the creek beds and the green picturesque meadows nestled among some of the tallest peaks in the continental United States.

Hiking, mountain biking and rafting adventures have begun here in Aspen — even while skiing remains a viable weekend option this June now that the Aspen Skiing Company has decided to extend the season well beyond its initial late April opening, thanks to a snowpack deeper than it was on New Year’s Day.

It was actually snowing here a couple of days ago but the sun shined on Tuesday and the forecast for the rest of near future is mostly sunny. With warm temperatures in the valley and snow at higher elevations, it’s that unusual point on the calendar where going skiing and biking are both good ideas.

While this is the beginning of the summer recreation season in the high country, it’s also the kick-off to Aspen’s festival season. In fact, June is jammed with events that cater to a wide range of interests.

If you like to drink beer and eat chili, then the Snowmass Chili & Brew Fest is for you. And even if you don’t, you very well might enjoy the live music that will ring through the Brush Creek Valley. Black Uhuru, Boombox, Carbon Choir and the Tedeschi Trucks Band are among the festival headliners this weekend. The event is held on the grassy slopes of Fanny Hill at the Snowmass Ski Area.

Or you can feed your mind at this weekend's Aspen Eco Fest, a grassroots festival aimed at raising the environmental consciousness. Healthy living food symposiums, yoga in the park, a green-tie fashion show at the Wheeler Opera House and a sustainability feast are among the featured activities.

The Food & Wine Classic in Aspen.

The third-annual Aspen Fringe Festival is receiving rave reviews for its accomplished acting, directors and playwrights who reinterpret classical theatre cannon and new works as well. The festival is organized by the Pegasus Repertory Theatre and this year is showcasing three plays: —“tinypistol,” “Love/Sick & Last Gas” and “Opus” — over five days at the Black Box Theatre at Aspen High School.

That same weekend is Outside in Aspen where the paying public can join elite athletes for adventures in road biking, rock climbing, paddle boarding, kayaking, photography, filmmaking and other activities during the day and then party with them at night. Tyler Hamilton, Ryan Sutter, Pete McBride, Melissa Arnot, Charlie MacArthur and Brad Ludden are among the hosts of the adrenaline-charged event.

The Food & Wine Classic in Aspen is the biggest and best known of all the festivals in the Roaring Fork Valley. Celebrity chefs and acclaimed vintners from around the world serve up tasty concoctions, demonstrations and parties June 17-19 in downtown’s gorgeous environs. It is a can’t-miss Aspen event.

Up the road in Snowmass is the new Snowmass Ice Age Discovery Weekend on June 18-19, where recently discovered animal fossils from the Ice Age will be on display. Learn about the mammoths, mastodons, ancient camels and giant sloths that once roamed Snowmass from Denver Museum of Nature & Science experts. Hands-on educational fun includes crafts, digs and scavenger hunts.

Aspen Summer Words Literary Festival is June 19-24 and combines workshops and readings. This year’s focus in on the Middle East with featured speakers Khaled Hosseini, Firoozeh Dumas, Mona Eltahawy, Rabih Alameddine, Reza Aslan, Daniyal Mueenuddin, and many more.

The Jazz Aspen Snowmass June Festival, from June 24 through July 2, showcases headliners Wynton Marsalis, Jennifer Hudson, Sheryl Crow, Raul Midon, Richard Bona and Monty Alexander.

Meanwhile, the Aspen Music Festival kicks off its summer of classical music on June 29. This will be the first season under new director Robert Spano who replaces longtime maestro David Zinman.

There’s more sounds in Snowmass Village at the Eco Music Festival, from June 30 to July 3. The Disco Biscuits, Leftover Salmon and Perpetual Groove are just some of the talent at this new festival. Looking for more live performances? Theatre Aspen will be performing “Becky’s New Car” in Rio Grande Park from June 22 to July 23.

And finally, this month will begin the always popular Aspen Ideas Festival where world shakers, captains of industry and renowned experts discuss current events at the Aspen Institute campus. There are too many speakers to begin to name but it’s a who’s-who of expert voices on the global economy.

This is a great month to spend some time in Aspen. Not only are there recreational options geared for both the winter and summer sports enthusiast, there is an eclectic mix of festivals to dazzle all of the senses.

Editor's note: This blog originally appeared on

comments: 1 Comment on "June is jamming in Aspen, Colorado"

Boo – June 05, 2011, at 7:01 a.m.

Wow ... What a great list of wonderful activities to choose from ... all in June! It now feels like summer has arrived!

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