Winter Park " Mary Jane still knows how to throw a party
January 22, 2009
Like the ski mountain named in honor of the feisty late-1800s lady of the evening, Mary Jane’s Birthday Bash celebration promises a lot of fun. This weekend is packed with wall-to-wall events as Winter Park’s “wild child” celebrates its 33rd birthday.
Festivities begin today with activities and the 26th Annual Chef’s Cup Benefit Dinner and Dance at Winter Park Resort’s West Portal Station, a major highlight. This favorite culinary competition, a benefit for the Winter Park Competition Center, allows patrons to sample the creations of restaurants from the area and vote for their favorites. The evening includes a silent auction and rounds out with dancing and live music with the Hazel Miller Band ($50 in advance, $60 at the door).
Free demos will be available at the Mary Jane Shop through Sunday, as well as free bump tips 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (at the top of each hour) from the Winter Park Resort Ski and Ride School from the top of the Super Gauge Express.
Bash festivities on Saturday include a pancake breakfast 7:30 to 9 a.m. at Mary Jane, snow sculpture contest 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Winter Park Resort (vote for your favorite at the Balcony House Guest Services desk), the first-ever Mary Jane Snowshoe Trek from the Winter Park Visitor Center at 9 a.m. (adults $20, 12 and under $5 to benefit the Fraser Creative Learning Center), geocaching scavenger hunt from the Winter Park Visitor’s Center 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Snow Golf 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the base of Mary Jane (free registration at MJ Guest Services); live music by local bluegrass band Hunker Down 2:30 to 4 p.m. at the Club Car (with apres ski 3 to 6 p.m., birthday cake, and Mary Jane Ale specials), Mary Jane Look-Alike contest at Mary Jane’s base at 3 p.m., SnowZone activities (with music and free hot chocolate and birthday cake) at Hideaway Park 5 to 7 p.m., lighted parade floats starting at 6 p.m. down Winter Park’s main street (U.S. Highway 40), fireworks display downtown starting around 7 p.m., and the Grand County Blues Society presents guitarist/singer/songwriter Marc Ford (from the Black Crowes) and the Neptune Blues Club at Smokin’ Moe’s starting at 9 p.m. ($15).
Look out for the Mary Jane on Parade contest, in which local businesses are given life-size cardboard cutouts of Mary Jane to decorate and display at their businesses around the towns of Winter Park, Fraser and at the ski area (through Sunday). The parade made its debut last winter and is modeled after Chicago’s Cows on Parade in 1999. Residents and visitors are encouraged to vote for their favorite. Ballots are due back at the Winter Park Visitor’s Center by noon Sunday.
Rounding out the Bash on Sunday, there will be guided snowshoe tours from the Winter Park Visitor Center 2 to 3 p.m., and the Club Car at Mary Jane will be serving up bloody Mary specials 7:30 to 9 a.m. and apres ski 3 to 6 p.m.