Winter Park / Live Music: Ski season won’t end quietly |

Winter Park / Live Music: Ski season won’t end quietly

This year, the Winter Park Ski Area has a sizzling schedule of music and events leading up to its traditional closing-day Spring Splash, April 13.

The Plaza is where it’s at for live music.

Located in front of West Portal Station at the ski area’s base, the Plaza is well within view of the happenings at the ski area’s base, including the wet and wild Spring Splash competition, which takes place at the bottom of the Zephyr ski lift April 13.

Band Brethren Fast kicks off the concert lineup, playing 1 to 5 p.m. March 29 and 30.

Their sound is said to blend the legendary styles of musicians like Johnny Cash, Elvis, George Clinton and P-Funk, and The Red Hot Chili Peppers with some “bootie shakin’, wheelie-poppin’ fun.”

The band is composed of Messina brothers Mik “The Stick” (bass) and “Dynomite” Don (lead vocals, guitar), and Nate “Dog” Nicholson (drums). This Saturday, March 29, guests may also enjoy the shenanigans of the park’s Downhill Dummy Race.

Energetic bluegrass band Hunker Down steps up next to the microphone, playing 2 to 6 p.m. the following weekend (April 5 and 6) in the Plaza. Hunker Down’s signature sound is a “spicy blend” of bluegrass and acoustic rock they call “stewed rompgrass” and fans have come to know the band for its high-energy shows.

Other events scheduled April 5-6, during the park’s Family Weekend, include Wahoo’s Winter Park Amateur Freeride Series, Showcase Showdown Rail Jam, Tom’s Terrific Downhill race, stilt walkers, jugglers, face painters and caricature artists.

Two bands round out the list during Spring Splash weekend. The first is Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band playing 2 to 6 p.m. April 12. Their sound, which surprisingly only comes from three musicians, is said to encompass raw Delta Blues, traces of the East Coast Piedmont style, Southern Gospel and high-energy guitar.

Last, but certainly not least, is Great American Taxi, performing 2 to 6 p.m. April 13 outside in the plaza. Encompassing the sounds of Americana, roots, funk, country and rock – what the band calls “Americana without borders” – Great American Taxi drives in some high-octane tunes with frontman Vince Herman mixing in clever lyrics and some favorite sounds from his band Leftover Salmon.

This year’s Spring Splash theme is “Throw Back to the ’80s.” Saturday’s events include Best ’80s Costume and Dress Your Dog Hot contests. There will also be drink specials, free bump and telemark ski tips, and free swag for Spring Splash guests. Then, Winter Park Resort goes out with a bang with its 38th Annual Spring Splash, the oldest tradition of its kind ” this year partly sponsored by Coca-Cola.

The Splash event marks the end of the ski season for Winter Park Ski Resort, with obstacle course races and mascot Winter Park Willie’s attempt to cross a pond of fresh, cool spring water. This year, the first 100 brave, registered ski and snowboard contestants will have the opportunity to pass through an obstacle course on the Larry Sale trail, (hopefully) glide across an icy pond, and cross the finish line for their chance to win over $4,000 in cash prizes.

Splash participants who attempt the feat are also eligible to win one of two pairs of Mary Jane Mountain 30th anniversary commemorative skis. To register, visit Guest Services in the Balcony House at the base of the mountain between 8 and 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, April 13. There is a $20 entry fee, $39 fee with lift pass, and $15 employee entry fee.

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