Fire Up

Cosu winter 2010 spotlight fire festival yyl5je
 

Image: Ray Tsang

Every Saturday evening, a party bursts out on the streets of Copper Mountain Resort (coppercolorado.com). And by bursts out, we mean bursts into flame: the En Fuego! street festivals light up the night with bonfires, fireworks displays, torchlight processions down the mountain, fire performers, and much more.

Free and family-friendly, En Fuego! is based at Copper Mountain Village’s Burning Stones Plaza. In addition to the pyrotechnics, each weekend also includes additional special entertainment—you might be favored with a BMX stunt-riding exhibition or a drop-in visit from skydivers. No matter the night’s feature, it’s a magical way to cap a Saturday on the slopes.

EN FUEGO!
Saturdays, 6–8 p.m., Dec–March
Burning Stones Plaza, Copper Mountain Resort

Rocking Norse

A raucous but beloved Breckenridge tradition, Ullr Fest pays homage to Ullr (pronounced “Oo-ler”), the Norse god of snow. Ullr Fest (gobreck.com) seems to bring out the Rocky Mountain high in everyone. Don’t be surprised to see horned Viking hats adorning the heads of skiers and snowboarders, and Ullympic competitors flinging frying pans for prizes.

The highlight of the fest may be more than 12,000 Ullr enthusiasts filling the streets for the Ullr Parade. Revelers have been known to ski off jumps on Main Street or glide around town in a rolling hot tub, bringing the party with them as they go. Catch the festival, and you’ll learn what every local already knows: Odin may be the king of the gods and Thor may have thunder, but Ullr is cooler.

Let It Be Reused

Cosu winter 2010 spotlight beetlekill and steel gobife

Summit artist Tim Sabo created this vase out of wood from pine beetle–killed trees.

Pine beetle–killed trees are a habitat tragedy and an eyesore—a brown stain on an otherwise pristine green landscape. Thousands of acres of Summit County’s forests continue to be destroyed by the penpoint-size invaders. But in what may be the most productive pairing of insects and lumber since a certain Hall of Fame pop group recorded “Norwegian Wood,” a number of locals are making sure the trees aren’t dying for nothing.

“This is great-looking wood with blue streaks in it because of the bugs, and we use it for beautiful tongue-and-groove floors, for siding, for trim, anything you want,” says Suzanne Allen-Guerra of Allen-Guerra Design Build in Breckenridge. She says her husband, Ethan Guerra, a general contractor since 1994, recently sided an entire barn with salvaged and treated wood from beetle-infected lodgepole pines. High Country Furniture, also in Breckenridge, likewise uses beetle-kill wood (in a very small capacity), and local artist Tim Sabo has incorporated it into certain pieces.

And if all else fails, Ethan Guerra points out, “Beetle-kill also makes great firewood.”

These Boards Are for Treading

With the Rocky Mountains as a backdrop and its clear blue waters at center stage, the Lake Dillon area is a veritable theater of dreams for outdoors enthusiasts. According to the Denver Post, it’s also a hub for great performances of another sort: the newspaper rates the Lake Dillon Theatre Company in downtown Dillon as one of Colorado’s 10 best.

Among the winter highlights at Summit County’s only professional theater company are The 39 Steps (Jan 21–Feb 20), a Tony Award–winning farce based on Alfred Hitchcock’s 1935 espionage thriller of the same title; and Boeing Boeing (another Tony Award winner), about how an airline pilot tries keep his three flight-attendant fiancées from learning about each other (March 4–April 3). Performances are generally held Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights, but check with the box office for details. For locals and visitors looking for an enlightening alternative to après-ski and the party circuit, Dillon theater nights can provide just the ticket.

 Down the Tubes

Cosu winter 2010 spotlight inner tuber uywze8

Take a fat inner tube, inflate it, have a seat, and then hurl yourself down a hillside. Does the thought bring back fond childhood memories? In those days, the bliss of a headlong downhill dash was probably plenty to make you forget the drudgery of the slog back up the slope, old black tube dragging along behind.

Tubers today, however, can avail themselves of a number of innovations that make the process easier—and more fun. At the new tubing hill at Frisco Adventure Park, a moving carpet lift does the dirty work, shepherding sliders and their brightly colored rides back to the hilltop for another go. Other user-friendly features at the park include sculptured lanes that cradle a tube on its descent and floodlights that allow the fun to extend past dusk. Tubing here may not be as footloose as it was at the hill behind your neighbor’s house, but it’s still blessedly fancy-free.

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