Keystone kicks off season with six-week party |

Keystone kicks off season with six-week party

Richard Chittick
Summit Daily file photo/Brad OdekirkA chance to demo telemark gear - on Nov. 30 - is part of the inaugural Keystone Winterfall Festival.

Do you hear that buzz coming from the east side of the county?

That would be Keystone’s Winterfall Festival, a six-week party that began on opening day and continues through Dec. 21.

The festival began Nov. 14 with the opening of the resort and a concert by Denver-based Opie Gone Bad.

But that was just the beginning.

According to Mike Lee, communications manager for the resort, the festival is part of Keystone’s massive effort to reposition itself to a younger audience.

“Everybody has big spring festivals,” Lee said. “We really decided to focus on an open area on the calendar.”

Rather than compete with Breckenridge’s Ullr Fest and Spring Massive and Copper Mountain’s Sunsations, Keystone decided to create a new series of events that spans the early part of the season.

“It’s definitely to celebrate the evolution,” Lee said, referring to the tagline “The Evolution has Begun” that the resort is building its repositioning strategy on. “At the same time, we plan on doing it every year.”

Melissa Perritte, special events coordinator for Keystone, echoed similar sentiments.

“We had a few events that were already in place,” she said, referring to some events which were booked before the festival was created.

“This was just a great umbrella to bring it all together.”

Perritte added that all proceeds from the festival benefit the Keystone Science School, though it’s worth noting that many of the events, including the demo days, are free.

All day today will be the Founder’s Day Celebration, which honors Max and Edna Dercum, who established Keystone Resort on this day in 1970.

According to Lee, a dedication will be held at 9 a.m. for the renaming of Dercum Mountain, formerly known as Keystone Mountain.

On Saturday, the mountain will open the Peru Lift, and as part of the Rail Harvest Celebration, will feature a jib session on a limited number of features near the River Run base area.

A street party will follow in River Run, featuring the spinning of D.J. Majai.

The Thanksgiving weekend is full of events, including a live performance by holiday singer Jim Salestrom at the Tenderfoot Lodge on Nov. 29 and a telemark demo on Nov. 30.

On Dec. 6 and 7, look for an alpine ski demo to be held at the Mountain House base area beginning at 8 a.m.

“Test drive this season’s top-of-the-line demo equipment for free,” said Perritte, in a press release issued by the resort.

On Dec. 13, the mountain will feature the Winter Brew Festival. Sample the fine ales of 10 Colorado microbreweries for $3 a pint with the purchase of a Winterfall commemorative cup.

The “Soul-stice” Celebration brings the festival to a close with a concert at the Keystone Conference Center on Dec. 19 and a snowshoe race at the Keystone Nordic Center on Dec. 20.

According to Perritte, the concert will feature Superdiamond, a Neil Diamond tribute band.

The weekend will finish off with the Torch Light Parade and fireworks beginning at 8:30 p.m. on Dec. 21.

Richard Chittick can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 236, or at

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