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Time for On-Mountain Festivals — It’s a Spring Thing

Time for On-Mountain Festivals — It’s a Spring Thing

The vernal equinox is upon us,  and you know what that means, skiers and snowboarders.

It’s party time.

The loooong, cold, snowy winter is, one fervently hopes, behind us and up ahead only blue sky, corn snow and slush bumps.

So what better way to greet the spring season than by putting on your dancing shoes and checking out one of these multi-day, on-mountain festivals?

WinterWonderGrass

Squaw Valley is the site for the 5th edition of WinterWonderGrass Tahoe, an annual brews-and-tunes get-together that takes place March 29-31.

With the musical emphasis on bluegrass and acoustic roots music, some of the biggest names in the genre will grace Squaw’s main stage, including Greensky Bluegrass, Trampled By Turtles and Leftover Salmon.

Also on tap, if you’ll pardon the expression, will be tastings of some of Northern California and Nevada’s finest brew masters, including Sierra Nevada, Alibi, 805, Fifty Fifty, Knee Deep, Lagunitas, Sudwerk and Great Basin.

Meanwhile, Horseshoes and Hand Grenades, which kicks off the Squaw event with a free concert on Thursday, March 28, is among the headliners at Sugar and Strings, a mini-WinterWonderGrass production that will be held at Stratton Mountain Resort  in Vermont on April 13-14. This free, two-day concert series also includes the likes of Kitchen Dweller and Twisted Pine.

Details on both the Squaw Valley and Stratton festivals can be found at winterwondergrass.com.

Taste of Vail

Wines from Napa Valley, Santa Barbara, Corsica, France and Greece are among the featured attractions of the Tase of Vail, an annual foodie and oenophile fest at the Colorado resort that will be held April 3-6.

Labeled as “a platform for promoting (Vail’s) local lifestyle via … the ever-evolving food and beverage” scene, this gathering also features a lamb cook-off, tea and coffee tastings, dessert wine pairings and a mountain-top food and wine tasting.

When you’ve had your full, you can stick around for the following weekend’s Spring Back to Vail (April 11-14), which, among other things, includes free outdoor concerts featuring Gov’t Mule and Steel Pulse.

For complete information on Taste of Vail, log on to tasteofvail.com.

World Ski and Snowboard Festival

For five days of non-stop events on and off the slopes, it’s pretty hard to beat the annual WSSF, as it’s commonly known, that takes place April 10-14 at  Whistler Backcomb.

Billed as the largest such season-ending bash in North America — and perhaps the world — the World Ski and Snowboard Festival is an amalgam of music, art, photography, filmmaking, storytelling and on-hill action.

Highlights include the Boarderstyle World Championships, the Saudan Couloir Ski Race Extreme, ski and snowboard Big Air Contest and indoor and outdoor concerts by select DJs and bands.

Full event details can be found at wssf.com.

Dan Giesin

Dan Giesin

Dan Giesin has spent most of his life poking around the mountains of the American West, especially in his backyard Sierra Nevada range. It has been -- and still is -- an uplifting experience
Dan Giesin