Celebrate a Grüvy spring at Canyons | ParkRecord.com

Celebrate a Grüvy spring at Canyons

A group of Angry Birds race towards the jump in last year's Spring GrŸv pond skimming contest at Canyons. (Park Record file photo)

Spring is coming and there’s no escaping the warmer weather.

So, rather than lament the fact that the ski season will soon close, Canyons has embraced the season with its annual Spring Grüv celebration, said Steve Pastorino, director of public relations for Talisker and Canyons

"This event is a way to celebrate the warmer temperatures," Pastorino said during an interview with The Park Record. " Don’t get me wrong, we all would love one or two more huge snowstorms before the season ends."

This year marks the sixth annual Spring Grüv and will feature all the things that have made the event fun in the past, including pond skimming, barbeques and live music.

The festivities will begin at noon on Saturday, March 23 with pond skimming contest, which has been a Park City tradition for 17 years, where people dress up and try to snowboard or ski across an ice-cold pond.

"We call them daredevils, but they are members of our community that have a great time dressing up sometimes in solo costumes, oftentimes in group costumes — the Chinese dragon and angry birds come to mind from last year — who ride an incline that’s adjacent to Red Pine Lodge, pick up speed and try to make it across the ice and slush for the sake of winning lift tickets for a day of skiing next year," Pastorino said with a laugh. "We also hand out prizes for the best costume and things like that. And I think the idea of a spring party is attractive to people."

More than 3,000 spectators attended last year, he said.

"It’s astounding how many people who are not skiing come up the mountain for a mid-day party," Pastorino said. "We have the grill fired up and a beer garden set up for the adults. It’s just a big party."

The pond skimming, which is accessible by the gondola, will be followed by a free concert by the North Mississippi Allstars. Gondola passes are $15.

"North Mississippi Allstars have been nominated for three Grammy awards in the blues categories," Pastorino explained. "They should be great to hear."

On Sunday, March 24, Spring Grüv continues with a new event, Clicquot in the Snow.

"French champagne maker Veuve Clicquot will do a special tasting paired with fine cuisine from the Farm between 3 p.m. until 5:30 p.m., during après ski time," Pastorino said. "This is the first event for them in Park City, and the newest event in Spring Grüv."

Tickets are $30 per person and the event is open to ages 21 and older.

The concert will be performed by Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band.

"I can’t get past the band’s name," Pastorino said. "They are a jam band that plays up to 150 shows a year and we’re excited to bring them here."

Next weekend’s events will include the second annual Operation Smile Celebrity Ski Challenge on Saturday, March 30.

Operation Smile is a nonprofit organization that provides free corrective cleft palate surgeries for children around the world, Pastorino said.

"The ski challenge was presented to us by a Talisker member, Jennifer Salke, who is president of NBC entertainment," he said. "She loves the Park City community and all the things that Canyons offers and she brought the idea to us a year ago."

Last year’s participants included Tony Hawk, Billy Bush and Kate Walsh.

"We’re still confirming officially who is coming, but we’re execting the same caliber of artists," Pastorino said. "It’s a great event and is exciting for us."

Pastorino likes the idea of Canyons partnering with organizations such as Operation Smile.

"There are so many times that we are invited to support innumerable and good causes and we try never to say no when it’s a cause for kids," he said. "So, with a relatively simple process performed by well-trained doctors in good medical facilities, we can be part of improving the lives of children around the world. This is an event that we’re proud to be a part of."

Grammy Award-winning reggae band Toots & the Maytals will perform the concert on March 30.

"Toots has been together for 45 years and has an amazing legacy," Pastorino said. "The opening act for Toots — Paa Kow’s All Means Band is also interesting. Paa Kow has built an American band on West African tradition, so it will be an afternoon of world-inspired music."

Closing the 2013 Spring Grüv celebration will be an Easter Dinner on Sunday, March 31, at 2 p.m.

"This is our big spring buffet with Easter ham and prime rib, combined with a bevy of pastas, spring soups and whole assortment of desserts," Pastorino said. "There is also a kids menu."

The cost for the dinner is $49 for adults and a special discounted price for children.

"We’re excited to bring this back," he said.

The final concert will be performed by Euforquestra.

"Hey are a new band with a unique sound that I think people will love," Pastorino said. "They are a great way to close out the event."

The sixth annual Spring Grüv will be held at Canyons on March 23, March 24, March 30 and March 31. All concerts are free and open the public. The gondola passes to the pond skimming are $15. For more information, visit http://www.canyonresort.com.

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