By Dave Hoffenberg
Editor’s note: These are just a sampling of the top spring events. For a full line-up pick up a copy of the Mountain Times newspaper or visit mountaintimes.info/calendar.
Punxsutawney Phil said we’d have six more weeks of winter from Ground Hogs Day, Feb. 2. That gets us through this week, expiring March 16. Spring officially starts (per the calendar) on March 20 and after a couple years of no activity, there are many events that are finally returning. Killington Resort is the major hub for spring happenings: from soft snow skiing to a robust lineup of music and events.
Vermont Brewers Festival
Kicking it all off Saturday, March 19, is the Vermont Brewers Festival. This even is held in the K-1 Base Lodge parking lot. For the last 27 years, the event has been held on the waterfront in Burlington. It debuted here in 2018, came back in 2019 and now it’s returning in 2022. There are two sessions, 12-3 p.m. and 4-7 p.m. I (DJ Dave) will be spinning the tunes for both sessions. Admission includes a 2022 souvenir tasting glass and tasting badge good for up to 15 tasting samples. You must be 21 years of age or older to enter the festival grounds. All attendees will be required to show they are fully vaccinated by providing their Covid-19 vaccination card (hard copy or phone image) or a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours of the event. IDs must match the name on your vaccination card and/or test results.
K-1 Teardown Party
The next day Sunday, March 20, is the K-1 Teardown Party. Come say goodbye to the infamous K-1 Base Lodge (KBL). Killington Resort said, “We will not be going quietly into the night, NO! but with the end all, be all of celebrations!” There will be activities throughout the day into the early evening highlighted with a musical performance by Remember Jones, who is a one-of-a-kind soul/pop singer, storyteller and bandleader with a throwback vibe and authentic energy. He’ll be supported by backing vocalists and a horn and rhythm section. His original music and creative, theatrical events have played to countless packed and sold-out clubs and theaters throughout the United States. I’ll also be spinning all kinds of classic tunes plus there will be giveaways, a commemorative photo booth and a memory wall where everyone is welcome to sign the walls of Mahogany Ridge before it’s knocked down forever, from the windows to the famous Wobbly Barn mural. Leave your mark on K-1 while you can.
Everyone has special memories from the lodge and there will also be a virtual silent auction where you can bid and win a piece of Killington history. If any decoration from the illustrious walls of Mahogany Ridge has ever stuck out to you, now is your chance to take it home. Everything must go. The beloved K-1 Base Lodge is being knocked down to make room for the new base lodge to be debuted in November 2022.
Big Bang Baby to close out season at The Wobbly Barn
March 25-26 is the last weekend for The Wobbly Barn nightclub and they’ve chosen their longest-standing and popular musical act, Big Bang Baby. They’re a high-energy, larger-than-life rock experience. From the ski slopes of Killington, to the beaches of Ocean City, Maryland, Big Bang Baby never disappoints. The band always delivers a real rock show.
Bear Mountain Mogul Challenge
April 2 is the long awaited return of the biggest party on snow, the 39th Bear Mountain Mogul Challenge. Give or take a few years off, this annual event is the most popular Killington has to offer. If you’ve never been, picture a sporting event tailgate and a concert pre-game party on snow. You’ll see countless barbecues, couches, ice luges, shot skis and smiles. There will be live music outside on the base lodge deck.
It’s also a sporting event featuring bumpers racing down Outer Limits, which is the steepest mogul trail on the East Coast. The start order is determined the night before (Friday, April 1 — no joke) with a party at 7 p.m. at Sushi Yoshi. On Saturday at 9 a.m., competitors will each have one run, then the top 32 men and 16 women will compete in a dual format at approximately 1 p.m. Pairs of competitors will run a dual course with sudden death format and only the winners remain. Awards will be presented to the first, second and third place overall men’s and women’s winners and their names will be engraved on the Bear Mountain Mogul Challenge trophy.
It’s an incredible time and an amazing event not to be missed. The resort wants you to have fun but be safe and please leave all non-service animals at home — including donkeys.
The official Bear Mountain Mogul Challenge after-party is held at the Pickle Barrel Nightclub at 7 p.m. with Jamie’s Junk Show. They’re not your typical cover band. They perform energetic, acoustic interpretations of your favorite songs. They have a groovy acoustic style incorporating rock, reggae and country. Jamie has been a Killington staple for over 30 years.
Woodward Wind Down
On Saturday, April 9, the Woodward Wind Down will take place in the Dream Maker Woodward Mountain Park, for a celebration of the Woodward Mountain Parks and their crew. It’ll be a day full of stoke, with a fun jam session for snowboarders and skiers of all ability levels followed by lunch in the park. The park crew will be coming up with unique categories and superlatives for a chance to win some great prizing.
That night will be the closing party of the Pickle Barrel Nightclub at 8 p.m. Music will be provided by Jamie’s Junk Show with special guests throughout the night.
Dazed and Defrosted
On Saturday, April 16, the Dazed and Defrosted concert will be held at the bottom of Superstar trail. Celebrate spring with soft bumps, cold brews, on-snow demos, and of course, great live music. Your finest spring attire is strongly encouraged.
I’ll be kicking things off at the crack of noon with some tunes and then The Sideways will hit the stage at 1:30 p.m. Formed in 2018 to showcase singer-songwriter Joey “Sideways” Stehle, The Sideways has quickly built a devoted fan base in Rochester, New York’s music scene. Joey expertly manages to deliver deeply personal and introspective lyrics over a wide variety of upbeat musical genres, ranging from Pop to Jazz, with a healthy helping of Funk and Soul to keep your head bouncing and your feet dancing.
Rounding out the live music is The Alchemystics at 4 p.m. They blend reggae, politically infused hip-hop, gritty soul, hard-driving rock, and pulsing Jamaican, Cuban and Trinidadian rhythms into a distinctive, original sound. The result is modern-day roots music with global appeal, an alchemy of ancient musical traditions; intricate, intelligent wordplay; deep, driving rhythms; irresistible hooks; and old-school vocal harmonies. I’ve seen them a few times so I’m super stoked to see them again.
May Day Slalom
On Sunday, May 1, take part in the May Day Slalom. Compete with your friends for bragging rights or simply find your own limits. Don’t miss your last chance of the season to race down Superstar. This competition is free to enter with a valid Killington season pass or lift ticket. Music and commentary is provided by Tucker Adirondack and myself.
Kick off to summer
Memorial Day weekend, May 28-30, at Killington is expected to feature prime late-spring skiing and riding, plus the kickoff of summer operations including the Killington Golf Course, Adventure Center and Mountain Bike Park. For updates on spring operations visit: killington.com/conditions.
Saturday, June 18, Vermont Adaptive is bringing back the Charity Challenge. This is the 12th year of having this great event and it will be held at the Skyeship Base Area on Route 4 at Killington Resort. The new venue will bring new activities in addition to road biking. It will still be the same great vibe all in support of adaptive sports. You can register now on their Facebook page or website (vermontadaptive.org) and come join the fun or participate virtually.
Vermont Adaptive is really excited it’s back in person and can’t wait to see you all again. The event is from 12-5 p.m. and music is provided by Jamie’s Junk Show featuring Rob Somerville on sax. Rob is the saxophonist and singer from long-time funk band, Deep Banana Blackout. He most recently was in Kung Fu. The Junk Show already has Rob Volo on bass and trombone and he was in DBB with Rob. Having these two back together mixed with Jamie and Donny Fortin on drums will be an amazing show. I’ll be spinning some tunes to start the day and then JJS and I will go back and forth so you will have great music throughout the day. There will be food trucks, a silent auction and a whole lot more.
1st annual United for Youth Festival and Killington Boot Camp’s Race to the Peak
On Saturday, Aug. 13, at Pico Mountain Resort the 1st annual United for Youth Festival and Killington Boot Camp’s Race to the Peak will be held, all to benefit the Mentor Connector. There will be national and local musical acts throughout the day and music by me. There also will be kids’ activities, face painting, an animal parade, silent auctions and a 50/50 raffle. More details to come in future editions.
Others not to be missed
- May 7: 56th Season opener at Devils Bowl Speedway, a half-mile auto racing track in West Haven
- July 7-10: 27th annual Basin Bluegrass Festival, camp out or come for the day,Brandon
- July 15-16: Killington Wine Festival, is back after a revised schedule last year, Killington Resort
- Aug. 16-20: 176th Vermont State Fair, Rutland
- Sept. 17: Vermont Fairy Tale Festival, Sherburne Memorial Library, Killington