Spring is approaching faster than a forecasted New England snowstorm turns to rain. With that, many skiers’ minds shift from cold powder and après by an indoor fireplace to sunshine, warm weather, corn snow and, of course, outdoor music at their favorite ski mountain.
Throughout ski season, almost every ski resort has local cover bands perform at slopeside watering holes each weekend. But when spring rolls around, the run-of-the-mill après-ski events become parties. The bands perform outdoors, celebrating warmer days and the closing of a great ski season, costumes fill the slopes and pond skims return. Here are a few spring highlights definitely worth checking out.
— Winter Wondergrass | Stratton | April 10-11
Winter Wondergrass, a bluegrass-focused event, is more than a traditional après concert. In addition to hosting big-name artists performing original music, this music festival celebrates Vermont culture through music, food and, of course, maple syrup. This year, the festival will take place at the base of Stratton Mountain, merging the closing of ski season and the opening of music festival season. In addition to the Vermont show, Winter Wondergrass has dates at Steamboat Springs and Tahoe.
— Reggae Fest | Sugarloaf | April 9-12
Skiers, riders and “ski culture enthusiasts” wait with anticipation all year for Sugarloaf’s Reggae Fest. For four days, the base of Sugarloaf is filled with parties, skiing and reggae. Arguably one of the biggest spring parties on the East Coast, there’s no better way to celebrate the first warm days of spring with some Caribbean-inspired live music and an endless flow of local beer.
— Motor Booty Affair | Attitash | April 4
Each spring, Attitash Mountain welcomes Motor Booty Affair for what continues to be a ridiculous and rowdy time. Year after year, the 1970’s disco cover band transports the mountain back in time, performing some of the era’s greatest hits, all while sporting afros, bell bottoms, platform shoes and polyester that will have you second-guessing what decade you’re in. Fans inundate the mountain with their own retro outfits, and everyone who takes part in the throwback festivities are encouraged to do the same.
— Spring Fest Weekend | Sunday River | April 3-5
As the second-largest ski area in Maine, it’s no surprise that Sunday River also is home to one of the biggest spring après events in New England — Spring Fest. Throughout the weekend, the base area is home to an outdoor concert, barbecue, food stations, a slip and slide competition and other events. On Friday evening, the Shipyard Brewhaus will be hosting a free concert from 8-11 p.m. — a perfect primer for the weekend ahead. The competition and all-day concert will take place on Saturday, with another concert closing out the weekend on Sunday.
— LauraLea and Tripp Fabulous | Killington | March 13-14
Killington is known for its expansive terrain and long ski season arguably as much as for its nightlife. And at the center of its nightlife scene lies the Wobbly Barn. During the evenings of March 13-14, LauraLea and Tripp Fabulous — a five-piece party band that has been touring up and down the East Coast for 15 years — will be performing at the Wobbly. While it isn’t a traditional outdoor spring celebration (being as Killington has been known to remain open until the beginning of June), it’s guaranteed to be a great way to celebrate the coming of spring. And with the resort’s expansive snowmaking capabilities, there will be no shortage of snow to ski during the day.