Alyeska’s Spring Carnival bids adieu to winter

Ski bums, hippies, sledders and shredders Alyeska Spring Carnival 2016 is right around the corner, April 8-10, and its going to be a doozy. Headlining as usual is the Slush Cup in all its freezing cold and hilarious glory. Also included this year again is the Idiot Swim Across and XTRATUF Tug o’ War. Debuting this year though is Alyeska’s very own Downhill Dummy race where contestants will race down the mountain from the top of the tram terminal all the way to the bottom battling snow, ice, and probably a good amount of mud this season.

“Slush Cup draws a crowd in the thousands and is without a doubt the most popular event,” Ben Napolitano, mountain marketing manager, said.

Slush Cup is a Spring Carnival event in which contestants must be selected by a group of judges in a costume contest for the chance to participate. Costumes must be PG-13 and creativity helps because according to Alyeska staff its gets awfully competitive and hysterical. Once selected they enter a race in which contestants race down the hill and try to cross a pond without crashing, still in costume.

Even if you don’t have a wacky costume or the sudden urge to cheat hypothermia the ski hill and tram are still running in full effect. The ski passes are full price during this time, although if you show them your student ID you can receive a $15 discount.

Equally as wacky as the Slush Cup is the Dummy Downhill race.

“The Dummy Downhill has these funky creations speed down the ski hill and then crash and burn at the bottom. Judging is based on jump distance, crash and dummy design,” mountain services administrator Amy Quesenberry said.

Quesenberry also stated that Alyeska Spring Carnival is just an all around great time for any and all ages attending as well as any and all skill levels of skiers and snowboarders. If the hill doesn’t attract you right away though live music, food, and the Sitzmark sits right at the base of the action where those over the age of 21 can enjoy the festivities from the warmth of the patio fire or beer.

This year The Sitzmark will be featuring The Mother Hips a California soul rock band based out of the Bay Area for live music enthusiasts. The Mother Hips will be performing each night from Thursday April 8 until Saturday April 10 for just $10. Concerts typically sell out beforehand, but you can pre-order your tickets at the Sitzmark website.

The Alyeska Hotel usually sells out weeks in advance as well so there are no last minute hotel discounts. Some rentable cabins or condos are always an option on websites like vrbo.com and are almost all centrally located around most of the Spring Carnival activities. The Alyeska shuttle also offers free transit to and from the Sitzmark for those responsible drinkers looking to avoid those pesky DUI’s.

The Alyeska Spring Carnival is fast becoming one of Alaska’s most popular spring events. The wonderful spirit of the local Girdwood population mixed with live music, edge of your seat excitement, hilarious costumes, and spring weather make this a weekend you can not miss.

Cost of admission is free to any and all spectators of the events besides the concerts. The best way to sign up for events is to call the ticket office at (907) 754-2275. Great prizes are up for grabs including cash, airline miles, ski gear, ski/mountain bike passes and tons more so come out and get involved. Spring Carnival is from April 8 to April 10 in Girdwood. Alyeska is just a little over an hours drive from UAA.

Written by Jake Johnson