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Winter Wonderland

“Everyone comes to Estes Park in the summer, but winter is a best-kept secret, and this is our way of celebrating all of the amazing things that people can do in this great town -- in winter and summer,” says Elizabeth Fogarty, project manager of the Estes Park Winter Festival, a fantasy of Colorado beer, wine, food and festivities that starts today and continues through Monday in Bond Park, in downtown Estes Park.

Along with a town-wide scavenger hunt, carriage and pony rides, live music from local bands and outdoor activities like snowshoeing and stargazing, a spirited chili cook-off will chase away the chill on Saturday, when more than 25 local restaurants vie for the populist vote, and again on Sunday, when individual chili warriors compete for supremacy in a formerly sanctioned battle overseen by the Chili Appreciation Society International.

Admission to the festival is $5, which includes chili samplings on Saturday and Sunday; for an additional $20, revelers can get unlimited beer and wine pours and a commemorative glass. To purchase tickets, go to
Jan. 14-17, 2011


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