Crested Butte’s 43rd Annual Flauschink Flushes Out Winter & Welcomes Spring Celebrate this quirky end-of-ski-season festival on March 30 – April 1.
The last weekend of ski and snowboard season isn’t a quiet occasion in “Colorado’s Last Great Ski Town,” Crested Butte, where the expected rarely happens. Locals and visitors will be flushing out winter and welcoming spring at the 43rd annual Flauschink, March 30 – April 3, 2011.
Pre-Flauschink festivities begin at Talk of the Town on Wednesday, March 30 with a 7 p.m. slide show at the Talk of the Town by Dr. Duane Vandenbusche, a Western State College (WSC) history professor and authority on Gunnison County and Colorado history. A Flauschink tale also will be told by George Sibley, founder of Flauschink and a retired WSC professor. The cost is $4 with a Flauschink button and $7 without a button.
Flauschink officially kicks off with a coronation ball held on Friday, April 1 at 9 p.m. to crown the new king and queen and enjoy an evening of polka dancing with the Pete Dunda Polka Band at The Eldo. The cost is $5 with a button and $8 without a button.
The king and queen of Flauschink typically have three things in common: they are involved in the community, enjoy longtime resident status, and are held in high esteem by other locals. A parade on Saturday, April 2, honors the king and queen as they proudly raise scepters made from toilet plungers, gives “Has-Been” royalty the chance to wear their crowns and ride on a float again, and provides a reason to rain down fun on Elk Avenue, Crested Butte’s historic business district. The parade will begin at 5 p.m.
On Sunday, April 3, the festival and ski season will draw to a fitting close with the Flauschink king and queen holding court on the slopes at Crested Butte Mountain Resort. Skiers and snowboarders pass by Flauschink Hill, above Twister warming house deck, to toast royalty. Flauschink buttons are sold for $3 at several local businesses in Crested Butte to raise money for the festival and to provide discounts on slide show and coronation ball tickets. Also view memorabilia in the Flauschink exhibit at the Crested Butte Mountain Heritage Museum. For more information, call festival organizer and 1996 Flauschink Queen Michelle English at (970) 349-7348.