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Summer to get kicked off at Pajarito Mountain

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By Kirsten Laskey

The slopes at Pajarito Mountain Ski Area may be completely bare of snow but the opportunities to have fun have not melted away with the summer heat.

From 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, the ski area will rev up its Aspen chairlift and open its ski slopes for hikers and bikers during Summerfest.

In addition to the hiking and biking activities, beer will be served from noon-5 p.m.

For a fee of $5, participants can sip beer from nine different venders including High Desert Brewing Company in Las Cruces and Falcon Medley from Santa Fe. Only cash will be accepted to partake in the beer tasting and the fee includes a souvenir pint glass.

Not only can participants drink beer, they can learn to brew it, too. The Atom Mashers Homebrew Club will offer a brewing demonstration.

The Nomads, a ’50s and ’60s rock band, will add to the festivities with a live show from 1-5 p.m. The show is part of the Los Alamos Summer Concert Series. To satisfy participants’ appetites, Dan’s Café and Haägen Daz will dish out ice cream, including its new chocolate flavor. Also, Coffee House Café, Home of the Coffee Booth, will be at the ski area.

Summerfest organizer Thad Hahn encourages everyone to attend because, “(it’s) a big deal. It’s just plain gorgeous up there in the summer … it’s a great venue, friendly … it’s just world-class biking up there. They improve the trails and signs up there every year.”

This is Summerfest’s fifth year and people seem to be taking notice of what it has to offer. Last year, Hahn said, attendance at the event was huge. “We had a really big crowd.”

Summerfest, he explained, was thought up by the new ski hill general manager, Tom Long. It’s grown ever since, Hahn said. Summerfest’s appeal could be how effectively it kicks off the summer.

“It’s appropriate because it’s great to have a party to celebrate the opening of the summer season,” Hahn said, “and all the upcoming weekends at the ski hill.”

There is no need to worry about traffic jams to and from the ski hill; the Atomic City Transit is offering free rides. Hahn said buses will be provided from 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Buses will depart from Sullivan Field to the mountain every hour and will leave the ski area every half hour. For more information, visit www.                                  ... skipajarito.com or call 662-5725.