Music on the Mountain: Ski area launching concert series

    The Mt. Ashland Ski Area announced Friday it is launching a free concert series at its mountain lodge to entertain skiers and snowboarders while also drawing in other visitors.

    The five-week concert series featuring a range of bands and musicians kicks off Saturday, March 7. The concerts will run from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturdays through April 4 on the third floor of the ski lodge.

    "We are excited to offer live music each Saturday afternoon. This is another initiative designed to offer more local fun at the ski area," said Hiram Towle, general manager of the ski area.

    Bluegrass band Rainy and the Rattlesnakes will play March 7, pop musician Jeff Kloetzel will perform March 14 and rock group Jive Coulis is featured on March 21. Sweet Snowy South String Band will bring its Appalachian-style fiddle music to the lodge March 28, and the eclectic pop group Savanna will close the series April 4.

    The concerts are for all ages and everyone is invited, regardless of whether they are skiing and snowboarding on the mountain, said Jamie Schectman, director of sales and marketing for the ski area.

    The series is sponsored by Ashland Valero gas station, with sound and lighting equipment donated by the local East Main Band.

    Meanwhile, ski officials are welcoming a new blanket of snow that has been falling on the mountain since Thursday. The ski area had 3 inches of new snow Friday morning, pushing the base snow depth to 24 inches and the upper snow depth to 53 inches.

    Schectman said the ski area expects to have its best snow conditions of the season this weekend.

    A storm system moving through the area could continue to bring more snow to the mountain through Monday night, according to the National Weather Service.

    "We're looking good. We plan to operate through at least mid-April," Schectman said. "We'll go 'til the snow runs out."

    The ski area closed for a month earlier this winter because of low snow before reopening on Feb. 7. Last winter it was closed for the whole season because of inadequate snow.

    For more information and snow updates, visit or call the ski area's snow phone at 541-482-2754.

    Staff reporter Vickie Aldous can be reached at 541-776-4486 or Follow her on Twitter at

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