Spectators are invited to watch some of the best alpine skiers America has ever produced today and Saturday, March 8, when the Janss Pro-Am Classic returns to Baldy's Lower Warm Springs ski run.
The Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation's celebration of snow sports is the most important fund-raiser of the year for a 43-year-old organization that supports over 500 student/athletes in its programs.
Among this year's Janss pros are former Olympians, U.S. Ski Team and World Cup racers, Sun Valley ski instructors and SVSEF coaches.
They include Christin Cooper, Picabo Street, Tamara McKinney, Mark Tache, Zach Crist, Reggie Crist, Pam Fletcher, Viki Fleckenstein, Hans Standteiner, David Currier, Sondra Van Ert, Erika Whittaker, Heather Flood, Abbi Fisher, Mark Stiegemeier, Nick Maricich, Toni Standteiner, Terry Palmer, Kyle Wieche, Petr Kakes, Andy Chambers, Craig Sabina, Todd Kelly, Maggie Acker, Wally Rothgeb, Hank Minor, Tom Shanklin, Bob LaPointe, Nate Galpin, Ashley Brown, Rupert Rinder and Will Hovey.
This year's theme is "Bands on the Run." Each pro-am team, made up of one professional and four amateurs, represents a music band. The race is a lot more about the fun than speed, so you are more likely to see lookalike members of the Supremes, the Grateful Dead and Bob Marley and the Whalers negotiating the course in speed suits.
Among the teams are Dixie Chicks, Blues Brothers, Spice Girls, Sons of the Pioneers, Twisted Sister, Freddy and the Dreamers, Steely Dan, Motley Crew, the Beatles, Public Enemy, the Beach Boys, Prince, The Community School Marching Band, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Elvis.
In the past years, the Janss Classic has featured a film on the history of skiing in Sun Valley. Premiering this year is David Butterfield's new production "A Day, A Season, A Life." It's a fun look at the SVSEF experience and how it challenges and shapes its participants.
Handicapping runs (costumes are encouraged!) take place today, Friday, at 10:30 a.m. on Warm Springs and the après ski karaoke party is tonight at 5 p.m. at Whiskey Jacques. The final dual giant slalom runs are Saturday at 10:30 a.m. with the awards celebration dinner featuring music by Soul Purpose at 5 p.m. in the Sun Valley Inn's Limelight Room.