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Summer Shred

This is part of a weekly series published fresh on Thursdays.

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Imagine 80-degree weather, blue skies, warm city pavement—and snow? The 3rd annual Snowboard on the Block festival took place Saturday afternoon in downtown Denver, bringing 25 tons of snow and some friendly competition to the Mile High City.

“'[The event] is the unofficial kickoff of winter for the Rocky Mountains, if not the United States,” said Pat Bridges, creative director of Snowboarding Magazine. “We gathered a bunch of people who have a common shared interest in snowboarding and people who might not know they want to snowboard. It’s just a gathering of the tribe.”

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This tribe of enthusiasts filled the blocks between 35th and 36th streets and Walnut and Larimer streets to check out the latest gear for the upcoming season and catch some of the sport’s premier athletes in action during the Van Doren Pro Jam, presented by Vans “Off the Wall.” Local competitors stole the show at this year’s event. The winner of the amateur rail jam, Josh Carreola of Silverthorne, snagged a spot to compete against 14 pros later in the day. Dylan Alito of Evergreen was the event’s overall winner.

The festival also hosted 13 bands and premiered 15 snowboard films. Jeff Baker of TEN (The Enthusiast Network) said he hopes to eventually expand the party to include more stops across the U.S. “The Block Fest fills a void and finally allows us to operate an event that connects with real snowboarding fans and not just professionals,” he said.

It may still feel like summer, but there’s no doubt about it—winter is coming.

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