This year marks the 95th anniversary of Salisbury Connecticut’s ski jumping tradition that officially began in 1927. It all started in 1926 when Salisbury resident, John Satre soared off the roof of his barn with skis on to show his neighbors a sport he learned in his native Norway. Town residents became fans of the sport and formed the Salisbury Winter Sports Association that winter. The first ski jump competition was held in January 1927 and has become one of New England’s signature winter events.
This year ski jumpers and lovers of winter sports will converge in Salisbury at this highly anticipated in-person winter event, JumpFest, on February 12, 13, and 14, 2021. The ski jump complex is located at Satre Hill on Indian Cave Road in Salisbury. For updates and more information www.jumpfest.org. or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Although this is an in-person event, the Salisbury Winter Sports Association has initiated several changes in order to comply with all COVID-19 regulations to keep spectators and athletes safe. This is an outdoor event in a wide-open area. Attendance each day will be limited to the first 400 tickets sold. This number reflects 25% of the facility’s capacity as required by Connecticut regulations. Additional spectators will be admitted as people leave the venue. Tickets will be available at the gate and are $15 for adults on Saturday and Sunday, on Friday night there is no admission charge. Kids under 12 are free all three days. In compliance with CDC and State mandates six-foot social distancing should be adhered to and masks must be worn at all times throughout the facility.
For the Tri-State area and beyond, JumpFest offers a very special opportunity to watch these graceful athletes fly through the air — up close! The anticipation of watching competitors travel up to 200 feet through the air at more than fifty miles an hour and, guessing who is the fastest — and highest in real-time — is an unforgettable experience. It is so much fun to be part of the excitement! The crowds’ ring cowbells to cheer on their favorites and the jumpers take notice. The excitement reaches a crescendo when the slap of skis hits snow in a smooth landing with everyone hoping that this jump beats the Salisbury record, an impressive 231-foot jump. And, if you work up an appetite, no worries, there will be several food trucks on the grounds.
There are only half a dozen ski jump facilities on the East Coast, with Satre Hill in Salisbury being the southernmost location. Some of the best athletes will be here competing in JumpFest, an event that has launched many Olympians including three of the four men that participated at Sochi.
Friday, February 12, 2021
JumpFest kicks off on Friday, February 12 at 6 p.m. with practice jumps. Target Jumping under the lights begins at 7 p.m. Two large bonfires and warm food and beverages will be available for purchase from a variety of food trucks. The popular Human Dog Sled Race has been canceled this year because of the pandemic, and for this reason, there is no admission charge on Friday night.
Saturday, February 13, 2021
On Saturday morning, February 13, things warm up with the strongest Junior Jumpers from Lake Placid, New York, and the Salisbury Winter Sports Association competing on 20 to 30 meter hills. The action kicks off at 9 a.m. with these youngsters showing off their strength, skill, and conditioning that makes them fly effortlessly through the air. Medals will be awarded on the hill.
The real action of the day starts at 11 a.m. with warm-up jumps by the Development Team, composed of an elite group of jumpers from around the country. These competitors are the best of the best that have been in rigorous training at the Olympic Ski Jumping Complex, which was built for the 1980 Olympic Games in Lake Placid, New York. The competition begins at 1 p.m. This event is thrilling to watch as these expert flyers go from 0 to 50 miles an hour in seconds and seem to defy gravity with runs up to 70 plus meters.
Sunday, February 14, 2021
The highly anticipated Eastern U.S. Ski Jumping Championships on Sunday, February 14th begin with practice jumps that run from 11 a.m. through noon. The long-awaited annual competition starts at 1 pm. At this event, there are often Olympic hopefuls competing. These expert jumpers seem fearless as they display the tremendous coordination, skill, balance, and strength that it takes to soar so far and so high in the air and to land smoothly. If you want to find some of the bravest athletes in sports just stand at the bottom of a ski jump and watch them soar through the sky. It is exhilarating. Even the most sedentary spectators will appreciate the extraordinary coordination and skill required to make a jump! After all, most jumpers tell you that it is the closest you get to flying…without the wings or a parachute.
ABOUT SALISBURY WINTER SPORTS ASSOCIATION
In the winter of 1926, John Satre a resident of Salisbury jumped off the roof of his shed wearing skis to show his friends and neighbors a sport he learned in his native homeland of Norway. Town residents were so amazed as they watched Satre soar through the air that they decided to build a proper ski run that summer, and form the Salisbury Winter Sports Association. The Association hosted the first ski jump competition in January 1927. JumpFest has become a highly anticipated event in Connecticut and throughout much of the East Coast.