This year marks the 97th year of Salisbury Connecticut’s annual Ski Jump Competition called Jumpfest where spectators can watch some of the finest potential Olympic hopefuls compete on Satre Hill, at 80 Indian Cave Road in Salisbury, CT. Even if you have no snow where you live, the organizers of this event make it; so get ready to experience a winter wonderland that has a lot of action!
“If you have never seen ski jumping live, you have never really witnessed this sport,” said Willie Hallihan, Association Director of SWSA (Salisbury Winter Sports Assoc.) “The hint of frost in the air, the cacophony of ringing cowbells, spectators cheering on their favorites, and the slap of skis as they hit the landing hill, make this event unforgettable.”
Jumpfest offers three days of heart-pounding excitement and competitions to watch. The tower stands 70 feet atop Satre Hill and jumpers perch on their bar 350 feet above the ground. As the flag is dropped they speed their way down the 300-foot run, picking up speed along the way. Imagine watching as jumpers soar up to 200 feet through the air at speeds of 50 miles an hour! There are only six ski jumping venues on the East Coast and, Salisbury is among the oldest. Satre Hill is also one of the most respected jump venues because of past hopefuls that have competed in the Olympics.
Jumpfest kicks off on Friday, February 3 at 7 p.m. with target jumping under the lights. This is an exciting warm-up for the events on Saturday and Sunday and a great time to spot your favorites and cheer them on. Target jumping is followed by a crowd favorite, the Human Dog Sled Race where teams of six compete in this madcap event for a variety of prizes. There are only a half dozen places in the country that host this event and most of them are pretty far from Connecticut making this spectacle of fun something not to be missed! If you want to compete contact firstname.lastname@example.org, the cost is $25 per team with proceeds going to the mission of SWSA, youth skiing programs.
On Saturday, February 4, the day begins at 9:30 a.m. with the Junior Competition on the 20-meter and 30 meter hills. It is thrilling to watch these young athletes that have trained so hard tackle the hills.
The Salisbury Invitational Ski Jumping Competition begins at 11 a.m. with practice jumps followed by the competition that begins at 1 p.m. Jumpers come from far and wide making it exciting to watch them demonstrate their strength, skill, and conditioning that makes them fly effortlessly through the air. At the conclusion of the competition, medals are awarded on the hill. They are the next generation of jumpers to watch.
To end the day on a high note, spectators are invited to attend the “Snowball” taking place at the Lakeville Town Grove at 42 Ethan Allen Street from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. There will be plenty of food and music by the Steve Dunn Band at this beautiful venue replete with a stone fireplace and chandeliers. Entry to the Snowball is $20 per person with children under 12 free.
On Sunday, February 5, the highly anticipated Eastern U.S. Ski Jumping Championships begins 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, most importantly, to land smoothly. If you want to see some of the bravest athletes in sports just stand at the bottom of a ski jump and watch them soar. It is something that you will never forget because as most jumpers will tell you, it is the closest you get to flying…without wings or a parachute!
To add to the festivities there are food trucks, craft beer, hot toddies, and bonfires on all three days. Tickets are available at the gate and are $15 for adults on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Kids 12 and under are free all three days. Parking is free. The ski jump complex is located at Satre Hill on Indian Cave Road in Salisbury. Proceeds for Jumpfest fund the SWSA youth skiing programs. Before setting out check www.jumpfest.org for updates, scheduled changes, or more information or email the Association at email@example.com.
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.