Watch Future Olympians Soar in Salisbury’s 94th Annual JumpFest February 7,8, and 9, 2020

This will be the 94th year when ski jumpers and lovers of winter sports converge in Salisbury at Connecticut’s signature winter event, JumpFest. Ski jumping was introduced to this bucolic town in 1926 when a Norwegian farmer, Mr. Satre sailed off his barn; making ski jumping a winter tradition here ever since. This year, JumpFest is taking place on February 7, 8, and 9, 2020, at Satre Hill on Indian Cave Road in Salisbury. For updates and more information click here or info@jumpfest.org or www.jumpfest.org.

There are only a half a dozen ski jump facilities on the East Coast, with JumpFest being the southernmost location. Some of the best athletes will be here competing in an event that has launched many Olympians. As a matter of fact, three of the four men that participated in the Olympics at Sochi had something in common, they were all from the east coast, and they all participated at JumpFest.

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.

Festival Schedule
JumpFest kicks off on Friday, February 7 at 6 p.m. with Target Jumping beginning at 7 p.m. Target Jumping is followed by the infamously fun Human Dog Sled Race, a crowd favorite that begins between 8:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. Teams of six participate, five pulling the sled and one riding. The sleds and costumes, of course, boggle the imagination! Trophies are awarded for the best in men’s women’s, mixed categories. Competitors navigate a .3-mile course through the snow. It’s all in fun, and teams can get very creative with both their costumes and sleds. Two large bonfires and warm food and beverages are available.

On Saturday, February 8, things warm up with a Junior Meet that is followed by the practice of participating jumpers from 11 a.m. to 12 noon. The Junior 20 to 30-meter competition begins at 1 p.m. It is thrilling to watch these Olympians in the making defy gravity and soar through the air with runs of 65 to 98 feet. Another tradition is the Snow Ball Dance taking place at the White Hart Inn with entertainment by the Steve Dunn Band. This is the perfect time to mingle with fellow sports lovers, bid at the silent auction, and take a chance on a raffle ticket that benefits the Salisbury Winter Sports Associations (SWSA) programs. The admission to the Snow Ball Dance is $15. The highly anticipated Eastern U.S. Ski Jumping Championships on Sunday, February 9 begins with practice at 11 a.m.; the competition begins at 1 pm. At this event, there are often Olympic hopefuls that display the tremendous coordination, skill, and grace that have what it takes to soar so far and so high with a smooth and successful landing. Make ski jumping history and be there to see if the Salisbury record is broken – perhaps a new contender for the Olympics! Even the most sedentary spectators will appreciate the extraordinary coordination and skill required to make this jump! Judging from past history, some of the competitors here will go on to the Olympics.

Details and More
Coffee, food, and hot chocolate will be available at all events. As this is an outdoor event, and it is winter, please dress warm – don’t forget your cowbell and cellphone for great photo opportunities! On Friday, February 7, the event ticket booth opens at 6 p.m. and admission is $15; on Saturday, February 8, the event opens at 10 a.m. and tickets are $15, on February 9 the event opens at 11 a.m. and tickets are $15. The Snow Ball Dance is $15 at the door. The Human Dog Sled Race entry is $25 on Friday, February 7 with the downloaded pdf.

Between events, there will be plenty of time to explore the charming town of Salisbury with its many intriguing shops and restaurants all within walking distance of Jumpfest. A highlight is an art show, The Wonders of Winter hosted by the Salisbury Association that includes art by 34 national and international artists showcasing sixty works of art in six locations including William Pitt/Sotheby’s International Realty, Sweet William’s Coffee Shop & Bakery and the White Hart Inn, all within walking distance of each other on Main Street, Salisbury. Many of the paintings are on sale with a portion of the profits going to the Salisbury Winter Sports Association youth skiing programs and ongoing facility improvement.

About Salisbury Winter Sports Association (SWSA)

It all began in 1926, when a gentleman named John Satre (Say-tree) showed off the sport he had learned in his native Norway with the unlikely feat of jumping from the roof of a shed while wearing skis. To everyone’s surprise, instead of crashing Satre soared through the air and glided to earth. It looked like fun and by the next summer, several neighbors had gotten together to begin building a proper takeoff and ski run. A former cow pasture became the landing area. On January 29, 1927, the club, the Salisbury Winter Sports Association (SWSA) held its first competition with a crowd of more than 200 spectators. This all-volunteer group has hosted several National Championships and, today continues to maintain Satre Hill, introduces young and old to the sport of ski jumping, and organizes the competitions.

Salisbury Jumpfest and Eastern U.S. Ski Jumping Championships Feb. 8 -10

Despite last week’s rain and 50 degree temperatures, there will be no shortage of snow at Satre Hill this weekend when the Salisbury Winter Sports Association (SWSA) hosts ski jumping for the 87th year during Jumpfest Weekend in Salisbury, CT, drawing some of the best junior jumpers in the East- many with Olympic aspirations.

Human_DR_Alpine2013,_David_Newman copy

SWSA president Ken Barker said “The night time temperatures dropped right after the warm spell and we’ve been making snow ever since.” Barker added “We have two snow guns that produce huge volumes of snow.”

With overnight temperatures remaining low this week SWSA directors will continue snowmaking to add extra cover to the landing hill.

photo credit Jonathan Doster
photo credit Jonathan Doster

“Our biggest problem,” Barker said “is that because there isn’t much snow on the ground out there, people may think that we don’t have any either. Right now, our ski jump facility looks like a big white patch in a otherwise brown world.”

The three-day Jumpfest will include Target-Jumping Under the Lights as well as the Human Dogsled Race, a crowd favorite where five humans pull one human on a sled around a .3 mile course. Teams get very creative with both their costumes and sleds.

photo credit: Jonathan Doster
photo credit: Jonathan Doster

Junior jumpers, many of whom have recently completed in the junior jump camp, will show off their new-found skills as they compete on the 20 and 30 meter hills.

Ice carving will return to the Scoville Memorial Library again this year, but with a new twist. In place of an actual competition, the event will feature multiple-block demonstration pieces by some the areas (and country’s) best carvers that will be sure to impress. To add to the fun, the areas best restaurants will compete in a chili cook-off. At night, Snow Ball revelers can dance to the rock and roll music of Common Folk and Treetop Blues featuring Joe Bouchard of Blue Oyster Cult fame.

Schedule of Events

Friday
Nite Lites

6:30 pm- Chili Cook-off
7 pm- Target-Jumping under the lights.
Following jumping- Human Dogsled Race

Saturday

9 am- Nordic Kids 20 and 30 meter competition
11am-noon- practice for Salisbury Invitational ski jumping competition
1pm-3pm- Salisbury Invitational Competition
11am-3pm- Ice Carving Demonstration featuring area’s best carvers, Scoville Memorial Library, free admission
8pm-midnight- Snow Ball, featuring opening band The Common Folk and treetop Blues with Joe Bouchard of Blue Oyster Cult fame, at the Lakeville Hose Co., admission: Adults $12, children 12 and under free.

Sunday

Pancake Breakfast at Salisbury Volunteer Ambulance building
11am- Practice 87th Annual Eastern Ski Jumping Championships
1pm- Competition including Junior Olympic hopefuls.

All jumping events held at Satre Hill in Salisbury.
Unless otherwise noted, admission for all events: $10 for adults and children 12 and under are free.

Proceeds from Jumpfest Weekend will fund SWSA’s children’s skiing programs.

For updates and program changes go to www.Jumpfest.org. For area information www.litchfieldhills.com

Winter Carnival Hi-Jinks in Salisbury CT Jan. 28 and 29

Salisbury CT Ski Fest!

A new Winter Carnival Weekend January 28th and 29th will be a festive prelude to the annual Jumpfest Ski Jumping Championships in Salisbury, the town in Connecticut’s Litchfield Hills that has been a mecca for ski jumping for nearly a century.

The Carnival Weekend highlight will be a wacky Gelande Jumping Exhibition, from 5 pm – 7 pm on Jan. 28th and from 11 am – 2 pm on Sun., Jan. 29. This event, also known as “Alpine Skiing” is where skiers burdened with downhill equipment try to emulate the ski jumpers who will soon be showing for real what it takes to excel at this challenging sport.

Another new event debuting during Winter Carnival will be the Human Dogsled Race that will feature five people pulling a sixth on a sled over a .5 k course. The race will be held around 2 pm on Sunday after the Gelande Jumping event ends. In addition, activities for youngsters such as ice carving and the Children’s Ski Jumping Meet from 1pm – 3 pm have been planned.

Admission to all events is $10 for adults, children 12 years old and under free. For happy viewing, the Association recommends that spectators dress warmly in lots of layers. Satre Hill is on Indian Cave Road, off Route 44 in Salisbury. Signs in the center of Salisbury point the way to ample free parking. For up to the minute information, please visit: http://www.jumpfest.org. For dining and lodging information visit www.litchfieldhills.com.

About SWSA
A Salisbury Connecticut tradition for 80 years, this all-volunteer organization has fostered the exhilarating sport of ski jumping among all ages and generations. SWSA continues to improve its snowmaking capabilities, ensuring that the Eastern National Ski Jumping Championships will remain an annual event in Salisbury, CT.