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.

Snowshoeing in Litchfield Hills

Bredeson Outdoor Adventures is offering a day of guided snowshoeing in Washington and Warren, Connecticut in the heart of the Litchfield Hills. Participants will meet at 9:45 a.m. at Hopkins Vineyard located on Hopkins Road in New Preston overlooking beautiful Lake Waramaug.

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A short shuttle ride will take participants to Macricostas Preserve, where you will explore the area’s boardwalks and admire the dramatic view of Lake Waramaug. This 368-acre parcel of land, known as Meeker Swamp is a mix of meadowland, farmland, wooded ridge and wetlands with a pinnacle that overlooks Lake Waramaug. Bee Brook and the Shepaug River wends its way through this lovely preserve.

The day will consist of intermediate snowshoeing or walking if no snow (approximately 4-6 miles total) in beautiful countryside under the leadership of a professional and enthusiastic guide. No prior snowshoeing experience is necessary; this but tour is rated intermediate because snowshoeing 4-6 miles requires a fair amount of energy, unless there is little snow. Due to the venue and optional winetasting, participants should be 21 years or older.

Participants will enjoy lunch and lake views upstairs in the warmth of the Hopkins Vineyard’s Hayloft Wine Bar and an optional wine tasting downstairs by the fire. The Breseson Outdoor Adventures Tour Company will provide lunch and hot tea and cocoa, information on where to rent snowshoes (they have a few pair available for rent), brief instruction and a day of winter fun. Tips and lists for what to wear, bring and do to enjoy a safe cold weather outing are also part of the package.

After lunch, participants will snowshoe through the vineyard and on Lake Waramaug. The cost of this outing is $63 per person. For more information visit http://bredeson.com/trip-sign-up. For information on Hopkins Vineyard www.hopkinsvineyard.com.

For area information www.litchfieldhills.com