SALISBURY, Feb. 5 – You don’t have to travel too far to see Olympic-caliber competition in Connecticut. The 87th annual Eastern U.S. Ski Jumping Championships will be held Sunday, Feb. 10, as part of the annual Salisbury Winter Sports Association (SWSA)’s ski jumping competition at legendary Satre Hill. Future Olympians have competed at Satre Hill before going on to represent our country.
Ski jumpers will be showing off the tremendous coordination, skill and grace it takes to soar 64 meters–over 200 feet–with a happy landing. Traditionally, the enthusiastic crowd cheers them on by jingling cowbells as the jumpers soar.
Winter Carnival activities begin Friday night, Feb 8, with a chili cook-off at 6:30 p.m., followed by the human dogsled race, a crowd favorite where five humans pull a sled and driver around a 0.3-mile course, and jumping warm-ups under the lights.
On Saturday, Feb. 9, events kick off at 9 a.m. with the kids Nordic 20 and 30 cross country ski races. Ski jumping takes over center stage at Satre Hill from 1-3 p.m. with the Salisbury Invitational.
On Sunday morning, the Salisbury Volunteer Ambulance Squad, located at the corner of Route 41 and 44, traditionally starts begins the day with a pancake breakfast from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.
The big event, the Eastern Ski Jumping championships, will start at 1 p.m. , with competitors looking to beat the Salisbury record, an impressive 231-foot jump. Some of the best junior jumpers in the East are expected to compete.
For happy ski-jump viewing, the host SWSA recommends that spectators dress warmly in lots of layers and bring a cowbell, the traditional way to cheer on the jumpers. Limited bleacher seating is provided or viewers can bring their own lawn chairs. Hot food and beverages will be available. Admission is $10 for adults, 12 and under are free. Proceeds help to fund SWSA’s children’s skiing programs.
Satre Ski Hill is on Indian Cave Road, off Route 44 in Salisbury. Signs in the center of Salisbury point the way to ample free parking.
Adding to the festivities is the annual ice carving competition with a fantasy of creations on display at the Scoville Memorial Library, 38 Main Street in Salisbury, Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Everyone is invited to attend the Snow Ball with music by Treetop Blues featuring Joe Bouchard of Blue Oyster Cult fame, scheduled for Saturday night a 8 p.m. at the Lakeville Hose Company, 9 Sharon Road in neighboring Lakeville. Admission is $12.
The all-volunteer Salisbury Winter Sports Association (SWSA), host of the annual championships, provides cross-country and jumping equipment and training to area children and maintains cross-country ski trails at several sites in town. For further information, see www.jumpfest.org.