Skirjoring on Blair Street last winter, Photo by David Emory.
For the fourth year in a row, skijoring will ride again on Blair Street this winter, on the weekend of Feb. 16-17.
The Town Council gave unanimous approval for the fourth annual Silverton Skijoring Festival, which involves horses pulling skiers at high speed over jumps up Blair Street.
Laura Des Palmes and Pete Maisel, organizers of the event, said they have rounded up contestants and are ready to fly.
The plan is to push the snow that now is in a berm on the center of Blair Street toward the side to create a platform for spectators.
Snow will then be imported to build the jumps and other course features in the street.
Des Palmes said having the raised platform of snow on each side of Blair Street worked well for spectators and participants last year.
“If a skier goes out of control he goes into a snowbank and not into the crowd.
The skijoring competition is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 16 and 17.
Des Palmes is issuing a call for volunteers to help with the event.
“We need volunteers for the event and we will be giving out free T-shirts to our volunteers that work both days to show our appreciation,” Des Palmes said. Volunteers should be 15 and and older, unless over 12 with a parent. Volunteers can call the numbers listed below and will need to be at the Bent Elbow by 10:30 on race days.
“We need line judges, ring runners, traffic and spectator control,” Des Palmes said.
Skijoring competitors need to be at least 16 years old.
The cost to participate is $60 per day and registration begins at 8:30 a.m. at the Bent Elbow on both days.
You can sign up for one or both days and there are two classes, the open and novice class.
There will be an early registration (6-8 p.m.) and kickoff party on Friday, Feb. 15 at Grumpy’s at the Grand Imperial, with Lacey Black performing on piano. There is no admission charge for the kickoff event and those registering at the Friday evening registration will get an early registration discount, paying $50 per day.
There will also be live entertainment with no cover charge at the Miners Tavern in starting around 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 16.
Fireworks OK’d for Snowscape celebration
Meanwhile, Snowscape, Silverton’s annual celebration of winter, will be going off with a bang this year.
The Town Council approved using up to $2,500 from the town’s special events budget to blast off fireworks at Kendall Mountain.
Town Clerk Brian Carlson said the town’s special events contractor Karen Srbebecik typically “come in way under budget” so money for the fireworks show is available.
Night skiing will again be features at Snowscape.
Fire chief Gilbert Archuleta said the plan is to set the fireworks off by the ponds near the base of the ski area.
He pointed out that the last time the fire department launched fireworks for snowscape it was the other side of town, off of Anvil Mountain.
“But it was snowing so hard no one could see them from Kendall,” Archuleta said.
Lights for the night skiing will cost some $600 to rent, Carlson said.
But he pointed out the town came out ahead last year by selling special night lift tickets for $10 each.
“It more than covered it,” Carlson said.