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.

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.

For updates and more information click here or info@jumpfest.org.

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