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Originally published: 2012-12-07 10:38:59
Last modified: 2012-12-07 10:38:59

Don’t miss SugarFest Friday to Sunday

Justin Grimes / (averyjournalist@gmail.com)

Gold, silver, night skies full of exploding glitter, dancing, a prize-winning rail jam and more await the patrons of the 10th annual SugarFest celebration at Sugar Mountain Resort this Friday to Sunday, Dec. 7 to 9.

A joint venture of the resort and the Tourism Development Authority of the incorporated Village of Sugar Mountain, the annual event attracts winter sports enthusiasts of all ages and abilities, providing winter fun for the whole family. Many of the events are free of charge to spectators. 

“The unique collaboration between public and private sectors has produced an alpine celebration,” Sugar Mountain Resort President Gunther Jochl said.

Weekend festivities kick off Friday evening at 7 p.m. when Olympic Silver Medalist Paul Wylie performs his signature skate routines for the public. Wylie won the silver medal at the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France; was inducted into the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame on Jan. 25, 2008; and coaches figure skaters at the Extreme Ice Center in Indian Trail. 

The event is free to spectators and organizers said, “The approachable Wylie is a great showman who interacts with all the skaters, from beginners to expert. If you’ve never seen or held a real Olympic gold or silver medal, stop by the ice rink, Paul will share their medals and Olympic experiences with you.”

During the evening’s skate show on Sugar’s 10,000 square-foot outdoor ice rink, guests may delight in the beginning of the three-day SugarFeast; a hot chocolate and whip cream bar will flow creamy, smooth chocolate pleasures.

SugarFeast continues throughout the weekend. Visitors can browse through the mountain’s cafeteria line each day and experience the “Soup Safari” and at 5 p.m. enjoy North Carolina barbecue and sweet tea. 

If you need or wish to demo new equipment, ski and snowboard manufacturers will roll out the newest gear allowing any valid lift-ticket holder with a driver’s license an opportunity to sample the latest in ski and snowboard technology.

Participating brands include Salomon, Volkl, Nordica, Burton, Head, Never Summer, K2, Atomic, Dynastar, Rossignol and Ride and Line. Just bring your boots; register and test drive the latest skis and boards from 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The SugarFest demo is sponsored by Ski Country Sports.

Fireworks will light up the venerable mountain’s skyline at 5:45 p.m. on Saturday. The Village of Sugar Mountain presents the fireworks.

Guests can take in the pyrotechnic display from the base lodge where they can also dance to the live bluegrass music of Boss Hawg. The Last Run Lounge will feature SugarBrew’s award winning “best in show” Southern Tier, Choklat, Porter brewed in Lakewood, N.Y. and a good ole German beer, Spaten, will be on tap among others.

A Rail Jam tops off the weekend’s festivities; beginning on Sunday at 10 a.m. Some of the region’s best winter sports enthusiasts will compete for more than $4,500 in cash, prizes and giveaways: courtesy of Alpine Ski Center, RIDE Snowboards, Salomon, Burton, Scott, Oakley, 686, One Ball Jay, The North Face, Dalbello and Dakine. Participants can pre-register at any Alpine Ski Center throughout the Southeast. 

The Rail Jam can be viewed from the base lodge and is free to spectators.

During SugarFest, lodging agencies within the Village of Sugar Mountain offer discounted rates for slope-side and on-mountain accommodations. Sugar Mountain Resort’s Winter Value Packages are also available.

Note: The 19th annual pre-season ski clinic takes place from Friday to Sunday, Dec. 14 to 16, with Olympic Gold Medalist Diann Roffe. Roffe was the youngest World Alpine Champion at 17, Olympic Silver Medalist at 24 and she took the podium in Norway in 1994, winning the Olympic Gold Medal. Participating skiers will enjoy three days of personalized instruction on the slopes as Roffe shares her Olympic knowledge. The all-inclusive clinic is open to everyone and the fee — which has garnered a local reputation as being a-bang-for-the-buck — includes three days on the slopes, video analysis, tuning seminar and a banquet Saturday night.

To learn more about SugarFest 2012, click to http://www.skisugar.com/sugarfest or call (800) SUGAR-MT or (828) 898-4521.