As Maine opens for summer tourism, Sunday River readies for a busy events season in the mountains, with classic and revitalized events returning to the calendar. Most notably, the resort recently opened registration for the 11th annual Tough Mountain Challenge: a muddy obstacle race slated for July 24, which was postponed last summer due to the pandemic. Special events and activities listed below will take place at the resort and the surrounding towns.
2021 Summer and Fall Events Schedule:
River Rock Festival – July 2-3
A two-day Christian rock festival, River Rock brings many bands from opening acts to headliners to perform outdoors at South Ridge Lodge.
Scenic Lift Rides Open – July 4
Sunday River will offer scenic chairlift rides on the signature Chondola, which offers both open-air chairs and enclosed gondola cabins. Lift rides are available on Saturdays and Sundays from 10AM-4PM through October 10.
Bethel Area Arts & Music Art Market – July 10 & August 7
Local artists and artisans will gather on the Bethel Village Town Common to sell their wares.
Tough Mountain Challenge – July 24
Sunday River’s annual Tough Mountain Challenge is back! This is the ultimate running race and obstacle course, where over 3,000 preregistered thrill-seeking athletes face over a dozen mountain obstacles and some of the most demanding alpine terrain at the resort spread across a 5k course.
New England Forest Rally – July 30-31
The annual New England Forest Rally (NEFR) is a two-day car race that starts at Sunday River Resort before taking place on the back roads of Western Maine and Northern New Hampshire. Sanctioned by Rally America, the NEFR is one of six National Championship rallies that take place in the United States.
Bethel Harvestfest & Chowdah Cookoff – September 18
Come hungry because Bethel’s annual Harvestfest and Chowdah Cookoff is a delicious way to savor the flavors and colors of fall in the Western Mountains of Maine. The cookoff features mouthwatering creations from area restaurants including chowders, homemade pies, and Maine baked potatoes, not to mention a Farmer’s Market and activities including a wood-carving demonstration and free horse-drawn wagon rides.
Mahoosuc Ridge to the River Challenge – September 25
With 10k, half marathon, and marathon-length routes, the Mahoosuc Ridge to the River Challenges returns for a third year. The race, which benefits Inland Woods + Trails, Mahoosuc Land Trust, and the River Fund Maine, is a challenging trail running race that traverses Sunday River’s slopes. Registration is now open for all race categories.
Fall Festival – October 9-10
Celebrate one of Maine’s most cherished seasons with Sunday River’s favorite fall event—Fall Festival. Complete with the North American Wife Carrying Championship, live music, a beer garden, wine tasting, the annual Blue Mountain Arts and Craft Fair, children's games and activities, scenic lift rides, wagon rides, and more. Fall Festival the resort’s last long weekend for summer activities like scenic lift rides and mountain biking, and the unofficial kickoff to its winter season of skiing and snowboarding.
North American Wife Carrying Championship – October 9
Each year this fantastic event draws over 2,500 spectators who line the alpine course to watch teams of 50 husbands and wives from around North America compete for the grand prize of the wife's weight in beer plus five times her weight in cash. Registration will open later this summer.
New England Cornhole Championship – October 10
Cornhole. Corn toss. Bean toss. Soft horseshoes. A game with many names played by millions across the world. But there's only one winning team. 48 teams will take to Sunday River's snowless slopes on the Sunday of Fall Festival for the 7th annual New England Cornhole Championship where a cornhole team will be named champion. Cash prizes are up for grabs along with bragging rights! Registration will open later this summer.