Anyone who recognizes FIS – the International Ski Federation – thinks of it as the world governing body of ski racing. Who knew it has a frivolous side?
Well, maybe “frivolous” is the wrong word because World Snow Day, Sunday, Jan. 20, is part of the FIS “Bring Children to the Snow” campaign, which they call “the biggest day on snow all year.”
Browsing the World Snow Day website www.world-snow-day.com is informative:
You'll learn about Sleboggoning, in Wilmot, N.H., which, says Bill Herrick, president of the New England Sleboggoning Club who also owns the company that makes sleboggans, is great fun. The slebbogan is a steering device which makes it possible to control modern plastic sledding devices, whether dishes, sleds, toboggans, snow boogie boards or “any of today's plastic toys” safer, he said.
In Vermont, visitors and locals alike can join the Stowe Tour de Snow on the town's recreation path. You can walk, run, X-C ski or snowshoe among stations where you can partake in yoga, roasting s'mores, biathlon including paintball target shooting, dog-sledding and drinking warm cider. The cost is $5, which goes back into providing winter recreation for local kids. Organizer Pascale Savard said they provide free cross-country gear for children and adaptive equipment for others who need it.
Ski Haus Sports Center and Cycleworks in Annapolis, Md., is holding a customer appreciation day and demonstrations, manager Mike Hrubiak said.
Crystal Mountain in Thompsonville, Mich., has ski and snowboard clinics, snowbike rides, skating. snowshoeing, X-C, and the chance to explore a snowcat and learn about snowflakes.
In Wisconsin, World Snow Day is celebrated by a “Birkie Tour,” a non-competitive event on the famed American Birkebeiner Ski Trail, with 25k and 50k courses. Finishers wind up at Telemark Resort for food and beverages, a long-sleeved T- shirt, and pin, and credit in their Worldloppet Passports.
At Vail, Colo., hundreds of youngsters under age 13 ski down the famed Golden Peak race course, while Mountain High in Wrightwood, Calif., near Los Angeles, offers a free lift ticket for any kid 12 and younger accompanied by an adult who buys a lift ticket. Mountain High’s John McColly told us this is the second year the resort has participated. “It's always a good event, and people enjoy it.”
FIS President Gian Franco Kasper told SnoCountry.com, “As the big event draws closer I want to personally thank all of the organizers for participating in the second edition of the event.
“What they have achieved in the months leading to the World Snow Day has been overwhelming and I am sure the world is eagerly awaiting the results of these events. I would also like to thank all the children and their families for participating in the events around the world. I hope you enjoy the snow on World Snow Day and for many years to come.”
More than 246 events are registered worldwide. They vary from a ski shop in Dublin, Ireland, to a ski deck in South Africa, “Tokyo Snow and Ice 2013” and cross-country skiing at Sapporo, to some pretty serious snow in Russia, Scandinavia and Iceland, and “snow” fun on the Mediterranean Island of Cyprus.
Although it's summer Down Under, Auckland, New Zealand is part of the event. China, the U.K., and India, make a total of 39 participating countries. Top Photo: World Snow Day celebrants; Middle left, Stowe Tour de Ski