BRATTLEBORO — The Harris Hill Ski Jump is planning a fun target jump competition on Friday, Feb. 17, to kick off a weekend of ski jumping.
“We’re calling it a Fun Target Jump Competition and the purpose of that is to really differentiate that from the competitions on the weekend, which are sanctioned events,” said Sally Seymour, one of the organizers.
Saturday Feb. 17 will feature the Pepsi Challenge and the Sunday Feb. 18 competition is the Fred Harris Memorial Tournament, where a jumper who wins the competition three times retires the famed Winged Trophy. The events are sanctioned by the United States Ski and Snowboard Association.
All three events will have prize money. And all participating jumpers in the Saturday and Sunday contests will be invited for the Friday competition, although there’s no pressure for the athletes to join in.
“But they love the opportunity to get more jumps in,” Seymour said.
Practice jumps are scheduled for Friday morning. The inaugural Fun Target Jump Challenge will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. under new lights installed last year.
No advance ticket sales will be available for Friday. They will be sold for $10 per adult or $30 per carload on a first come, first served basis. Children younger than 10 get in free.
“We’re going to create a festive atmosphere like we always do,” Seymour said. “We’ll have music, bonfire, beer truck, some food but it won’t be the large array of food we have on the weekend.”
Target jump contests have typically been held after the competitions on the two weekend days. Organizers wanted a way to attract jumpers to come and put a show on for the crowd, Seymour said.
“One of the reasons we’re doing this is because we now have lights,” she said.
She recounted how the lights were installed last year with plans of hosting the centennial celebration but then rain messed up plans at the hill. Snow needed to be made that night.
Seymour said her group is “very hopeful” the community will see the Friday event as “a fun thing to do.”
They started putting the lights up around the week of Christmas to create awareness of the ski jump and as a way to say happy holidays. Lights go on every night at 4 p.m. until the events conclude on Feb. 19.
For the other contests, gates open at 10 a.m. and competition starts at noon. The events feature professional announcers, music, a bonfire, a beer garden, local food concessions and a great family atmosphere. Tickets start at $15.
Information can be found at harrishillskijump.com or @harrishillskijump on Facebook and Instagram.