Ski Beech Hosts Winterfest this Weekend; So Does Blowing Rock!

Conditions are GREAT, GREAT, GREAT today. App, Cat and Sugar are all 100% open. Beech is opening more terrain as well.

It is 30° milder this morning at some locations. Cat was reporting 2° Wednesday morning and now shows 33° at 9:18am!

Sugar has all the snow it needs to the point that they will join Appalachian and not make snow during sessions today. Of course as the temps creep above 33° or so as expected today – no snowguns will be going and that will make for a perfect ski or snowboarding day at all of our North Carolina ski areas!

The weather, snow, cold temps, single digit lows – single digit highs and more snow and temperatures that have averaged nearly ten to fifteen degrees colder than normal have been THE STORY since early in January. We’re now going to see a stretch of weather that is much more like we are accustomed to with highs in the upper 30s, 40s and maybe even a 50° reading or so by Friday afternoon. Lows will be plenty cold enough for snowmaking with tonight’s low in the mid 20s – and Saturday, Sunday and Monday’s lows in the low to mid 20s.

However, it has been so cold over these last few weeks that we will, no doubt, begin seeing emails about us experiencing a thaw. Actually though…five of the next seven days are showing highs that are forecasted to be slightly colder than normal. The lows are slightly milder than average by perhaps 3-6°, but again – plenty cold enough for snow making.

Today through Monday also looks like sunny skies everyday with only the slightest "spit" of drizzle after midnight Friday night. So WINTERFEST WEEKEND is looking great! WINTERFEST?!?! WHAT WINTERFEST?!? Well there are at least TWO Winterfests going on this weekend and both are in the High Country.

BEECH MOUNTAIN BRINGS BACK WINTERFEST…

Ski Beech was doing a Winterfest long before Blowing Rock started their annual fun, but Beech shelved that event for several years and at the prodding of many – they are bringing it back. We’re not certain how much Beech has promoted it, but WE want to invite you guys and gals to show up and make it a HUGE DAY for the mountain. Beech’s website only says, "Winterfest tons of Crazy Events with Music and events all day into the night."

However, the cardboard box derby was always a fun, wild and crazy event and we’re hearing that some local businesses and students have been planning some cool and crazy cardboard creations with which to race with. The weather should be PERFECT and the snow will be as well.

<Okay guys, let’s all hope we can get some talent like these ladies at Beech this Saturday!

Beech first held the "Great Cardboard Box Race" back in 1983 and it kicked off an annual Winterfest tradition. They revive that tradition this Saturday and Sunday and there will be LIVE MUSIC, a Village Rail Jam, numerous other activities – and perhaps the most popular event – the Bathing Beauty bikini contest! That event will be held Saturday at 11:30am, appropriately enough on the Play Yard slope. The event is open for skiers or snowboarders who dare to ride in their bathing suits across the play yard slope. Contestants must be 18 years or older and will be judged based on beauty, poise, creativity and originality. We’ve received word (and a few pics!) that some gals (and maybe even a couple of crazy guys) are already "tanning" for the event! 

Now if we can just get the waitresses to do the bathing beauty contest WHILE carrying the beverages!>

From what we have heard Ski Beech is also including a Ski Beech Waiter/Waitress race where the goal is for area restaurants to enter a skier or snowboarder to ride across the Play Yard while balancing a tray of beverages! Hopefully they’ll get enough entries to do that one as the winner is simply the one who carries the most beverages with the least liquid spilled! (This event is not a bathing beauty contest, you can wear anything you want…but bathing suits would be cool, huh?)

The cardboard box derby will be held Sunday at 2pm at the Village Ice Skating Rink. Judging begins at 11:30 a.m. The boxes will be judged for originality and functionality/looks. Those entering must be sponsored by a group.

According to planners, derby entries can be piloted by one or two pilots but they must remain in their "vehicles" for the entire race. Ski poles or sticks can not be used for steering purposes and are not allowed to be attached to the vehicle. Helmets are required for each participant. Registration for the derby will be 9 to 11 a.m. at the administration building. There will be a $25 entry fee. To inquire about rules and regulations, call (828) 387-2011.

Live music will be held at the Beech Tree and it’s in the form of The Shane Pruitt Band and they will perform 8 p.m.- 12 a.m. to cap off the winter festivities of Saturday night.

Face painting will be available throughout the day session on Saturday.

<Word is that some babes have been tanning up and getting ready for Saturday!

There are many activities planned and tentative, but here’s as close as we have at this time:

Saturday

11:30 a.m. Bathing Beauty bikini contest, Play Yard Ski Slope

11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Cookout and live bluegrass, View Haus Deck
4:30 to 6:00 p.m. Red Bull Village Rail Jam ski and snowboard contest (not sure if this will be on the temporary terrain park area)

8:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. Shane Pruitt Band, Beech Tree Bar and Grille

SUNDAY, JANUARY 25

9:00 to 11:00 a.m. Great Cardboard Box Derby registration, Administration Building

10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Ski and snowboard demonstrations

11:00 a.m. Waiter/Waitress Race, Play Yard Ski Slope

12:00 p.m. Great Cardboard Box judging, Ski Beech Ice Rink

2:00 p.m. Great Cardboard Box Derby, Free Style Ski Slope

3:30 p.m. Ski Beech Sports Fashion Show, Beech Tree Bar and Grille

BLOWING ROCK’S WINTERFESTING IT AS WELL!

Blowing Rock’s version will be held starting TODAY and running through Sunday. You can click here to see the schedule, but this evening’s biggest event is their "Winterfeast" deal where all of the Blowing Rock restaurants come together with a fabulous dinner from 5:30pm-7:30pm.

Friday will feature hayrides around Blowing Rock, a Bonfire at dusk in the Memorial Park. Then they have a Winter Blues Festival at 7:30pm with The King Bees performing at the Hayes Performing Arts Center.

On Saturday they have a ton of activities going on, but the biggest draw is the 10am POLAR PLUNGE at the Chetola Lake. It has been ONE COLD STRETCH and it is our guess that the temperature around "plunge time" will be 32° or so and they will have to cut the ice to make a hole to plunge in. That will be one sight to see. Other big draws on Saturday will be the 11am-3pm Chili Cookoff, and the noon ice carving competition. They do another Saturday night concert with the John Cowan Band and they will light up another Bon Fire at dusk.

Sunday offers some closing festival activities. Check all of the fun planned out and if you’re in the area – join the fun!

That’s all we have room for today. Go enjoy the super, fantastic, amazing, sweet conditions are your favorite ski area today!

Until Next time…

Be sure to visit www.SkiSoutheast.com for more news from the rest of the Southeast and Mid Atlantic ski areas!

Send your snow photos, videos, comments or emails to: [email protected]

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Mike Doble
Mike is the Editor and founder of SkiSoutheast.com, SkiNC.com and ResortCams.com. Since September 1996 he has posted more than 13,000 posts, articles, photos and videos promoting all of the ski areas of North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland.Mike is the father of four daughters, is an avid skier and enjoys golf, tennis, kayaking and hiking in the mountains. Winter snowsports and Summer boating on Watauga Lake are among his favorite pastimes.