Annual WinterFest on the horizon

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Mystic Mountain's annual WinterFest at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort next Saturday will feature such spectator/participant favorites as the "Polar Bear Plunge" and the "Out Cold Race," and new events such as "Wacky Family Teambuilding" and a "Funky Slopestyle Competition."

There also will be a "Meet and Greet" with some of Nemacolin's 25 Alaskan Huskies who provide the paw power for the resort's year-round dog sledding tours.

Rock the House Entertainment of Cleveland will provide daylong recorded music at the fireplace outside the Sundial Lodge and on-site giveaways provided by Nemacolin's Lady Luck Casino.

"We welcome new and exciting ideas that enhance our resort offerings and we take that same approach when planning our special events," general manager Chris Plummer said. "This is the 12th year for WinterFest [and] we felt it was important to provide our guests and the local community with some new elements."

On-snow competitions include the Polar Bear Golf Classic on hole Nos. 9 to 18 on The Links course and the bracing Polar Bear Plunge in which costumed participants dunk themselves in the snowmaking pond to receive a complimentary lift ticket and rental equipment for the day.

The first-place team in the golf scramble ($40 per foursome) will win the right to play Mystic Rock in warmer weather. The second-place team will play The Links course sans snow. To sign up call Peter Forman, 412-780-2852 or email

Guests 21 and older are eligible for the "Out Cold Race" in which competitors ski or snowboard down the slopes with steins of beer. The goal is to return to the top via the chairlift with the least amount of spillage. The fastest competitor with the most beer will win a 2014-2015 season pass and a trophy, the fastest racer will receive a medal and the racer with the most beer will receive four lift tickets and a medal.

Bob McLaughlin from 105.9 FM, The X, will be a guest judge for the "Funky Slopestyle Competition," the resort's first trick-style event in its new terrain park.

The "Wacky Family Teambuilding" will involve a snowshoe relay and a group ski and snowball toss.

A torchlight parade in memory of Timothy Umbel will be held at 7:45 p.m.

The "Bastard Bearded Irishmen," deemed by Rolling Stone magazine recently as a "Band to watch from Pittsburgh" will wrap up the festivities with "contemporary Celtic sounds" beginning at 9 p.m.

For a complete schedule of WinterFest activities or to register for some of the competitions visit,

Boyce Park racers

Congratulations to the winners -- and all the competitors -- who participated in the Adam Zebroski Memorial Race and the Mini-Junior Olympics Sunday at Boyce Park. The race winners were: Skiers -- Brendan Derry, 16, of Plum; Bree McGullough, 13, Pittsburgh. Snowboarders -- Danny Bergless, 16, Plum; Dylan McCaffrey, 14, Pittsburgh. The winners of the Mini-Junior Olympics races were: Skiers -- Sriganesh Battu, 11, Coraopolis; Victoria Salopek, 11, Plum; Declan VanSoest, 8, Murrysville; Emerson VanSoest, 6, Murrysville; Ella Tarasovich, 5, Gibsonia. Snowboarders -- Trent Marko, 10, North Huntington. Proceeds from the $5 entry will be used to buy supplies for the Boyce Park Ski Patrol.

Readers responded

Thanks for the response to a request for comments about how Hidden Valley is doing under the management of Seven Springs. A range of them will be used for a story Sunday in the Magazine section (Page E-1). It also includes stories about dog sledding at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, a Late Night Groomer Ride at Seven Springs and February/March packages at Hidden Valley, Seven Springs, Wisp, Canaan Valley, Snowshoe, Peek'n Peak and Holiday Valley.

Larry Walsh writes about recreational snowsports for the Post-Gazette.

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