By Jessica Isaacs
Photos by Ken Ketchie
Calling all winter sports fans! Whether you’re a pro on the slopes, you’re working on your skills or you just want to kick back and watch the action, don’t miss the third annual Daniel Boone Rail Jam on Saturday, Jan. 21 right in the heart of Boone.
Brought to us through Appalachian Mountain Brewery’s We Can So You Can Foundation, the rail jam will make history this year and take place at the Daniel Boone Amphitheater. All proceeds from the event will support revitalization of the amphitheater, which has been home to the venerable Horn in the West outdoor drama for more than six decades and remains a treasured piece of High Country history.
The new venue will offer additional parking for the growing event, as well as a few perks for rail jam spectators.
“First of all, we’re going to have an all new viewing area, so you can watch it on the stage,” said AMB’s Danny Wilcox. “On top of that, we will be able to bring new light to an amphitheatre that was built back in the ’50s to try and bring some new events to Boone in the wintertime when things are sometimes not as busy for people. It will add a new experience for locals and people coming from out of town, as well.”
Wilcox said a 20-foot-tall by 70-foot-wide mound of snow has been collected and maintained from our recent winter storm that will set the stage for Saturday’s rail jam, with a ramp built by VPC Builders and designed by IonCon at the center of the action.
So, who can participate?
“Any riders that feel they have the ability to get out and do some tricks on skis and snowboards,” said Wilcox. “Intermediate and advanced levels.”
Don’t worry, there’s plenty of fun (if not more) in store for spectators, too.
“It’s open to anybody that wants to come out. There will be all kinds of activities going on outside the event and you can watch it on the stage,” Wilcox said. “We’ll have all kinds of vendors and games going on.”
Be sure to show up hungry, and thirsty, and bring cash or credit cards for food and beverages. AMB beer will be on hand to pair with food from Casa Rustica, Makoto’s and Mellow Mushroom. Non-alcoholic beverages like hot chocolate, coffee, water and soft drinks will be available for purchase, too. AMB will debut its new spring seasonal Aho Amber, an amber ale that combines malty sweetness with a subtle west coast hoppy bite, and will showcase cans of other faves like the Long Leaf IPA, Boone Creek Blonde, Porter and Spoaty Oaty Pale Ale.
General admission is just $5 for spectators and $20 for competitors, although limited VIP ticket options are available for $55.
In true AMB fashion, the event host offers you a chance to volunteer your time to a local nonprofit in exchange for admission or entry fee — just bring a signed form documenting your time and experience.
“We try to use beer and food as a tool to excite the community,” said Wilcox. “The outdoor community is what we think of as a staple of Boone, so we try to provide a new avenue for local riders and spectators to have a different experience than they’re used to getting.”
Daniel Boone Rail Jam Schedule of Events:
4 p.m. Live music with Matt Bizzell
5 p.m. Intermediate/women’s/advanced ski and snowboard competition
7 p.m. Intermediate/women’s/advanced finals
9 p.m. Awards ceremony
11 p.m. After party at The Local in downtown Boone