By Nathan Ham
Some of the best skiers and snowboarders the High Country has to offer made an appearance at the Daniel Boone Rail Jam on Saturday with over 3,000 fans in attendance.
Snow piled up at the Daniel Boone Amphitheater as riders prepared for Saturday evening’s event. Combining the rail jam with the St. Patrick’s Day Parade made Boone the happening place to be this past weekend.
“I think the rail jam just continues to increase in participation and they keep taking it to the next level every year,” said Pilar Fotta, the Town of Boone’s Director of Cultural Resources. “This year being the fifth year, I think we had an outstanding rail jam. I can’t say enough positive things about what that event is doing for that venue, what it’s doing for our area and what it is doing for us as a complete event destination.”
This year’s event featured a couple of special guests that made the evening even better. Snowboarder Louie Vito, a member of the 2010 U.S Olympic Team and four-time U.S. Grand Prix Champion, was a special judge. Blowing Rock native and U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team member Luke Winkelmann was in attendance as well to get a peak at some of the other talented skiers and snowboarders in the area. Winkelmann is coming off of a fourth place finish at the Burton U.S. Open Snowboarding Championship in Vail, Colorado earlier this month.
According to Danny Wilcox, the director of the We Can So You Can Foundation, the Daniel Boone Rail Jam had 55 competitors and over 3,000 spectators there, which he says is more than last year.
“Overall it was incredible having the town, the university and the community come together to raise money for the amphitheater and showcasing these great skiers and snowboarders in the area,” said Wilcox.
Wilcox, who said he played in the Reggie Bush Celebrity Golf Tournament last year on the west coast with Vito, said that Vito wants to come back to Boone for next year’s event.
This Year’s Winners Were: