1000 x 90

Registration Spots Filling Up Quick for Daniel Boone Rail Jam Taking Place This Saturday; Snow Preparation is Underway

The first of two truckloads of snow coming from Appalachian Ski Mountain arrived Friday afternoon.

By Nathan Ham

More dump truck loads of snow showed up on Friday afternoon as preparations continue for this Saturday’s Daniel Boone Rail Jam.

Skiers and snowboarders will hit the ramp and put on a show for spectators that will be there watching the riders take on 18 tons of shaved ice.

“Things are going very well, the weather is behaving now, we’re starting to get some snow put down. So far so good, everything is rocking and rolling and we’re getting prepped for tomorrow,” said Shauna Godwin, the event coordinator for the Daniel Boone Rail Jam. “We are expecting our snow truck to arrive mid morning or early afternoon and we will put down the rest of the base. It looks like its going to be a really nice competition and we’re really excited about it.”

Louie Vito

A special guest for this year’s Rail Jam will be international snowboarding star Louie Vito. Vito was a member of the 2010 U.S. Olympic Team, is a four-time overall U.S. Grand Prix Champion and a two-time Dew Cup Champion. Vito has also earned six medals during his X Games career, including two gold medals.

“We are really excited to have him come and join us in support of the competition as a judge,” Godwin said. “He does way more than just snowboard, we think it will be amazing to have him here to encourage and support all the riders that are here.”

In an unprecedented streak between the 2010 Olympics and spring of 2012, Louie managed the unheard of feat of earning podium positions in 20 of the world’s 23 major snowboarding contests, including three consecutive X Games medals, the overall championship for the Winter Action Sports Tour, and the overall championship in the U.S. Grand Prix.

Vito also competed in season 9 of Dancing With the Stars and was featured in ESPN the Magazine’s Body Issue in 2011. Vito was named Men’s Health Magazine’s Top 50 Most Fit Athletes in the World and has appeared in numerous TV projects for ESPN, Red Bull TV, ABC and Nickelodeon. Most recently, Vito filmed a season of “The Challenge” on MTV and has been a TV analyst for several snowboarding events on NBC and Fox Sports.

Blowing Rock native and U.S. Ski and Snowboard team member Luke Winkelmann will also be in attendance. Winkelmann is coming off of a fourth place finish at the Burton U.S. Open Snowboarding Championship in Vail, Colorado earlier this month.

With temperatures forecasted to be in the upper 40s and lower 50s, things are shaping up to be really nice for the event.

“The weather looks amazing, it’s supposed to be clear but it’s not going to be too warm or miserably cold so people can come out and stand there and enjoy the snow and not freeze to death, but also competitors will have a nice quality of snow to compete on. That will make everybody happy,” Godwin said.

Last year the event had around 70 competitors and they are expecting at least that many this year and maybe more. Riders are encouraged to pre-register for the event online for free. If riders choose to wait until Saturday, the registration fee will be $35.

“We’re not maxed out yet, people can still register online until midnight for free. After that, registration closes and they have to register at the door tomorrow from 3-4 p.m for $35,” said Godwin.

As always, the Daniel Boone Rail Jam is a fun and family-oriented event with inflatables for children as well as food trucks, live music and local vendors.

“There will be a little something for everyone,” Godwin said.

All proceeds from the event will benefit the Daniel Boone Amphitheater and will be used to improve stage access for load-ins/load-outs, cosmetic improvements and overall upgrades to the venue to accommodate large concerts.

The “Revamp the Amp” project has already been completing some important work at the amphitheater, including the installation of LED lighting for safe, energy efficient viewing, an upgrade power supply and a new roof for the concession stand.

Ticket prices are $5 online or $10 at the door for spectators. For more information, visit the Rail Jam website at danielboonerailjam.com.

Event organizers wanted to extend a special thank you to Appalachian Mountain Brewery, Appalachian Ski Mountain, Doublewood Farm and the Town of Boone for making this event possible.

Highland Landscaping navigated their truck into the amphitheater with first load of snow.
On Saturday another 18 tons of snow will be added to complete the slope for the competition.





Scenes from last year’s Rail Jam