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SugarFest Returns to Sugar Mountain for the 17th Consecutive Year this Weekend


By Nathan Ham

Ski Conditions are improving almost hourly as temperatures remain cold enough to continue making snow in preparation for SugarFest at Sugar Mountain this upcoming Friday, Saturday and Sunday. 

“It’s an official kickoff to winter where we bring a lot of fun things together and encourage people to come up and get things started for the ski season,” says Kim Jochl, the Vice-President and Director of Marketing at Sugar Mountain Resort. 

SugarFest, which has been held each year since 2003, will kick off on Friday with the annual preseason ski clinic that will feature United States Olympian Andrew Weibrecht for the second straight year. The clinic begins at 8:30 a.m. and will continue until 7 p.m. The ski clinic also takes place from 8:30 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Saturday and again from 8:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Sunday. 

On Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., skiers can demo some of the newest gear on the market from Salomon, Volkl, Nordica, Burton, Head, Never Summer, K2, Atomic, Rossignol, Ride and Line and many others. The demo event is sponsored by Ski Country Sports in Banner Elk. 

At 10 a.m. on Saturday, Sugar Mountain will have a special ribbon-cutting event to celebrate the addition of the Easy Street Chair Lift, a detachable high-speed quad lift that just opened this year. 

From 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Saturday there will be Soup Safari featuring fresh, made-from-scratch soups to enjoy. On Saturday and Sunday, there will also be a BBQ & Sweet Tea Lunch & Dinner Special in the lower cafeteria and a Hot Chocolate & Whipped Cream bar. 

Glen Harlow & The North Fork Band will be playing some country and bluegrass hits from 3-5 p.m, on Saturday with a fireworks display to follow at 5:45 p.m. 

Ice skating and tubing will be open on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. 

“We are looking forward to a great weekend. It looks like we’ve got some snow coming on Friday and clearing skies on Saturday and Sunday. It literally looks like a perfect SugarFest weekend,” said Jochl. “We’ve been making snow since early yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon around the clock and we’ll be making snow for the foreseeable future, building up the base and opening more terrain as we can.”