NEWRY – Get ready for some downtown ski-slope action, Portland.

Sixteen skiers and 16 snowboarders are going to Monument Square on Saturday to compete in the first ever Downtown Showdown, an urban rail jam.

The event, which is part of Portland’s WinterRush Festival, takes place from 4 to 7 p.m. under bright lights and atop a specially built, two-story run with a custom-built, 30-foot-long, three-rail staircase, and an overturned boat hull for sliding across, Sunday River and Sugarloaf/USA spokeswoman Darcy Liberty said.

“The city has been piling snow up down there for us to use,” Liberty said Friday.

“Hundreds of man-hours have gone into this project and all its components,” said Nick Roma, Sunday River’s terrain park manager. “The staircase itself weighs well over a ton.”

The structures were initially built at Sunday River, then taken apart and driven to Portland, where they were in the process of being reassembled Friday.

Major construction will begin Saturday morning, Liberty said.

Among the competing skiers are Carrabassett Valley Academy athletes Matt Duhamel, Jeremie Veilleux and James Campbell. From Gould Academy in Bethel, skiers Briar Bouthot and Heather Thomas are entered.

Among the snowboarders and skiers who competed in special qualifying events at Sunday River and Sugarloaf are boarders Tristan Corriveau, Benjamin Bisson and Troy Boucher; and skiers Devin Flynn, Tyler Shores, Curtis Bolduc and Colin Sirois.

Music from a disc jockey will accompany the largest rail event in Portland’s history.

More than $5,000 in cash and prizes are up for grabs for the 32 invited participants who come from various academies, industry teams and special qualifying events held this winter at Sunday River, Sugarloaf and Loon Mountain Ski Resort in Lincoln, N.H.

The top skier and snowboarder will each walk away with $500 cash and exclusive Oakley Crankcase watches valued at $900. Second-place secures $250 cash and third place, $100 cash. Second- and third-place athletes will also get new skis or snowboards.



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