RUMFORD – Black Mountain’s first Winterfest promises a chance for sled-dog and horse-drawn sleigh rides, an opportunity to snowshoe to the top of the mountain, a fireworks display and plenty of cookouts.

The event begins Saturday with sled dog rides provided by mushers Rhonda and Terran Welcome of Guilford from 10 a.m to 3 p.m. Also on Saturday, a guided cross-country ski tour will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

For those who don’t ski but have always wanted to go to the top of the mountain, lift rides will be offered from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. Those taking part can purchase a barbecue meal at the end of the lift, or bring snowshoes and hike the remaining quarter-mile to the top of the mountain.

The mountain’s operations manager, Jim Carter, said the novice slope will be closed to skiing from 4 to 6 p.m. on Saturday so children and adults who bring sleds can zip down the track.

Night skiing will be held after 6 p.m. That will be topped off with a fireworks display launched from the main alpine ski slope at 9 p.m.

On Sunday, horse-drawn sleigh rides provided by Ernest Garcia and his horses from Gar-Lin farm in Peru, will be offered from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The ride through wooded trails will end with hot chocolate and a bonfire.

Lift ticket specials and Ski Depot sales will be available throughout much of the weekend. A prime rib dinner will be served from 4 to 7 p.m. on Saturday and live music will be performed.

There is no entrance fee to the mountain, but some activities require a charge. Donations will be accepted for the fireworks display.

Winterfest was organized by some of the employees and volunteers at the mountain as a way to attract more people to the area, Carter said.

“This is a good way to open doors,” he said.

A complete listing of times and events is available at www.skiblackmountain.org, or by calling 364-8977.


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