CARRABASSETT VALLEY — At “the beach,” the courtyard by the main lodge where hundreds crowded in to listen to reggae at Sugarloaf’s 24th annual Bud Light Reggae Festival on Saturday, more people wore sandals than boots.

Temperatures were in the 60s for most of the day. Sugarloaf spokesman Ethan Austin said it probably wasn’t the warmest reggae festival on record, but, “It’s up there.”

The mountain had 22 trails open, and skiers said the conditions were better than they expected, given the warm winter and spring.

Matt Masciarelli of Canton, Mass., said he skied all day before joining the party. “For what they had, it was really good.” Masciarelli said he’d been going to the Reggae Festival for 11 years and was a lifelong Sugarloaf skier.

“You can tell they put a lot of work into it,” Jackson McLeod of Portland said, sitting on a Double Runner West chairlift. The chair was closed for the season, but he and friend Rocco Andreozzi, also of Portland, had climbed onto one of the chairs to watch the music after a day of snowboarding.

McLeod said Sugarloaf had done a good job of keeping the mountain ski-able, but he noted there weren’t a lot of people on the slopes.

That’s just as well, Austin said, calling the remaining terrain “somewhat limited.” He said it was uncommon, however, to have more non-skiers than skiers at the event. While there were more skiers in the morning, the mountain slowly emptied over the day as the party at the bottom grew.

On the Beach Stage, above the Bag and Kettle pub, CuLLu, SixthDegree and Dread Rocks played original songs as well as Bob Marley and Sublime covers. As the party got bigger, more people started dancing, drinks in hand.

The crowd was a mix of college-age kids, families, retirees and several well-behaved dogs. Some people limbo-danced under ski poles and others got into snowball fights. Children used flattened beer cases as makeshift sleds.

At around 4:30 p.m., Officer Carold Folsom of the Carrabassett Valley Police Department said the crowd seemed smaller, by one-third or even half, than in previous years. He said people had been well-behaved.

“No problems yet,” Folsom said. “They’re having fun and not causing any trouble. That’s what we like.”

At 6 p.m., Dread Rocks wrapped up its performance at the beach stage and the music moved indoors, where Portland’s Gorilla Finger Dub Band and headliners Castafari of Boston were set to play the King Pine Room.

Austin said that the ski slopes are always busiest on the Saturday mornings of the Reggae Festival, and the emptiest on Sunday morning. “I guess people are still recovering,” he said.

[email protected]

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: