CAMDEN — Hundreds of toboggan racers from around the country are competing this weekend at the 25th annual U.S. Toboggan Championships.

It’s expected about 1,300 racers will take part in the event, reported Portland television station WGME, CBS 13.

A fireworks show over Camden Harbor, a snowplow parade along Main Street and a pick-up hockey game on Hosmer Pond are among the extra events planned over the weekend. This year, event organizers have teamed up with the Camden WinterFest Committee to offer more outdoor winter fun during the races.

“It truly is — the buzzword is — the Mardi Gras of Maine,” said Holly Edwards, chairman of the Toboggan Nationals. “It’s the atmosphere. It doesn’t matter how cold it is or all the snow we have to slog through, once you’re out there in that huge group of people, you’re warm and happy and everyone’s having a good time.”

An estimated 6,000 to 8,000 people attended the 2014 competition, Edwards said, with 425 toboggan teams competing. The event is a celebration of traditional wooden toboggan racing,

This year, those 425 slots have already been filled and registration is closed.

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