- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 29, 2004

As winter fades and spring approaches, ski areas will celebrate the change with what some would call the silly season.

The celebrations, known generically as something-carnivals or whatever-fests, are weekends in March packed with activities, games, parties and events intended to attract people to the ski resorts for a memorable winter recreational experience.

Canaan Valley Resort, in Davis, W.Va., does the fun event experience better than most with its Wild Thing Weekend next Saturday and Sunday. It will be the seventh rendition of Wild Thing for Canaan, and the event will have a family-oriented Mardi Gras-on-snow theme.

“The main reason we have these weekends is to provide an added benefit to folks who come to the resort,” said Bryan Brown, spokesman for Canaan Valley. “We are known as a family resort, so our activities appeal to children as well as adults.”

The featured event of the weekend is Saturday’s Pond Jump, where people riding skis, snowboards or inner tubes try and negotiate a pond created in the snow. Prizes are awarded although very few skimmers are able to get from one side of the pond to the other.

The Governor’s Cup ski races, the oldest in the region, will be a Saturday giant slalom and a Sunday slalom, both at 9:30a.m. Registration is the day of the race, and they are open to anyone. Prizes will be awarded in various age and gender categories.

Other events include a cardboard and duct tape race, lollipop race, children’s balloon race, limbo contest and big air contests, accompanied by cookouts and music.

“We’ve had the experience that Wild Thing helps draw folks to the resort,” said Brown. “People who come here can do more then ski, it all depends on what the guest is looking for. We have all kinds of guests. Someone can spend the entire weekend relaxing in the lodge. People get as engaged as they wish.”

Even though Wild Thing will attract people, Brown says the area is never really crowded.

“We have not had that experience of being overcrowded,” he said.

Because it is a resort, Canaan can offer more than skiing or snowboarding. There’s cross-country skiing over a golf course or through national forest land. Canaan’s lodge, which is separate from the ski and snowboard facilities, has an outdoor ice rink, health club with pool and craft center.

For more information about Wild Thing at Canaan, contact 800/622-4121; canaanresort.com.

Wisp’s WinterBlast — The Coca-Cola WinterBlast at Wisp at Deep Creek Mountain Resort, McHenry, Md., continues through next Sunday with events each day.

The Maryland Governor’s Cup giant slalom is today with registration at 8a.m. and racing in the afternoon. Prizes will be awarded in overall and age categories. WinterBlast wraps up next Sunday with the Pond Cross to benefit the Deep Creek Volunteer Fire Department.

Also at Wisp next weekend, the Mason/Dixon and Mid-Atlantic Snowboard Series regionals are scheduled, with registration each day at 8a.m. Prizes will be awarded in overall and age categories. A bordercross race is scheduled Saturday at 11a.m. to be followed by a big air competition. Next Sunday, the Super Pipe Jam begins at 3p.m. Registration is 8a.m., and the fee is $10 for each competition. Contact: 301/387-4911; skiwisp.com.

Springfest at Whitetail — Whitetail Resort, Mercersburg, Pa., has its Springfest/ Caribbean Weekend next Saturday and Sunday. Tasteful beach attire will be the order of the weekend along with fun activities. Live music, a drawing for a Caribbean cruise, Caribbean-style food and drinks, on-snow mountain bike race, a bump contest on the mogul hill, cardboard derby, pond skimming contest and children’s activities are featured. Some of the events have registration fees. Contact: 717/328-9400; ski whitetail.com.

Spring break at Snowshoe — For something different this spring break, head to the mountains. Spring Break Snow Bash at Snowshoe Mountain Resort, Snowshoe, W.Va., is scheduled March7-10 and March14-17. Three-night/three-day packages start at $156 a student. Contact: 877/441-4386; snowshoemtn.com.

Ski free at Wintergreen — Wintergreen Resort, in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, plans to extend its season to the end of March and will have free lift tickets for guests staying in Wintergreen accommodations from next Sunday through March28. Contact: 434/325-8180, snow report 434-325-2100; wintergreenresort.com.

Snow Sports appears on Sundays in The Washington Times during the winter. Contact: bclapper@washingtontimes.com.

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