S'no need for snow this weekend at Whitetail

October 28, 2007|By JOSHUA BOWMAN


No snow?

Who cares?

Not Whitetail Resort, which began its seventh annual Great Outdoors Festival and Ski Swap Saturday afternoon.

The two-day event, which draws about 4,000 people every year, serves as the kickoff for the winter season, said Don MacAskill, the resort's general manager.

"We use it to get into the ski season and also to celebrate the fall activities," MacAskill said.

The festival featured falconry exhibitions, dog retrieval demonstrations and fly-fishing clinics. Other activities included paintball, pony rides, a climbing wall and golf lessons.


Visitors also could take rides to the top of the slopes on one of the chairlifts.

"It's very pretty. You can see the leaves changing over the mountains," said Debbie Baumgardner of Hagerstown, who attended the festival with her son, Ryan.

While Ryan, 7, said he was not a huge fan of the chairlift ride, he did enjoy a woodcutting demonstration put on by the Penn State Mont Alto woodsman team.

Pairs of students from the college took turns slicing a block of white pine with a crosscut saw.

"They compete at events all over the country and in Canada," said Craig Houghton, the group's coach.

Several people at the festival said they did not ski or snowboard, but liked to attend the event anyway.

"I've never touched a ski in my life," said George Fulton of Smithsburg, who said he has come to the festival for several years to "enjoy the outdoors."

Fulton's wife, Ann Marie, said she likes the craft booths, which were set up inside the lodge. Vendors displayed everything from salsa to handwoven blankets on foldout tables just inside the lodge's entrance.

"You can find some bargains in here," Ann Marie said as she picked through a box of homemade jewelry.

Good deals also were found at the ski swap and on sales racks near the resort's entrance, where skiers and snowboarders picked through clothing and equipment to get ready for the coming season.

"This festival is a good way to get our regulars up here before the season, and it's also a good way to bring people here who don't normally come or have never been," MacAskill said.

The festival and ski swap continue today.

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