Whitetail provides a resort with a view in Mercersburg

Thousands turn out for annual Great Outdoors Festival

Thousands turn out for annual Great Outdoors Festival

October 29, 2007|By JENNIFER FITCH

MERCERSBURG, Pa. - Whitetail Resort is usually at its busiest with snow on its slopes, but staff said fall foliage played a part in drawing 4,000 people to the resort this weekend.

At the seventh annual Great Outdoors Festival, toddlers in strollers, young adults and senior citizens participated in various activities, including pony rides, prize drawings, ski lift rides, rock climbing and demonstrations of woodsman sports. Many rested at picnic tables while sampling crab cake sandwiches, kettle popcorn, funnel cakes and french fries.

"You have people who have never been to the mountain before and want to see what it's like," said Matt See, marketing coordinator for the resort.

Others use the two-day Great Outdoors Festival to buy their season passes, See said.

Casey Clements of Westminster, Md., said she skis at the resort three or four times a season. On Sunday, she participated in festivities with five children.


"It's lots of stuff for the kids," Clements said. "They're all looking forward to going on the lift."

The top of the mountain provided colorful views of the valley below, with several people joking that they were trying to identify their houses.

Staff provided visitors with scheduled snow-making tours.

"They take them back to where we do all the stuff for the snow," See said.

That included a look at the 150-million-gallon water reservoir, he said.

A smaller body of water awaited Miranda Haney, who fished in a small pool with other children.

Miranda, 11, of Greencastle, Pa., had a bite, but she did not reel in a fish.

She said her height benefited her in a maze of hay bales, since she could see over the top a bit.

"I still had a little bit of trouble," Miranda said.

Taylor Piper, 4, of Mercersburg, picked out a silver ring in the shopping area before chowing down on a corn dog.

"I think (the festival) is nice. It has a lot of variety," said her mother, Tracy Piper.

Chambersburg, Pa., mother-and-daughter duo Debby DeMott and Fran Doherty drank hot chocolate as they finished their time at the festival.

"We walked this whole place, did everything and shopped," DeMott said.

For the fifth year, a section of the shopping area provided a "swap" for people to buy and sell skis, snowboards and boots.

"It helps for people who are looking to get in the sport and don't want to spend $100 on skis," See said.

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