Whitetail fills mountain with things to do

October 24, 2009|By KATE S. ALEXANDER

MERCERSBURG, Pa. -- Heavy downpours Saturday morning did not deter more than 600 people from celebrating the great outdoors at Whitetail Mountain Resort.

For the ninth year, Whitetail hosted the two-day Great Outdoors Festival, giving area skiers and snowboarders a chance to pick up some great deals on gear at the Ski Swap and also see their mountain without a blanket of snow.

"Rain? It always rains for this," said Hannah Jamison, 11, of Gaithersburg, Md. "We have a place up here, so I come every year and it always seems to rain."

Matt See, marketing coordinator at Whitetail, said the festival is the unofficial start to their season.

"We will have our job fair in November, then we can start blowing snow for our opening weekend in December," he said. "We hold this because we love being outside."


Whitetail filled its mountain with things to do for the festival.

From horseback rides and fish ponds to a haunted house and demonstrations by the Penn State University Timber Sports Team and, of course, live music and food, See said there is something for everyone.

One particular draw for the festival is the swap, said Chip Taylor, head of the ski swap.

Anyone can bring used outdoor equipment to the swap to sell, Taylor said.

With 15 percent of all sales going to benefit the Whitetail Ski Patrol, he said it is a major fundraiser for the organization.

Skis, snowboards, bicycles, gloves, hats, boots, coats, pants, you name it, Taylor said. It is for sale at the swap.

This year, the swap was particularly successful, he said.

"It's a tough economic time and this is a chance for people to get some great gear at a great price," he said.

Despite the weather, Hannah said she loves the opportunity to go up the mountain on the chairlift to behold the Cumberland Valley.

"It's so pretty up there," she said.

Sandy Wilson of Fort Loudon, Pa. came for the first time and said the beauty of the day, the myriad things to do and the great craft selection have her ready to put the festival on the calendar for next year.

"This is just a great day," she said. "We all love it, even the dog."

For employees, the event is a deep breath before beginning the winter season, said Mary Jane Hollenshead of Mercersburg. She and her sister, Barbara Swope of Mercersburg, both work at Whitetail and come every year to enjoy.

If you go

What: Ninth annual Great Outdoors Festival

When: Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: Whitetail Mountain Resort, Mercersburg, Pa.

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