PINKHAM NOTCH, NH—The 2012 TD Bank Bill Koch League Festival, presented by the “The Valley Originals” restaurants, will take place March 3rd and 4th at Great Glen Trails on Route 16 in Pinkham Notch. This year’s theme will be “Blast from the Past to the Future on Skis” and will offer the hundreds of participating kids and their families a chance to create outfits themed from past, present or future and see how the sport has evolved from its early days. The event is being co-hosted by Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center and the New England Nordic Ski Association (NENSA).
Event participants and their families will come from throughout the Northeast and will enjoy a full weekend of fun activities and competitions. Saturday will feature the opening ceremonies and parade; relay races based on grade levels; a non-competitive ski tour including themed elements and characters; a fairy house trail; on snow obstacle course and other usual Great Glen Trails activities (like snow tubing). Saturday’s festivities will finish up with a pasta dinner at the Town & Country Motor Inn in Gorham. The event is open to kids from as young as 4 years old right through 8th graders.
On Sunday a series of individual freestyle races based on grade level will be held. There will be a lollipop race available to second graders and under; a graduation on skis for the eighth graders and an adaptive Sit-Ski event. On-snow awards ceremonies will take place both Saturday and Sunday. More than 200 kids of all ages are already registered to participate.
Bill Koch, the only US Cross Country Skier to win both the World Cup and an Olympic medal (silver in 1976) will be on hand for the weekend to cheer on the competitors. Sue Wemyss, Ski School Director at Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center (a XC Olympian herself from the 1984 team) noted that it is a distinct honor to host this event. “This annual event is great fun for both kids and spectators alike. To see hundreds of youngsters enjoying time on cross country skis, making new friends, and putting their all into racing their ski courses is heartwarming and smile-inducing to those of us who love the sport of cross country and want to see it continue to grow amongst the younger generations. It’s going to be a really fun weekend!” Wemyss said.
That sentiment is echoed by NENSA Youth and Introductory Program Director Abby Weissman: “Having the festival at a venue that is accustomed to hosting families and large events really will make a difference to the overall experience. This is a logistically complex event for families and organizers, but it’s also just a great opportunity for everyone involved to enjoy a weekend of winter family activities in an amazingly beautiful place,” Weissman observed.
The title sponsor for this annual event is TD Bank and the presenting sponsors are the “The Valley Originals”, a group of locally owned and operated restaurants in the Mt. Washington Valley. Other event sponsors include: LL Bean, The Trapp family Lodge, Swix, Stonyfield Yogurt, Choucas, Rossignol, Toko, Alpina, Salomon, Ragged Mountain, Polartec and Dasani. For more information about the TD Bank Bill Koch League Festival visit the event website at: www.2012bklfestival.com or contact Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center at 603-466-2333 or www.greatglentrails.com