Faces old and new of SWSA’s Jumpfest
This year marks the 95th anniversary of the ski jumping in Salisbury on Satre Hill hosted by the Salisbury Winter Sports Association (SWSA).
Back in the early 20th century, there was more snow and there were more ski jumps in the area. But the one that has stayed and grown is the ski jump festival in Salisbury, which routinely attracts Olympic and Junior Olympic contenders.
This year’s Jumpfest will bow to COVID-19 safety regulations, with special protocols including a limit of 400 spectators at any one time.
Information on this year’s plans is below. But first a word about the photographs on this page, which have been made available thanks to the volunteer work of Kathy Phillips and Perry Gardner. Both have been doing a spectacular job of scanning the thousands of photo negatives shot for The Lakeville Journal between 1975 and 2005.
The photos on this page are only a fraction of the images that will eventually be digitized by Phillips and Gardner and perhaps, eventually, by a professional scanning company. When we are able to find the right organization to take on what could be as many as 55,000 negatives, we will announce a fundraising campaign to help us pay for the work.
In the meantime, enjoy these history photos, reminding us of what the old jump tower looked like before it was replaced several years ago by one that meets modern competition standards. Photos for the jumps usually come to us from a variety of photographers, many of whom were not typically employed by the newspaper. Some of these photos were published in the Lakeville Journal, some were not. But you can find the coverage of the jumps in these years if you go to The Lakeville Journal archive at the Scoville Memorial Library in Salisbury, at http://scoville.advantage-preservation.com.
This year, Jumpfest will be from Feb.12 to 14 with a roster of top-level ski jumpers expected to attend from Lake Placid, N.Y.
Attendance each day will be limited to the first 400 tickets sold. Additional people will be admitted as spectators leave.
Friday night will again feature target jumping under the lights. Because of the pandemic, the Human Dog Sled Race has been canceled. For this reason, for Friday night only, there will be no admission fee.
Saturday’s Salisbury Invitational
Starting at 9 a.m. on Saturday, junior jumpers from both the Salisbury Winter Sports Association training program and Lake Placid will show what they have learned as they compete on the 20 and 30 meter hills. Medals will be awarded on the hill.
Starting with practice at 11 a.m., the Development Team, an elite group of jumpers from around the country that has been training in Lake Placid, will compete for trophies at the Salisbury Invitational on the 70 meter jump. Competition begins at 1 p.m.
The Snow Ball has been canceled for this year.
Sunday’s Eastern championship
On Sunday the same talented jumpers compete at the Eastern U.S. Ski Jumping Championships and vie for a spot on the Junior National team. Again, practice jumping runs from 11 a.m. to noon and competition begins at 1 p.m.
Admission for the Saturday and Sunday events is $15 per person for adults; children 12 and under enter for free.
Alcoholic beverages will not be sold at Jumpfest this year. Food trucks will offer various culinary choices on Friday night and throughout the three days of Jumpfest.
Masks are mandatory as is 6-foot social distancing.
Proceeds from Jumpfest help fund SWSA’s junior ski programs and improve its facilities, including the three .
Go to www.jumpfest.org regularly for updates.