It might not be famous for its elaborate ice sculptures or fancy parades, but the Pierce Winter Festival is without peer when it comes to good, old-fashioned redneck snow play.That’s right. If you’ve ever wanted to race a toilet on skis, jump into an icy creek or tie on some snowshoes for a bar race or softball game, then you’ll want to check out this weekend’s festival. If you’re a newbie, here’s what you need to know:
- Dress warm. It is a snow festival, after all, and the main attractions take place outside. Once you’ve had enough outside, you’ll be able to warm up inside at local eateries and businesses. Saturday’s indoor activities include crafts and educational demonstrations during the day and a variety show and live music in the evening.
- Don’t miss the main events. The festival’s perennial highlights all take place on Saturday. The Ice Man Relay, which begins with a sled and ends with a dip in the creek, starts at 10 a.m. Men’s, women’s and mixed teams race until around noon. The Bar Stool Races kick off at 2:30 p.m. at The Outback, racing any kind of contraption on skis — and yes, one past entry was a toilet on skis. The event is usually good for laughs, both before and after the inevitable crashes.
- Buy some tickets to get smokin’. If you’d like to win a Trager Smoking System, purchase raffle tickets at any number of local businesses. Everyone who purchases tickets will receive a commemorative booklet that contains an event schedule for use during the festival and a handful of local stories and poems to enjoy after.
- Prepare for your competition. There’s an event for everyone at the festival. Both the Ice Man Relay and Bar Stool Race require registration and might need some preparation or materials; get details on the website. Other competitions include an All-terrain vehicle treasure hunt at local businesses, Bald Mountain vertical challenge, Suds and Snowshoe Race between bars and snow figure contest that’s open to all ages.
- Pace yourself. The festival kicks off with sledding at 6 p.m. Friday and ends with a Super Bowl party on Sunday. There’s plenty happening in between, so plan accordingly.
IF YOU GO:
WHAT: Pierce Winter Festival
WHEN: Friday, Saturday and Sunday
COST: Free; races have entry fee
MORE INFORMATION: Including a festival schedule and event registration forms, is online at www.facebook.com/piercewinterfestival