November is here, and that means two things to this outdoors guy: time to get psyched for the big Thanksgiving festivities with the family, and time to get the ski gear out of the closet. Mind you I never said anything packing away the hiking goods; that should never happen!
A great event to get you big time into the ski season is the annual Ski Season Launch Party, which will be held on Thursday evening, November 20 from 6:00 to 8:30 pm at Morong Falmouth, in, well, Falmouth, right there on U.S. Route 1.
First things first… the first 30 people in the door will get a free lift ticket to any one of a number of ski areas and resorts around Maine. So it pays to be there early! Besides, there’s a lot of fun stuff to see and do.
“Skiers like to get together and talk and reminisce about skiing,” said Greg Sweetser, executive director of the Ski Maine Association. “It was our vision to have an event like this in the Portland area to get people excited about winter.”
The Ski Museum of Maine will feature big at the Ski Season Launch Party, with a number of awesome history displays, a new film and a fireside chat.
“I get more excited about our skiing history here in Maine the more I learn about it,” Sweetser said, noting that the State of Maine has been a big leader in the skiing industry from the get-go, with a long list of great athletes, through ski manufacturing (think Tubbs and Paris Manufacturing), snowmaking and grooming.
“We’ve been on the cutting edge. A lot of people don’t know about this stuff,” noted Sweetser. “The party is a place to really highlight all this.”
Beer and skiing always make a good combination, and at the party you can a enjoy a beverage or two (cash bar), as well as some delicious snack foods, while you mingle with ski friends new and old, check out the displays, and peruse the silent auction.
“We can’t bring the mountains down here, but we sure can bring après ski to the people!” chuckled Sweetser. Indeed mistah!
Russ Murley, meteorologist at WMTW Channel 8 and one the museum’s historians, will be premiering Maine’s leadership in skiing and snowboarding, featuring the likes of Olympians Seth Wescott and Simon Dumont, the biathlons in Maine and a whole lot more.
“The film highlights another step by the Ski Museum of Maine to capture today’s youth and draw them into the sport,” said Sweetser.
At last year’s party, the museum showed “From Tree to Ski,” an amazing film about the Paris Manufacturing Company right here in Maine and a pioneer in ski manufacturing. Sweetser told me he thinks this film will also be looping during the party. Look for it; it’s awesome.
A good crowd is expected and I hope you and friends will be among the throngs, which last November numbered around 120. Sweetser figures an even bigger crowd this year, based on ticket sales to date.
An added bonus at the party will be the vintage cars on display, courtesy of Morong. The Sowles family, owners of the Morong dealership, is into collecting old cars. They’re also big skiers and even bigger supporters of Ski Maine and the Ski Museum of Maine. Nice.
In addition the Ski Museum, Gorham Bike & Ski will also have some of their winter wares on display. The silent auction will feature a lot of the traditional stuff, like lift tickets, hats and gloves, gift certificates from local ski shops, ski history books, posters, a backpack stuffed with ski gear and so on.
Finally, museum historian Scott Andrews will present a brand new talk in the Fireside Chat series, this one on Maine Adaptive Sports and Recreation.
OK then, the Ski Season Launch Party is on and you should be there! Save $5 and get your tickets ahead of time. Buy tickets online or call the Ski Maine guys at 773-7669.