LUDLOW, Vermont ??вЂќ The word “Okemo” is a Native American word meaning “all come home,” and Okemo Mountain Resort invites all skiers and riders to come home to Okemo to help celebrate the resort’s golden anniversary with a full slate of events and activities for the entire family Jan. 28 through Feb. 4.
Starting Saturday, Jan. 28, Okemo will get the party started with an all-day, on-mountain scavenger hunt for families who can pick up clues at the main base lodge info desk and win prizes by solving every riddle. Mountain Ambassadors will make their way around the mountain for Lift Line Trivia Contests. Skiers and riders who know a little about Okemo’s history will be rewarded with Snickers and Skittles during their brief wait to ride Okemo’s 18 lifts. For anyone who was around when Okemo opened in 1956, a “Rocking Chair Race” will take place on Bull Run, in the main base area. Only those 50 and older will be eligible to race in this single modified slalom course set with classic red and blue bamboo. The race will be timed the old-fashioned way ??вЂњ with stop watches. Special prizes will be awarded for fastest male and female, best vintage ski wear and oldest racer. Registration is free and will take place at the top of the race course. The race will start at 11 a.m. A special race participant lift ticket, valid for the base quads only, will be available for $15 in Okemo’s Administration Office on the day of the race. An awards presentation will take place at the Sitting Bull Restaurant and Bar during an Apres Ski Party from 3 to 6 p.m.. Walking into Okemo’s base lodge on Jan. 28 will be like stepping back in time. Staff members will be dressed in fashions of 1956 and the music of the day will fill the air during Okemo’s Sock Hop Apres Ski Party in the Sitting Bull. Party-goers will be treated to an ongoing trip-down-memory-lane slide show during the party. Some very special guests are expected to join the party to help wish Okemo a happy birthday. For those who would like to learn more about Okemo’s history, “Okemo. All Come Home” author Karen Lorentz will present a verbal history of Okemo starting at 3 p.m., in the Jackson Gore Inn Cornerstone Room. Free of charge and open to the public, this hour-long presentation will be followed by a book signing with the author.
On Okemo’s true anniversary date, Tuesday, Jan. 31, the festivities will continue with lift ticket prices rolling back to the original price of $5 for anyone 50 and older. Everyone else will ski or snowboard for a discounted rate of just $50 that day. An Apres Ski Party in the Sitting Bull will celebrate Okemo’s birthday with decorations, music, games, prizes, a commemorative poster-signing with Okemo owners Tim and Diane Mueller, and birthday cake for everyone.
Just when it seems like the party should be winding down, the entire community will step up to celebrate Okemo’s 50-year milestone, on Saturday, Feb. 4, with the annual Ludlow Winter Carnival, presented by the Okemo Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce. This year’s theme is “50 Stars for 50 Years,” in honor of Okemo’s fiftieth anniversary. Fifty tin stars will be decorated and displayed by community members and businesses throughout the area and auctioned off to raise funds for the Black River Good Neighbor Services. The 2006 Winter Carnival will feature a fun-filled day of outdoor activities for the whole family, including the town’s traditional Snow Sculpture Contest. Everyone is encouraged to participate by building sculptures in front of their homes and businesses. At 7 p.m. the Winter Carnival parade will proceed down Main Street and end at Dorsey Park, where the celebration will continue with a fireworks display, a bonfire, marshmallow roasting and hot cocoa.
For more information about Okemo Mountain Resort, please call 1-800-78-OKEMO (786-5366) or visit www.okemo.com. To learn more about the Ludlow Winter Carnival, including information about special lodging and dining packages, call (802) 228-5830.