Legendary Ski Jumping Competition Takes Off in Northwest Connecticut
It's an amazing sight to behold. The 95th Jumpfest in Salisbury, located in the northwest corner of Connecticut, took place on Feb. 12, 13, and 14.
Almost an hour from New Milford traveling north on Route 7 through Kent, Cornwall, and Canaan sits a sleepy, idyllic town that defines Connecticut. For 95 years, the Salisbury Jumpfest has quietly hosted a ski jumping competition that's become a national qualifier for ski jumpers with Olympic aspirations.
NBC CT tells the story of the Salisbury Jumpfest, which happens one weekend each year as long as the weather cooperates. Before the pandemic hit, JumpFest typically drew between 2,500 and 5,000 spectators, but this year's attendance was limited to 400 people per day. Check out this three-minute drone video footage from the 2019 Salisbury JumpFest.
On Friday night, bonfires light the grounds where people mix and mingle. You might say it's "a fun night with a local vibe". Saturday is an invitational tournament where ski jumpers can earn trophies. On Sunday, it's the Eastern U.S. Ski Jumping Championships, where skiers compete for a position on the Junior National Ski Team.
Some of the best junior ski jumpers in the country compete at JumpFest each year. They jump all three days demonstrating various skills and techniques. Target jumping was Friday evening's event where the kids who landed closest to the bullseye scored cash prizes at the bottom of the hill.
All proceeds from the event help maintain and improve the Salisbury Winter Sports Association.