Litchfield, CT --
Contact: Janet L. Serra
Ph: 800-663-1273
Email: lhcvbnwct@aol.com
For Immediate Release

The excitement will be soaring when the 82nd annual U.S. Eastern National Ski Jumping Championships take place at Satre Hill in Salisbury Connecticut from February 8 to 10.

Some of the region's best athletes at this challenging sport will be competing, showing the coordination and grace needed to sail 64 meters, some 210 feet through the air, with a happy landing. Many contestants will be hoping to hear their names called when the U.S. Junior Olympic Team is announced Sunday afternoon. Everyone will be hoping to beat the Salisbury record, an impressive 231-foot jump.

For the first time this year, the weekend will open with an evening event, Friday Night Lights, a competition under the stars for cash prizes starting at 7:30 p.m. on February 8, and ending at 8:30 p.m. with a fireworks display. The fun will begin with a Chili Cook-Off starting at 5 p.m.

Saturday's schedule starts at 10 a.m. with the Junior 20 and 30 meter Competition, meaning leaps from 65 to 98 feet. The Salisbury Invitational Championship 65-meter jump follows at 1 p.m. The big event, the U.S. Eastern National Championships will take place Sunday at 1 p.m. The awards ceremony and the announcement of members of the U.S. Eastern Junior Olympic Team will be held afterwards at 4:30 p.m. at the Salisbury Congregational Church.

Between activities there will be plenty of time to explore the charming town of Salisbury with its many intriguing shops, and to visit the White Hart, Salisbury's venerable inn on the village green, where an ice carving competition will go on all day Saturday.

The Snow Ball Dance with live music will also take place at the White Hart Inn on Saturday night at 8 p.m., and is open to all for $10 admission. The Salisbury Volunteer Ambulance Squad will hold a pancake breakfast at the corner of Rte. 41 and 44 Sunday morning from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., and the Nordic combined cross-country ski race begins at Selleck Hill at 9 a.m.

The all-volunteer Salisbury Winter Sports Association, host of the annual championships, provides cross-country and jumping equipment and training to area children and maintains cross-country ski trails at several sites in town.

For happy viewing, the Association recommends that spectators dress warmly in lots of layers and bring a cowbell, the traditional way to cheer on the jumpers. Hot food and beverages are available starting about 10:00 a.m. each day to help watchers keep warm. Limited bleacher seating is provided or viewers can bring their own lawn chairs. Admission is $10 for adults, 12 and under are free.

Satre Ski Hill is on Indian Cave Road, off Route 44 in Salisbury. Signs in the center of Salisbury point the way to ample free parking.

For more information on the ski jumping competitions, see www.swsa.info. To receive a free copy of UNWIND, a 112-page color guide to lodging, dining and other attractions, contact the Northwest CT Convention and Visitors Bureau, PO Box 968, Litchfield, CT 06759, (860) 567-4506 or or check the Internet at www.litchfieldhills.com.