BRATTLEBORO >> The nation's best young ski jumpers are set to fly at New England's only Olympic-size venue Feb. 20 and 21 during the annual Harris Hill tournament.
The nearly century-old competition will feature two dozen athletes from the United States, Austria and Slovenia leaping off a 90-meter hill that's one of just six of its size in the country. Since its start in 1922, the annual event attracts several thousand spectators who watch jumpers shoot at speeds of 60 mph before soaring more than 300 feet in the air.
This year's competition — featuring the annual Pepsi Challenge on Saturday and Fred Harris Memorial Tournament on Sunday — will draw many up-and-coming athletes on their way to the 2016 Junior Nationals Feb. 24 to 27 in Salisbury, Conn.
Harris Hill boasts a snow-making system with 2,000 feet of pipe, so the program will take place regardless of ground cover in surrounding areas.
Gates will open Feb. 20 and 21 at 10 a.m., with trial rounds at 11 a.m., opening ceremonies at noon (with acclaimed jazz and blues singer Samirah Evans on Saturday and Brattleboro singer Kristina Meima on Sunday) and competition at 12:45 p.m.
The family event offers food and beverage vendors, a bonfire, music, tailgating and appearances by Jumper the cow mascot.
Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for students ages 6 to 12, and free for children 5 and younger and can be purchased at the gate (cash or local check only) on online at www.brownpapertickets.com. Advance discount admission of $15 for adults and $12 for students ages 6 to 12 is available starting Feb. 9, with more information at www.harrishillskijump.com.
Harris Hill Ski Jump, located on Cedar Street, is presented by hundreds of community volunteers and paid for by ticket sales, donations and sponsors including Pepsi, Auto Mall, Mount Snow and The Richards Group.
For additional details, visit www.harrishillskijump.com or the event's Facebook and Twitter pages.