DOVER - Kids went up and down the Grommet Park, grinding across rails and boxes, showing off their skills to a big crowd at Mount Snow on New Year's Eve.
"We're having so much fun at Grommet Jam No. 1," Communications Manager Dave Meeker told the crowd as the snowboarders finished up their last round and the last skiers qualified.
There were about 66 skiers and snowboarders under the age of 12 competing for prizes. The competitors went on smaller features, designed for kids, at the bottom of Carinthia at Mount Snow. Coaches were on call to help the competitors get their tricks down before the Grommet Jam started at 1 p.m. Kids were allowed to practice after they got their bids starting at 10 a.m. They could practice until noon.
After everyone took four runs, the competitors came to the deck of the Carinthia base lodge and Meeker announced the winners from each group. Each kid took two runs on the rail side and two runs on the box side.
"Thank you all for joining us today, practicing and then showing off your new skills," Meeker said to the crowd.
The groups were broken down into female skiers 10 years and older, 10 and under, snowboarders 10 and older, and 10 and under. Then the male skiers and snowboarders were announced using the same age groups.
The prizes included goggles, T-shirts and other merchandise from the event's sponsors. Gift bags were given to many winners with a bunch of products.
A bib raffle was conducted after the winners stood on a podium, which had a spot for first place, second place and third place winners.
Cameraman and Content Manager Dylan Demers, who shoots videos for Mount Snow and Carinthia Parks, was on hand to film the competition. U.S. Freesking pro Devin Logan, who grew up around Mount Snow, helped give out prizes to the winners of the event along with Meeker and Events Manager Tim Dolan.
"It's such a fun event. It doesn't matter the ability," said Dolan. "It's real fun seeing the 6-year-olds who are now 12 ride it. They are such better skiers and riders now. It's my favorite event. You get to see the progression."
He told the Reformer about how events like this get kids ready to go into the bigger terrain parks such as Nitro. Getting kids onto rails and out of the air at the Grommet park helps them advance to the bigger parks.
"The best part about kids is they're indestructible. No matter what, they hit the lift with all smiles on their faces."
The next Grommet Jam is on Jan. 21.
As the kids competed for prizes, the half-pipe began to be shaped by groomers.
Chris Mays can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or firstname.lastname@example.org.