Weather Delays Thunderbolt Ski Race ... Again

By Andy McKeeveriBerkshires Staff
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Last year's Thunderfest went on despite the race's cancellation for lack of snow.

ADAMS, Mass. — A lack of snow has again delayed the Thunderbolt Ski Race.

Both the race the down Mount Greylock and Thunderfest, a recently added festival at the visitors center, was pushed back to March 2 after the Ski Runners met on Thursday night. A week of rain and warm temperatures has melted most of the snow and there is not enough for the skiers.

"All we can do is the snow dance now," said David Bissaillon of Pro Adams, which organizes the Thunderfest.

The race and the festival were scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 9. This year's festival will happen on March 2 whether or not the race can.

"These things are difficult because they are so weather dependant," Bissaillon said.

Vendors were aware that the date could change and the delay was expected right after the first waves of warm weather and rain came earlier this week — after days of frigid temperatures. So now, organizers are "making a lot of phone calls" to make sure everyone knows it is delayed, said Bissaillon.

This is the second year in a row that the race and festival were postponed. Last year, only Thunderfest ended up happening. The race was also nearly canceled in 2010 — its first run since 1948 — because of uncooperative weather.

But even without the race last year, Thunderfest was considered a "massive success" with hundreds of residents flocking to the visitors center and organizers had could "only imagine" how big their second event would be with a year of experience and the race, said Bissaillon.

What was once one of the state champion runs for competitive downhill skiing was resurrected by the Thunderbolt Ski Runner club in 2010 and Thunderfest was added last year as a downtown followup with music, beer garden, food vendors and other activities.

Tags: festival,   skiing,   Thunderbolt,   Thunderfest,   

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