CAMDEN — Team slots are running out for the 30th annual U.S. National Toboggan Championships at the Camden Snow Bowl, taking place Feb. 7-9. Join 400 other teams of winter fanatics from around the world who make the trek to Camden, Maine to race down the nation’s only gravity-driven, 400-foot-long wooden toboggan chute dating back to 1936. Registration closes Saturday, Feb. 1. For more information go to camdensnowbowl.com/toboggan-championships-20/.
Ahead of racing, the Camden Opera House hosts the Rustic Overtones for a concert on Thursday, Feb. 6. And on Friday, Feb. 7, the Camden Area Business Group brings a festive Snowplow Parade through downtown. Also on Friday, the toboggan chute will be open to the public for fun rides from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., $5/person/hour.
For three decades, costume-clad racers of all ages have slid down the ice-filled wooden chute onto the frozen surface of Hosmer Pond. The Toboggan teams come dressed in a variety costumes, from the Cowardly Lion and Dorothy Gale to Lego people and bags of Wonder Bread, complete with even more creative team names. At noon on Saturday, the costumed racers participate in the annual costume parade before a line of distinguished guest judges. This year will feature The Worlds Race. Held every five years, The Worlds Race brings together first-place 4-person toboggan teams from the past 29 years to race for the title of World Champions.
With a maximum number of 400 toboggan teams, each team is ensured two rides to garner a best time during qualifying, and eligibility to compete in Sunday’s finals. The cost is $30 per person, with 2-Person ($60) and 3-Person ($90) team slots available but going fast. The entry fee for Experimental teams is $120, and teams in this class can consist of two, three or four people per sled.
During the weekend, organizers will be raffling off two handcrafted toboggans from Minnesota-based Northern Toboggan Company. Attendees will enjoy DJ music, a steel drum band, and hot food from five onsite vendors, including Sea Dog Brewing. For the kiddos, Rockport-based CedarWorks will be providing a wooden playset.
Registered teams can sign-in beginning Friday, Feb. 7 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and on Saturday, Feb. 8 from 7 a.m. until noon. Teams begin racing early in the morning Saturday and race until late afternoon. The fastest teams compete in the finals on Sunday to earn the title of champions at the U.S. National Toboggan Championships.
The 30th Annual U.S. National Toboggan Championships are sponsored by: Camden National Bank, Sea Dog Brewing, Timbercliff Tree Service, Adventure Advertising, 16 Bay View Hotel, Lord Camden Inn, Grand Harbor Inn, Journey’s End Marina, Northern Toboggan Co., Baird, Korkers, Waterfront, CedarWorks, Knox Machine Company, Atlantic Communications, Penobscot Bay Area Chamber of Commerce, and Broadreach Public Relations.
The 30th annual U.S. National Toboggan Championships is held at the Camden Snow Bowl and proceeds benefit the municipally owned and operated year-round recreation facility. The event brings a rich history of costumes, friendly competition and family fun. Information about registration, racing rules, toboggan regulations, parking information and more can be found at camdensnowbowl.com or by calling 207-236-3438.