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Saturday & Sunday, March 4-5, 2000 -- Winterplace Ski Resort, WV
2000 Winter Carnival and Shovel Race
Story and photos by Carrie Wickline

[Details] [Coverage] [Results] [Pic Set 1] [Pic Set 2] [Pic Set 3]

Also see last year's event at the 1999 Winter Carnival.

Go easy on the brakes!
Each year Winterplace Ski Resort hosts a two-day party called Winter Carnival, this year's festivities were billed as Pure Fun and did not disappoint. The weekend's activities truly defined March Madness with passenger-filled cardboard boxes and shovels racing down the slopes among the skiers and boarders.

The mountain bike slalom race kicked off the fun-loving competitions by challenging entrants to weave through gates while pedaling through the snow. Temperatures above 40 degrees left slushy conditions that forced racers to plow down the course while it lured others to race shirtless. Tina Skaggs wasn't shirtless, but she was the lone female entry in the mountain bike race. Riders were permitted two runs on the trail with the fastest combined time determining the champ. In the end Doug Jenne out-slalomed the rest of the field to claim first place honors. Reggie Woodrum, last year's champ, took home second and Greg Berry clenched third.

Get ready... set... push!
The next competition of the day was more unique and proved to be even more entertaining. The title explains it all: Cardboard Box Race. Crafts could be of any size cardboard with any number of passengers willing to take the chance. The highest-capacity box of the race was named "Luv Bug" and carried Rachel Lewis, Kristen Gratz, Linda McQuade, and Bradley Hooser. All vehicles were creatively named, including "Pimp Mobile", "Fat Boy Express", and "Clyde's Ride" which captured the pilots' personalities. Cardboard was not limited to a racing tool, but employed as headgear, hip pads, and an advertisement of one's favorite beverage.

Entrants competed for two separate cardboard crowns: uniqueness and speed. The creativity of the box racers was judged with respect to design, decoration, and effort. In this field the title went to the "Critter Getter" entered by Julie Collins and Linda Christofferson. Second place went to "Clyde's Ride" while the ladies of "Luv Bug" took third.

The downhill preparations began several feet behind the starting line where pushers helped their friends out in a bobsled-style launch. The mass start along with the unpredictable path of a cardboard box made for a no-holds-barred fight to the finish. When the snow cloud settled Kevin Smith was declared the victor, carried to glory in his "Repair Shop Racer". Kevin narrowly edged out "Clyde's Ride" piloted by caped crusader Micah Davis. Rounding out the top three was Chad Ritchie's "Fat Boy Express".

There's more than one way to slide down the
mountain The Carnival's first day continued with karaoke and live entertainment in the lodge. On the deck, an awards ceremony was held to honor those who had triumphed throughout the day. With this much excitement one might think the carnival was in full swing, but the best was yet to come.

Day two of the carnival was dedicated solely to the annual shovel race. Dozens of competitors chose to ride regulation shovels down the Cascade slope, hoping for the fastest time. Several seating techniques were attempted but those with legs extended forward and arms to the side made the best showing. Racers were classified as little scoops, youths, adults, or veterans for division prizes.

Lot's of fun for kids of all ages
Kelsi Casto and Valo Condrator took home awards as the fastest little scoops. Youth trophies went to John Daher, Hampton Andrus, and Chris Wilshire. In the adult category, where competition was most stiff, Steve McDaniel, Bob Mizia, and Bubby Stoddard came out on top. The veterans made the strongest showing in the polls with Kent Roberts, Jay Adame, and Moose Honeycutt winning their division.

The racers posting the two fastest times of the day walked away with some new gear to keep them busy until next year. Kent Roberts, who shoveled down in a mere 12.6 seconds, earned a new pair of skis and Steve McDaniel, with a shovel time of 12.95 seconds, won a new snowboard.

The festivities continued with more live entertainment throughout the day. If it sounds like pure fun, you're right, it is. So polish up your shovel, wax some cardboard, and start training. They'll do it all again next year.