Sunshine was the key element of today’s opening day of the 2014 Bill Koch Festival, “Nordic Rocks!” at Quarry Road. The official theme of this year’s Festival is “The Elements” of Rock, Wind, Fire, and Snow. Today, we added Sun to the list with a bluebird day at the Waterville trails.
The day, and the Festival, kicked off with the famous relays, a highlight of the season for racers and spectators alike as teams represent their club in a great competition – racing for club pride, the podium, and a really good time. Opening day also featured lots of fun activities from the Pine Tree State Tree Maze, Paintball Biathlon, a Scavenger Hunt, and action on the Sledding Hill.
Following their silver medal effort in the relay, NENSA caught up with Finnegan & Wyatt T. of West River Nordic atop a snow bank beside the L.L.Bean BootMobile. West River brought a strong contingent of skiers, coaches, parents, and plenty of club spirit, “a lot” according to Finnegan. When asked what the BKL Festival is all about, Wyatt shouted, “Having Fun!” Even on a Klister Day? “Yeah, it is red klister. It’s sticky, but it’s ok, you just rub your hands in the snow, and it’s gone!” Sounds like good advice for all of us, for which both Finnegan and Wyatt burst out with a loud “Thank you coaches!”
This year’s festival is hosted by Central Maine Ski Club on their trails at Quarry Road Recreation Area. CMSC teammates Gwenna R. & Jamie B. are enjoying their first festival, and proud to host on their home trails. “We really like [the Festival], it is exciting and so fun to see a place we come everyday for practice filled with people and flags and the finish is so cool!” Their excitement was infectious, evident in the crescendo of the growing group of their teammates talking about the fun.
Day one concluded with the annual parade of clubs with every club marching with all their members across the venue in costumes (Berkshire Trails – great wind theme!), with chants (EMBK – good verse!), and club signs identifying each club as they paraded by the L.L.Bean BootMobile and off to rest up for the races and activities of day two.
“I had a great time! Me and my friend Neil got third!” said Zach W. from Frost Mountain Nordic. Zach was also showing some impressive spirit with a great Festival theme outfit. Asked about his inspiration for the colors, Zach proudly proclaimed, “probably Kikkan Randall. I’m wearing my high socks tomorrow!”
With inspiration like that, and a community like this, tomorrow should be a great day – high socks or not.