Saturday’s forecast? Summer snow at popular north central Pa. event | Entertainment

Date:

Winfield, Pa. — Eighty degrees and snow? Yes, there will be snow forecasted this Saturday in Snyder County at the Gilson Summer Snow Day event. 

Now in its seventh year, the popular festival event is a blend of snowboarding competitions, games, kids activities, a beer garden, music, vendors, and furry friends. Summer Snow Day is set for 2 to 6 p.m. Aug. 12 at the Gilson’s 17-acre farm property just outside of New Berlin.  

“This year we have the most vendors we’ve ever had before including Pennsylvania craft brewers and wineries,” said Vanessa Venios, spokesperson for Gilson, which has been manufacturing snowboards in Winfield since 2013. 

New for this year is a Bigfoot Country Snowbeast Challenge. Alpacas will also be part of the mix, with alpacas on feature from Country Vale Alpacas of New Columbia. Venios added the event will also have a four-legged friend zone, a designated area where people can hang out with their dogs. “This year, we’re creating a space for them,” Venios said. “It’s always been a dog-friendly event,” she added. 

The event is family friendly and will again feature a Kids Zone, with slides, bounce houses, and kids games. Other activities include hatchet throwing, a mechanical bull, and more.

The Iron Mountain Rail Jam, one of the most popular competitions, is back this year. Snowboarders will compete for more than $2,000 in cash and prizes as they ride down the snow-filled ramp. Ice rinks donate the snow for the event. Staff at Gilson use a tractor to shovel it onto a rail jam. 

People come from all over to the event, according to Venios. Previous years, snowboarders have come from as far as California and Oregon to compete in the event. 

As in past years, beer, spirits, cider, and wine will be free to adults 21 and over. Attendees must have a ticket to get into the event. Basic tickets are free and come with a plastic tasting cup. Those who obtain the free tickets have to use off-site parking in New Berlin and ride a shuttle to the event. Supporter tickets cost $25 and include a 12-ounce souvenir tasting cup and parking on-site. 

In previous years, the event has drawn close to 5,000 attendees. Venios said this will likely be the last event at the property on New Berlin highway. Last November, a fire destroyed a manufacturing building on the Gilson property. Gilson is now building a new factory at a site in Selinsgrove, Venios said. 

Related reading: Firefighters battle overnight blaze at Gilson Snow

The community rallied to support Gilson not long after the fire, as a benefit event held at Rusty Rail raised funds to help the manufacturer rebuild. Summer Snow Day, which Gilson holds as a thank you to the community, feels like an especially thankful occasion this year. “We’re stoked to have everyone come out,” Venios said. 

The event will be held from 2 to 6 p.m. at the property at 6985 New Berlin Highway, Winfield. Tickets are required and are available at the website.

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