Everything about Portland’s winter festival is up in the air.

Right now, the only thing certain is the skiers and snowboarders who will show up in Monument Square.

The date for the third annual Downtown Showdown hasn’t been determined, but Sugarloaf spokesman Ethan Austin said it will take place and be just as big, if not bigger, than in the past.

Last year the event kicked off the Portland WinteRush festival, regaling the city with some 30 skiers and snowboarders competing in Monument Square two weeks before the citywide carnival.

The high-flying aerial show takes place on a two-story, man-made mountain of snow in the heart of Portland’s downtown.

“The Downtown Showdown will be similar to last year, at the same location. The date is still up in the air,” Austin said.

Many organizations in Greater Portland hold winter events, such as Portland Trails, Winter Kids, Tri-Maine, Casco Bay Sports and other nonprofit and recreational groups.

But Portland spokeswoman Nicole Clegg said when and how the city’s winter festival will take place is unknown at this point.

“We’re trying to find a way to link together everyone. How can we pull it all together? We’re not sure,” Clegg said.

“We’re trying to find ways to connect us all.”

But the Downtown Showdown will happen regardless.

It drew more than a hundred spectators last year, and Clegg said even if the weather is mild, gathering snow into Monument Square will not be an issue.

“We’ll find snow. Even last year, there was virtually no snow. But we have to haul snow out of the peninsula to a snow dump anyway,” Clegg said.

Both Sugarloaf and Sunday River, which are owned by Boyne Resorts, will stage the event. And this year, Austin said, the terrain park expert at New Hampshire’s Loon Mountain, also a Boyne resort, will direct the event.

“Jay Scambio is known in the industry for his work on terrain parks and cool events,” Austin said.

The showdown likely will take place at the end of January as it did last year, Austin said, but the exact date is uncertain.

“Last year it was a great show. People lined up on all the buildings around Monument Square. We are hoping it will be equally big or bigger,” Austin said.

Staff Writer Deirdre Fleming can be contacted at 791-6452 or at:

[email protected]


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.