You might see a spaceship flying down a mountain in Rangeley next weekend, but don’t fret — we aren’t being invaded. More likely, it’s just a competitor in the Cardboard Box Race at Saddleback Mountain.

“We set up a special slope and challenge people to make racing vehicles out of cardboard and duct tape. This year’s theme is science fiction,” said JoAnne Taylor, marketing director at Saddleback.

“People create different kinds of sleds and toboggans and really use their imaginations. We’ve had pirate ships, horse-drawn carriages and once had an outhouse on skis. Some people design for speed, some for looks and some seem like they are designed to tip over.”

Apparently, the sky is the limit on the cardboard box designs.

There is no fee to enter the race on Saturday, but you do need to come to the mountain with your sledding craft — building supplies are not provided.

A registration table will be set up at the base lodge from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday.

All participants will be asked to fill out a release-of-liability form. Children under 18 can race their own sleds, but parents need to fill out a parental-consent form.

The race down the mountain begins at 1 p.m., and because this event is hosted in a designated area, skiers and riders will still be able to get their runs in.

Categories for the Cardboard Box Race include individual, group, youth and adult.

There is only one prize offered for the most creative craft on the slope and that will be determined by a panel of judges at the end of the event.

All the contestants will be able to commemorate their runs down the slope, thanks to photographers who will document the race.

Each year, the event draws about 50 participants and a few hundred spectators.

With so many people watching, it might seem like getting a good viewing spot could be difficult, but that’s not true. Taylor said this is a great spectator event, and the crafts usually are scattered around the base lodge before and after the race for everyone to see.

“I am always amazed by the creative energy people come up with, and look forward to what the most popular craft will be,” Taylor said. “Typically, you’ll find two or three crafts of a similar idea, and it’s going to be fun to figure out what that will be this year.”

Staff Writer Wendy Almeida can be contacted at 791-6334 or at:

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