FORT McCOY, Wis. -- Outdoor recreation enthusiasts enjoyed a full day of activities in a picturesque winter setting during the Jan. 23 Winter Extravaganza event at Fort McCoy's Whitetail Ridge Ski Area.

Winter Extravaganza has offered guests a mixture of traditional outdoor events, such as skiing, snowboarding and snowtubing, and the not-so-usual fare, such as a Snow Adventure Race, since its inception in 2007. Pam Budda, Fort McCoy Outdoor Recreation manager, said the event provides special activities for the facility's patrons.

"It's the biggest promotion we do each year at Whitetail Ridge so customers can come out and see what we offer," Budda said. "We also offer discounted pricing, so it is a customer-appreciation event for them, as well."

In addition to the traditional events, other events intended to provide attendees with a fresh perspective of outdoor or winter fun, included a geocaching event, a rail jam, a snow pile dig, and an obstacle course. A food Olympics and a euchre tournament were offered for people who needed a break from the weather or preferred indoor activities.

The obstacle course was a skiing/snowboarding event challenging the participants to negotiate obstacles and then to put a bean bag into a bucket. The geocaching activity had participants find a number of coordinates using a GPS. At each coordinate, they received a letter and had to unscramble the letters to spell a word.

Snowboarders and skiers participating in the rail jam performed tricks on the terrain park. Participants in the food Olympics built a graham cracker house, while those in the snow pile dig searched for coupons to MWR activities and candy.

Winners in the events received medals or coupons for MWR activities, such as a campground stay.

Winter Extravaganza continues the tradition of a special day of winter sports fun at Whitetail Ridge. The event traces its roots back to the 1980s Sno Fun event, and the Snow Fest, which ran from December 1992 to January 2006.

Winter Extravaganza also supports the Army Family Covenant and the Army Community Covenant. Jobi Spolum, Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Marketing director, said recreation activities can help Families bond together and strengthen their ties, which supports the Army Family Covenant.

Both Whitetail Ridge and Pine View Recreation Area are open to the public, which helps strengthen the relationship between Fort McCoy and the surrounding communities, Spolum said. Commercial sponsors also support events and help defray event costs. This is consistent with the Army Community Covenant, she said.

Whitetail Ridge is scheduled to be open through about mid-March, weather permitting. For more information about Whitetail Ridge recreation opportunities and slope conditions, call 608-388-3517/4498.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16