A clear ski and mild weather of 36 degrees, made the fifth-annual Polar Fest held at Victor Constant Ski Slope Feb. 21 a day for fun with a crowd of 625 enjoying the event. Polar Fest is sponsored by the Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation and several commercial sponsors.

The Polar Fest is always a wonderful Family experience, with lots of activities and demonstrations for the young and old, FMWR Marketing Director Liz Harrington said.

Nearly 800 people came to the Polar Fest last year due to the aftermath of an eight-inch snow fall the day before. That event grossed $17,000 in ticket sales with proceeds going back into FMWR.

"I think the heavy snow fall put people in the mood (to get outside) last year," Harrington said.

Sergeant 1st Class Andre Rush, enlisted aid for the U.S. Military Academy Superintendent, Lt. Gen. Buster Hagenbeck, demonstrated his prowess with a chain saw in sculpting figures out of ice to the delight of the audience. Rush took requests of what to sculpt from the children watching with many demanding a cat.

The West Point Craft Shop was on hand to help children create winter scarves inside the ski lodge while snow tube bowling went on outside.
Participants also were treated to Rudy Zimmerman and Abby Mayer playing Alphorns, which are horns 10 to 13 feet long made of wood typically found in the mountainous area of Switzerland.

There were snowboarding and skiing competitions for all age groups.

Although Samantha Bundick, 14, has more experience in skiing than she has in snowboarding, she opted for snowboarding at the festival.

"I've been snowboarding for two years," Bundick said. "My sister told me about it, and I thought it was fun, even though I think I'm better at skiing. It was fun learning to snowboard, but I fell down a lot."

Another young skier, 5-year-old Zoe Rodi, with a little experience in skiing under her belt was enjoying herself going down the beginners slope.
"I like to ski," she said. "I've been doing it for a few months now."
Rodi, holding the number 114, also was competing.

A freshly roasted pig and drinks were available to participants free of charge with several tables and chairs set up outside, which quickly become crowded when the aroma of food permeated the air.