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Central New York's largest winter festival, Snowfari (, is set to host more than 2,000 participants at the Val Bialas Recreation Area.

In place are all the events and activities that make Snowfari the perennial winter favorite of Central New York. Here are the hottest last-minute reports as we prepare for the exciting activities:

US OLYMPIC LUGE TEAM: That's right, the US Olympic Luge Team will be at Snowfari. This is truly awesome. Not only will they be demo-ing the great sport of luge, they will be teaching us how to do it, and letting us have a few runs on their special Snowfari luge track. Spend some time with these world-class athletes, get their autographs, purchase some souvenirs, and learn how to luge.

EMPIRE STATE GAMES Regional Qualifiers: Once again, Snowfari plays host to the Centrel Regional Qualifiers for EMPIRE STATE GAMES Snowshoe Racing and XC-Ski Orienteering. Snowfari is your gateway for qualifying for the ESG Championships. Check out these dedicated athletes.

RECSPO: Our annual indoor Recreation Exposition. The new Rec Center is filled with vendors sharing their hottest stuff. Whether you are hanging on to winter, or anticipating summer, there's something here for you. Check out RecSpo.

SNOW-CROSS: With the huge groomer action going on (multiple groomers prowling our hill), the Biker-Cross course will certainly be dramatic and challenging. Snowfari is known for pushing the envelope. As usual, we are offering one of the world's hottest new sports, Snow Biker-Cross. Competitors race in groups through a demanding and snowy course, over jumps, through banked turns, and into the air as they challenge our course. We're even offering the same format for skiers and snowboarders, too.

CARDBOARD SLED RACE: The word is out on the street that there are going to be some outrageous cardboard sleds entered in Snowfari. This race is Snowfari's most popular event - and, fittingly - our Grand Finale. There is still time to whip up your masterpiece (remember, it must be made exclusively from cardboard, duct tape, adhesive, and paint/decorations). This is a great event for families, teams, clubs, organizations, and other crazies. We know from experience that this event is more than fun - it is thrilling and quite hilarious. Entrants are lined up hours before the actual race and reviewed by our judges. Several citations are presented for various achievements, such as: largest sled, smallest sled, crowd's favorite sled, and many, many more. Then, the sleds make their way to the top of the hill - and the insanity begins.

BART SIMPSON: Snowfari's RecSpo (recreation exposition) will be the place to see Bart Simpson. FOX TV has arranged for Bart to drop in and say "hi" to everyone. Kids, they're all going to be talking about this at school on Monday. Be sure to have your parents bring you to this awesome event.

There is so much more, but we're committed to directing the rest of our energy into making Snowfari the best ever. So, we hope to see you there, Date to be announced.. at Utica's Val Bialas Recreation area. Check for tons of details (and a huge collection of pictures from Snowfaris-past). As usual, let us know your comments, and send in your questions.
See you there!!