Photo Gallery | 2016 ThunderFest in Adams
ADAMS — Players involved in the town's premier Thunderbolt Ski Race once again proved that when the grand plans go bust, they still know how to throw a party.
Skier, teacher and race organizer Blair Mahar could be heard joking at ThunderFest.
"I shaved my legs for this" anticipating a race, Mahar said.
The event, supposed to follow the morning race down Mount Greylock which was canceled due to lack of snow, featured more vendors than any prior ThunderFest.
Roughly 2,500 people packed the grounds of Adams Visitors' Center gorging on burritos, wings, chowder and dozens of other food offerings, washing the chow down with four local microbrews on tap. Live music kept the crowd moving and a bonfire warmed the air on a partially sunny, 35-degree day.
"[ThunderFest] keeps the whole mystique around the Thunderbolt alive," Mahar said.
It marked the 81st anniversary of the First Thunderbolt Ski Run, a 2,000-foot vertical descent down the state's highest peak, Mount Greylock.
The trail was cut by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s and remains one of few such trails never converted into a ski resort. Racers snowshoe up the mountain, then race down — no lifts, no groomed trails, no ski patrol.
Saturday's edition had promised to be a grand one before the weather proved uncooperative.
A new 5K snowshoe race organized by North Bennington-based Dion Snowshoes had been added to the day's festivities, along with ThunderGlide, a 5/10K classic cross-country ski race.
Additionally, nearby Russell Field on Harmony Street was to be flooded to form a skating rink by the Adams Forest Wardens.
Members of Pro Adams, a town promotion organization, said they hope to pull it off next year.
"If the weather is right next year all of that will come to fruition," Erin Mucci of Pro Adams said.
Meantime, people seemed to make lemons with lemonade as the beer flowed and music played on downtown on Saturday.
New to this year were an infant comfort station and horse-drawn carriage rides for kids.
"This year we definitely brought in something for every age category," said Andrea Stump of Pro Adams.
Organizers were also proud to have Lanesborough's Old Forge Restaurant at the event selling its popular food items.
"It was the attraction in the attraction," Stump said.
The event's chowder competition was won by Bounti-Fare Restaurant with a classic clam chowder, while Soldier On took "most creative" honors with a smoked maple bacon chowder.