Bousquet celebrates upcoming St. Patrick's Day with Slush Run
PITTSFIELD -- The physics didn't seem to work.
At 65 pounds, Andrew King, 10, of Lenox should have ended up in the drink like fellow youngsters who braved the Slush Run at Bousquet Ski Area on Saturday.
Instead he glided skillfully over 100 feet of green water, dyed in view of the coming holiday, and remained upright as water gave way to snow.
King said it was his fifth year trying to pull that little number.
"This was the first time I ever came close. I was shocked I made it," he said. "It was really exciting for me."
The other times, said the Morris Elementary School youth, he'd covered about half the distance before succumbing to the slush pond, like so many in his age group did Saturday.
His secret? This time, King used kinetic energy and surface tension in his favor by climbing further up the hill and using an oversized set of skis.
"I water ski during the summer, too, so that probably helped," he said.
Hundreds crowded both sides of the slush pond and watched as skiers and snowboarders like King tried their luck Saturday. Some of Bousquet's ski instructors wowed the crowd by clearing the gap on a single ski. Others took an early season swim.
It was the first of a day full of St. Patrick's Day-themed events that saw a "big air" competition, cardboard sled races, poker and a fireworks finale.
Matt Mellace, Saturday's master of ceremonies, said visitors had been anticipating the slush run all week.
"The Friday night before is the like the night before Christmas with the kids here," he said.
Early Saturday, many of Bousquet's hills showed bright green as the visitors started piling in for the increasingly popular event, which Bousquet took over from former Berkshires' ski area Brodie Mountain when it closed.
"We wanted to keep that tradition in the Berkshires," Mellace said.
Many people were glad they did. Vast amounts of corn beef and cabbage and green beer flew out of the kitchen all afternoon.
Capping off the night, lights on the mountain were darkened and skiers and snowboarders rode down with flares -- an offering to the "winter ghosts," Mellace said. The fireworks immediately followed, this snowy winter's fitting send-off.
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