Hello! We are so glad that you registered for the 2017 New England Bill Koch League Festival. The Festival theme is “Protect Our Winters” to foster an understanding of the connection between the sport we love and the global environment.
The NEBKL Festival will be held at Gould Academy, 39 Church Street, in Bethel, Maine. We’ve got over 380 kids registered for this fun event, so please take the time to read this email to stay up to date on all important information.
Print or Download the Feb. 28 “Catch-All” Letter.
The 2017 NEBKL Festival website is where updated schedules, maps, and other important information will be. Find start lists and results here: http://data.bullitttiming.com/events/BKLFest2017/
Please “like” our Facebook Page, NENSA Bill Koch League Festival 2017 , so you get up to the moment information there as well. Please make sure you check the schedules the night before the races, they are subject to change based on weather.
Cell phone coverage is reliable for most major carriers throughout the venue and Bethel Village Trails.
Information Desk/Lost and Found
If you arrive on Friday, please visit The Bethel Village Trails, at the Nordic Center in The Bethel Inn Resort for a FREE ski pass, and to find event information. Race Headquarters on Friday night will be at The Gem ( 23 Cross St, Bethel, ME) During Saturday and Sunday, the Information Desk and Lost and Found will be located in the Farnsworth Field House on the Gould Academy Campus.
Be On Time
Because of the high numbers of parents and kids at this event, please try to arrive early for your start and take into consideration driving and parking time when getting to the venue. This will help us stay on schedule!
Parking and Shuttle buses
Please view the map of the shuttle bus route. There will be a drop off area directly in front of the Gould Field House. Shuttle Buses will run from 8:00am – 8:00pm on Saturday & 8:00am – 4:00pm on Sunday, completing a circuit from the Gould Academy Field House to the parking lots at: 1. The Gem Theater (23 Cross Street), 2. Crescent Park School (19 Crescent Street), 3. Telstar High School (284 Walker Mills Road), and 4. The Bethel Inn Resort (21 Broad Street).
On Sunday, please do NOT park on Church street in the morning. People can also ride the Mountain Explorer, a free shuttle service from the Bethel Inn to Sunday River through town. Find more info here: http://mountainexplorer.org
Schedules are posted on the Festival’s schedule page. They are subject to change based on the actual numbers in each race and the weather. Please check back the night before to see if there are any changes and see the start lists on the timer’s website.
There will be 3 information boards at the venue. There will be 2 in the stadium area and one in the Farnsworth Field House. This will be a good place to find a schedule, start lists, course maps, and results.
These are on the Festival Course Maps page. There will be signs at each cut-off on the race courses directing skiers.
The Festival has an “open course” policy which means that skiers can be on the race course during races, yielding carefully to racers and always skiing in the direction of race.
There will be NO power available in the stadium at Gould, so please plan accordingly and have your skis glide waxed before you arrive.
Awards ceremonies throughout the weekend will recognize outstanding performances in the races. Awards this year have been created by students from Gould Academy using Gould’s IDEAS Center. Please check the schedule for the time of your child’s award group, and keep an ear out for announcements. The eighth grade graduation will happen in the lower field, with 8th graders gathering in the upper field and skiing down.
There will be a silent auction at this year’s Festival. There are some great items so make sure you stop by and bid, all proceeds benefit the Bethel Outing Club. The auction items will be in the Farnsworth Field House. The auction will run from 9-4 on Saturday and then 9-12 on Sunday. Winners will be announced after awards on Sunday at 12:15. You can pay with cash or credit at the Info Booth from 12:30- 4p.m on Sunday.
The Bethel Village Trails
In collaboration with Mahoosuc Pathways, the Bethel Outing Club, and Gould Academy the Bethel Village Trails is offering FREE access (for paid registrants and their parents and siblings only) to all the groomed trails in Bethel Village for Friday afternoon and all day Saturday and Sunday of the Bill Koch League Festival. An adult day ticket at Bethel Village Trails is normally $18 and $12 for youth.
Guests who are not parents or siblings of registered BK skiers should purchase tickets at the BVT trails center in the Bethel Inn. Registered skiers, their parents, and siblings should obtain and display a free ticket from the BVT trails center if they wish to ski on BVT trails other than the Festival courses, but no ticket is necessary for registered BK skiers, their parents, or siblings to ski on the Festival courses. Any donation to the Bethel Village trails is appreciated, you can donate simply at http://www.mahoosucpathways.org/support/
Costumes and Theme
This year’s theme is “Protect Our Winters.” KaPOW! Get on your cape and mask, and be a superhero of snow, a protector of winter! These costumes will be highlighted throughout the weekend, starting with the parade on Saturday. There will be a video presentation from the non-profit organization, Protect Our Winters at 7 p.m. in Bingham Auditorium. Find out more about P.O.W. here on their website: http://protectourwinters.org
Green and Clean Energy Expo
The Green and Clean Energy Expo opens in the Field House (open 9am until 3:00pm). We will have a variety of experts free to talk with you about energy efficiency and all kinds of clean energy – solar, geothermal, heat pumps, and more. You will also see solar power demonstration systems around campus, as well as a solar-charged electric car on the move.
The parade will start at 11:30 on Saturday. Please help your child to line up with his or her district and/or club. The parade will begin in the lower field at the start/finish area, and march around the front of the Farnsworth Field house.
There are many fun things to do this weekend that aren’t racing. There will be a craft room, sledding hill, terrain park, mini-marathon, air rifle biathlon, sit-ski demos, fat bikes, broomball games, gnome roaming, and plenty of other fun. Make sure you check the schedule for when these Adventure events are open!
The mini-marathon, featuring a Natural History trail, takes place from 2 to 5 pm on Saturday. The trail is 4 km with an option to add on more distance once you reach the yurt/biathlon area on the Pine Hill Trails. The route will lead skiers from the Gould Campus across the field and over to the Yurt in the woods of the Pine Hill Trails. Follow signs for the mini-marathon.
Air rifle biathlon sessions are by age group (see Schedule) and involve a mandatory safety/instructional briefing at the start of each session, a brief practice period, and an informal head-to-head heat over a short loop on easy terrain, plus a creative penalty “feature” for missed targets! The area is by the yurt on the mini-marathon course, off of Grover Hill Road, which may also be accessed by car, but parents and skiers are encouraged to ski to the venue, which is approximately 1.5k from the stadium. There is limited parking on both sides of the road a few hundred meters up Grover Hill Road from Lovers Lane (Route 5/35).
L.L. Bean Bootmobile
Make sure you stop by the L.L.Bean Bootmobile during the weekend for games, giveaways, and prizes!
Swix Sample Sale
Visit the Swix table in the Field house to purchase Swix sale items!
Swix Festival Hats, Trucker Hats and Patches
Limited quantities of Swix Festival Hats ($25), Trucker Hats ($16) and Patches ($3 or 2 for $5) will be for sale at the Info Booth, you can pay cash or credit.
Visit the Fine Designs table in the Gould Field House to purchase a hat, sweatshirt, or t-shirt with the 2017 NEBKL Festival logo screenprinted on it! You will be able to pay with cash or credit.
There will be lots of healthy and low cost options for lunch at the venue. We are excited to have the Fiddlestick Farm, LLC Food Truck open Saturday & Sunday for breakfast from 8-10 and lunch from 11:30-2:30 p.m. Breakfast will be Scandinavian breakfast pudding-a warm bread pudding with raisins and Maine apples, and seasoned with cinnamon and cardamom. For lunch, they will be serving chili in a sourdough bread bowl, a vegetarian chili, grilled cheese on homemade sourdough, and a couple of dessert choices. Cash and credit cards will be accepted.
Hot drinks, bottled water, cinnamon rolls and walking tacos will be offered by Oxford Hills Homeschool Robotics. Purchase these items in the Field House and support their fundraising effort to represent Maine in the North American Open Championship in San Diego this May.
Make sure you bring your reusable water bottle and use the water refill station at the Gould Field House!
The Field House will be available for storage and warming up.
BBQ Dinner at Ordway Hall at Gould Academy
There will be two seatings for dinner. One at 5:00 p.m. and one at 6:00 p.m. You will be assigned a time to eat based on District. PLEASE make sure you show up for your scheduled eating time. We are tight on seating and there’s literally no wiggle room on this. Thank you!
Dinner tickets are still available, and you can purchase them on Friday night at Race Headquarters (The Gem) and then at the Info Booth on Saturday and at Dinner Saturday night. Tickets are $15 for Adults, $10 for ages 6-10, and free for under 5 years old. You can pay with cash or credit card.
5:00 pm seating: CEVT, NY, NEVT, NONH, NWVT, SOME, SOVT, SO/CENH, WE/CEME, WEMA
6:00 pm seating: EAMA
Autograph Opportunity with Bill Koch
Bill Koch will be available Saturday from 6-8 p.m. in the Bingham Auditorium on the Gould Campus while his movie, The Bill Koch XC Experience will play from 6-7 p.m. On Sunday meet Bill who will be around at the Festival, whose love for family, skiing, and healthy outdoor activity runs deep. He will also be handing out 8th grade graduation certificates during the 8th grade graduation ceremony.
Photographs of the 2017 Bill Koch Festival will be posted to the Instagram account #BKLbethel. Please share photographs you take with this account, so we can all benefit from all of our great pictures.
Drive safely! We can’t wait to see you here in Bethel, Maine!