Every year the nation's eyes turn to Camden  Maine's Snow Bowl for the fun and excitement of the National Toboggan Championships. A weekend of fun and excitement, the teams are all signed up and ready to compete this weekend.Wikipedia touts the U.S. National Toboggan Championships is the only organized wooden toboggan race in the country and possibly the world. The toboggan chute is located in Camden's Snow Bowl, a community-owned year-round recreation area which has developed thousands of dedicated skiers since 1936. All race revenue goes to off-setting the Snow Bowl budget.

Rules:

The race toboggan must be of traditional shape, material and design to qualify for the Nationals. The race is like any race, in that the few rules are constantly pushed to the limits by tweaking the toboggan to make it go a tenth of a second faster. Even the "Inspector of Toboggans" from the 2007 race was found to have violated the slat rule to make his go a little faster.

Anyone can enter the U.S. National Toboggan Race national race and anybody can be the National Champion, no matter the age or ability. In 2007, two entrants from Tennessee, who had never seen snow before, won second place in the two-man division.

National Toboggan Schedule

SATURDAY, FEB. 11

  • 8 a.m. — FIRST RUNS for 2- and 3-person division (SECOND RUNS will be immediately after first runs) • 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. — Snow Bowl open for skiing and snowboarding • 10 a.m. — SECOND RUNS for 2- and 3-person division (Optional for fast times) • Noon — COSTUME CONTEST PARADE in Tobogganville (with guest judges) • 1 p.m. —FIRST RUNS for 4-person and Experimental divisions • 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. — West Bay Rotary Chili Challenge at Sea Dog Brewing in downtown Camden

SUNDAY, FEB. 12

  • 9 a.m. — SECOND RUNS for 4-person and Experimental teams (Optional for fast times) • 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. — Snow Bowl open for skiing and snowboarding • Noon — FINAL RUNS – begin with 2-person teams, then proceed with 3-person, 4-person and experimental teams TOP 25 – 2-person division TOP 25 – 3-person division TOP 50 – 4-person division TOP 25% – Experimental teams • 3 p.m. (approx) — Awards ceremonies in Tobogganville

The Camden Winterfest still has a few events going on thei week leading up to the Toboggan Championships including”

Tuesday, February 7

Family Movie Night "Narnia": 6 pm, Camden Public Library FREE admission

Wednesday, February 8

Frogtown Mountain Puppeteers: 6 pm, Camden Opera House  Fun for the whole family! $5 individuals, $15 per family; children 5 and under FREE.

Thursday, February 9

Mardi Gras Concert: CJ Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band – 7 pm, Camden Opera House Tickets available at Camden Opera House - $20 in advance; $24 at the door.