Bill Koch League Festival 2019: Gliding on the Wild Side at Rikert

NENSA is happy to announce that we just wrapped up another successful New England Bill Koch League Festival at Rikert Nordic Center in Ripton VT! The BKL Festival is the premiere event of the New England youth skiing season, and includes a great mix of racing and just-for-fun events.

The crew at Rikert and our host club Frost Mountain Nordic knocked it out of the park this year, with stellar grooming, great courses, and a fun atmosphere that permeated the entire weekend. The festival theme was Glide on the Wild Side, and woodland creatures of all shapes and sizes were out in full force!

Wild and wooly animals march in the parade

Saturday morning started off under sunny skies with the BKL Festival Parade, a chance for skiers to show off their costumes and represent their clubs or districts with banners and flags. After the Parade, the first races of the weekend kicked off with relays by grade. The relay racing was a ton of fun, and with many mixed club and district teams meaning our young skiers had the chance to make new friends out on the trails. After the racing, the fun continued with the Mini Marathon ski out to the Robert Frost cabin where volunteers handed out hot cider and donut holes.

Skiers take a break on the Mini Marathon course for cider and donuts

Sunday was another day packed with racing and fun – the day kicked off with individual freestyle races, also included a wonderful 8th grade graduation ceremony and lollipop race. The 8th graders lined up on a hill and skied into the stadium to shake Bill Koch’s hand and receive a special gift of local maple syrup. The best part was that then the 8th grades all stayed to hand out lollipops at the end of the lollipop race! The lollipop race was packed, with many young skiers sporting hand decorated bibs and fun costumes. Seeing such a large group of New England’s youngest skiers has us feeling bright about the future of skiing!

The Lollipop race getting underway!


NENSA would like to thank Frost Mountain Nordic, the crew at Rikert, all of our wonderful sponsors, and everyone else who helped make this weekend possible. For a full set of photos from the weekend, check out local photographer Dave Priganc’s flickr site at the link below!

BKL Festival Photos