In the hopes of drawing more young people to downtown Easton, Easton’s Centre Square was transformed into a terrain park for skiiers, snowboarders, and outdoor winter fun for the first ever event on February 12. From 2 to 8pm, boarders came from all over the Lehigh Valley for a chance to win prizes, including an overnight stay in Atlantic City! Preparations began last month, with snow being trucked in from Jack Frost and Big Boulder ski areas in the Poconos, in order for the skiiers and riders to show off their tricks on the newly built half pipe.
This event, the Red Bull Rail Jam, sponsored by Easton based Drinky’s, featured close to 40 snowboarders who competed to win cash, snowboards, other winter gear, and other great “stuff”! The trucked in snow created the 13-foot-tall, 140-foot-long rail set-up for both the pro and amateur boarders that competed for prizes.
According to the Examiner, the top finishers at the first Rail Jam were chosen from a panel of judges. First place went to Billy Kiel of White Haven, riding for GNU Snowboards. Kyle Luza of Tobyhanna took second place, riding for Salomon Snowboards. Third place winner, Travis Jones of Kutztown, was riding for Signal Snowboards. Tara Eminnson of Blakeslee, finished in first place among women, with Brian “Elf” Hammil of Henryville, winning for the best trick; a one-footed back flip.
The snowboarders and skiiers were not the only ones who benefited from the competition; downtown merchants embraced the influx of business from the visitors, especially from the many young folks. Easton’s Centre Square was jamming and partying with a live broadcast on 107.1-FM, The Bone, and live music from Tune in Tokyo and the School of Rock. Easton hopes to make this an annual event with some improvements to seating, parking and traffic flow. Next year the Rail Jam will be bigger and better, and sure to prove as successful as this year.
While most locals head to Bear Creek in Macungie or Blue Mountain in Palmerton Township, the transformation of Easton’s Centre Square into a terrain park was a welcomed addition to the outdoor winter fun that happens here in the Lehigh Valley. Visitors say they look forward to next year’s event with anticipation, as it’s only going to get better!
Where do you partake in outdoor winter activities in the Lehigh Valley?
Photos from Examiner and Morning Call.