Jul. 25—Gilson Snow's annual Summer Snow Day returns Aug. 14 after a one-year pandemic hiatus.
Billed as Central Pennsylvania's biggest party of the year, entry and beer remain free — yes, free — but there's a big change this year: tickets are required.
Visit www.gilsonsnow.com/summer and choose a free ticket for entry, a beer cup and tractor-pulled shuttle service to off-site parking nearby. The event is hosted from noon to 7 p.m. outside Gilson Snow's manufacturing plant, 6984 New Berlin Highway, just south of New Berlin.
There are two other levels, $15 for supporter and $45 for VIP, that pay for extra perks like on-site parking, a 16-ounce pint glass and at the VIP level, a T-shirt and hat. Full details are available at the link.
"It's really for planning purposes and making sure we can deliver the best experience for everybody. Getting a good idea of the headcount ahead of time really helps us dial it in," said Nick Gilson, co-founder and chief executive officer.
Organizers anticipate more than 3,000 visitors to the 2021 Summer Snow Day, Gilson Snow's fifth summertime party. It's an all-ages event. Knoebels Amusement Resort will host a kids zone with bounce houses, slides and other activities. There will be live music, food trucks, and artists and vendors. Visitors can take guided tours of the Gilson plant. Friendly dogs are welcome on leashes.
Gilson Snow will again truck in tons of real snow. The snow will be shoveled onto a ramp. Skiers and snowboarders of all ages can drop onto the ramp and glide across a rail.
The ramp will be restricted a few hours for the Gilson Iron Mountain Rail Jam. Gilson said competitors will be coming from across the country to compete for a share of $7,000 in cash and prizes.
Another event to watch or sign-up for is the Snow Beast Competition, Gilson Snow's take on a strongman competition.
"Everything from caber tossing, keg tosses, boulder throws; just a really fun way to get outside and have a little competition," said Andrew Mikowski, chief revenue officer. "As you're at the festival, having a beer, having some food, you're browsing around, people will enjoy watching this."
Summer Snow Day will be used by Gilson Snow as a jump-off for its 2022 line of snowboards and skis. Mikowski said about 10 new designs will be featured including two brand new models. The new line will be unveiled on stage and live-streamed online.
Gilson Snow employs 27 workers full-time. Demand for its product rose during the pandemic, Gilson said. That tracks with the outdoor recreation surge sparked by lockdowns in 2020. Gilson said the company's growth continues to double annually and he credits the local community, in part, for its success.
"We say it all the time but we really mean it. We wouldn't be here today and getting to do this, delivering sweet Pennsylvania products around the world, if it weren't for the way this community took care of us at the onset," Gilson said.
"Summer Snow Day, what started out as a way to say thank you to the awesome people of this area, has now turned into one unbelievable party," he said.
For more information on Summer Snow Day and Gilson Snow, visit www.gilsonsnow.com and find the company on social media.