Mt. Snow 4th of July Rodeo & Chili Cook-off

I decided to drive up to Mt. Snow for the 4th of July weekend and I had a blast.

Mt. Snow hosted the Green Mountain Grand Rodeo for three days of cowboy fun. The event was named BEST NEW RODEO OF 2002 by the American Professional Rodeo Association and it was a great way to celebrate the 4th of July holiday weekend in a truly American style.

The Pond Hill Pro Rodeo Co., one of the most respected rodeo companies in North America, brought their unique brand of rodeo to southern Vermont’s Mt. Snow ski area. Known for raising some of the toughest bulls, the most furious broncos and highly trained event horses, Pond Hill put on a full three days of rodeo fun at this four-season mountain resort. This rodeo was sanctioned by the American Professional Rodeo Association and eight events took place each day including a variety of roping competitions, barrel racing, bulldogging (steer wrestling), bronc riding, and bull riding. There were with some talented rodeo clowns who not only produced a little humor but also protected the cowboys from angry bulls with big horns and mean dispositions. In rodeo parlance, the clowns are also known as bull fighters, an apt name for these fearless athletes in baggy pants and clown makeup.

The weekend events began on Friday and were staged in Mt. Snow’s main base area. The MOOver (the valley’s shuttle service with buses painted like cows) provided free round-trip transportation for visitors from the ski area to Wilmington’s fireworks display and other locations along their route.

The gates opened at 4pm and the rodeo start at five. It was pretty exciting to see cowboys and cowgirls from all over North America compete for prizes and glory. There were a number of spills and a few cowboys limped away after being thrown by bucking broncos or angry brama bulls. Pretty cowgirls competed in the barrel riding, where they raced against the clock, riding around barrels that were strategically placed in the arena.

Mt. Snow provided a well-stocked food tent that featured some tantalizing entries and desserts. Pizza, hotdogs, beer, and other libations were available at stands operated by local ski bums

In the evening, I watched the fireworks that lit up the southern Vermont sky. I brought a tent and camped out under the stars that night. It was a fun way to spend the 4th of July. I even had a chance to attend a wedding where some of the locals tied the knot.

On Saturday, there was a chili and salsa cook-off hosted by the International Chili Society. Professional and amateur chili cooks from across the Northeast and as far south as Virginia, put their best chili and salsa to the test. The contestants were armed with a culinary arsenal of family secrets, special recipes and plain old American ingenuity and tried to win the overall title and a piece of the $2,000 cash purse.

As you entered, you were given a small container, spoon and voting chips with which you could cast your vote for your favorite chili or salsa. It was then up to you to taste as many different chili samples as you could and vote for the best chili and best salsa. Beer and other beverages were also available to put out the fire of all that spicy food.

Guests lined up to taste the numerous chili and salsa entries. They were provided with corn chips to dip with and one chili-maker even provided free corn bread to cleanse the pallet of discerning chili aficionados.

I sampled all the chili that I could and washed it down with a beer or two. The chili was tasty and came in three varieties: HOT, HOTTER and OH MY GOD!!!

We saw some fine roping, bronco riding and bull riding that evening, along with enjoyinga country and western band that provided free music for the listening and dancing enjoyment of cowboys, cowgirls and visitors. All-in-all, spending the 4th of July weekend at a rodeo and chili cook-off was a wonderfully novel way to spend the 4th

I’ve visited Mt. Snow in the winter for ski events, spring for skiing, fall for October Fest, and now the summer for the 4th of July. Every time I’ve visited this charming ski area, I’ve had a really good time. All the people I met were very friendly, the restaurants were excellent and the skiing was great. Mt. Snow is a really fine four-season resort with awe-inspiring vistas in every direction.

Mt. Snow has a reputation for being a party mountain and I can attest to the fact that you can have a really good time in the bars. In addition, there is always a lot to do for families too. This 4th of July event is an excellent example. There were a lot of cute kids roaming around (with their parents) that were having a really fine time. If you are single, a couple or a family, make sure your check out the events at Mt. Snow and schedule a visit. I’m sure you’ll have a great time, tell them the Ski Bum News sent you.