Jay family festival has Winter Olympics feel

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John Davis, a member of the Jug Hill Riders Snowmobile Club, leads a line of snowmobiles pulling sledders around a field at the Spruce Mountain Sled-in and Winter Family Festival on Saturday at French Falls Recreation Area in Jay. Members of Andy Valley Riders Snowmobile Club of Jay and Livermore Trail Blazers Snowmobile Club in Livermore also gave rides. (Donna M. Perry/Sun Journal)

By Donna Perry, Staff Writer

JAY — It sounded like the Winter Olympics on Saturday as sledders came down a man-made mountain of snow during the Spruce Mountain Sled-in and Winter Family Festival at French Falls Recreation Area.

There were ‘aws’ from onlookers when sledders crashed and ‘oohs’ when others finished the course.

Laurie Welch of Chesterville and her granddaughter Aubree Webber, 6, slide down the hill at the Spruce Mountain Sled-in and Winter Family Festival in Jay on Saturday. Aubree put her mittens over her eyes as they zoomed toward the bottom. (Donna M. Perry/Sun Journal)

Under sunny skies, people came from all around the area to take part in the festival put on by the Jay Recreation Committee.

Maureen Poisson of Jay watched her 10-year-old grandson, Daxtyn Poisson, of Livermore slide to the bottom and up an incline fashioned to stop sledders.

Daxtyn Poisson, 10, of Livermore masters the man-made slope at the Spruce Mountain Sled-in and Winter Family Festival in Jay on Saturday.  (Donna M. Perry/Sun Journal)

“He’s been coming ever since it started,” she said. “He has been sliding since he was a baby.”

He has also snowshoed and participated in other outdoor sports.

“Everything Mimi does, he does,” said Poisson.

Sherry York, 14, of Farmington, left, and Erin Meng, 15, of New Sharon toast marshmallows Saturday at the Spruce Mountain Sled-in and Winter Family Festival in Jay. (Donna M. Perry/Sun Journal)

They have snowshoed the trails at French Falls, which were revitalized a couple of years ago by community members and the Recreation Committee.

It has added a little extra to their lives, Poisson said.

Laurie Welch of Chesterville and her 6-year-old  granddaughter, Aubree Webber, who put her mittens over her eyes as the sled was getting close to the bottom of the hill, glided safely to a stop.

“The hill is pretty big,” Welch said. “It’s very scary but awesome for sliding.”

Adam Meng, 13, of New Sharon zoomed down on his sled. He described the ride as fun.

Jay Police Chief Richard Caton clocked sledders with a radar gun. Among the times  were 18, 20, 21 and 23 mph.

Jay firefighters Carl Beaudette, left, and Tyler Grover man a bonfire Saturday at the Spruce Mountain Sled-in and Winter Family Festival at French Falls Recreation Area in Jay. (Donna M. Perry/Sun Journal)

Children and adults were pulled on sleds around a field by snowmobiles going around a field. Members of the Andy Valley Riders Snowmobile Club of Jay, Livermore Trailer Blazers Snowmobile Club of Livermore and the Jug Hill Riders Snowmobile Club of Livermore Falls gave ride after ride.

John Davis, a member of the Jug Hill Riders Snowmobile Club, leads a line of snowmobiles pulling sledders around a field at the Spruce Mountain Sled-in and Winter Family Festival on Saturday at French Falls Recreation Area in Jay. Members of Andy Valley Riders Snowmobile Club of Jay and Livermore Trail Blazers Snowmobile Club in Livermore also gave rides. (Donna M. Perry/Sun Journal)

Some people snapped on their snowshoes and took to the trails. Others had a bite to eat from offerings by nonprofit and charity groups.

Adam Meng, 13, of New Sharon slides down a man-made hill of snow Saturday at the Spruce Mountain Sled-in and Winter Family Festival in Jay. (Donna M. Perry/Sun Journal)

Others toasted marshmallows over a fire pit, while Jay firefighters Carl Beaudette and Tyler Grover manned a bonfire in an old oil tank.

dperry@sunmediagroup.net

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