Thousands will descend on the picturesque town of Camden this weekend, as the Snow Bowl will play host to the 31st U.S. National Toboggan Championships. An annual event in Camden since about 1990, upwards of 400 teams are expected to fly down the Jack Williams Toboggan Chute, in hopes of being the fasted across the finish line.

Last year's event was postponed because of Covid, so the excitement and anticipation for this year's event have had some time to build.

Toboggan Championships, Mainevideomag via Youtube
Toboggan Championships, Mainevideomag via Youtube
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Initially built in the 1930s, rebuilt in 1969, and then once again rehabbed in 1990, the chute is something you really should experience first-hand, either as a spectator or even better, a participant in the race.

People come from around the nation, and some from around the globe, to experience the races.

Toboggan Championships 2, Mainevideomag via Youtube
Toboggan Championships 2, Mainevideomag via Youtube
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Uniquely Maine, according to a Wikipedia entry online, "The chute is 400 feet (120 m) long, 70 feet (21 m) in elevation, and speeds up to 40 miles per hour (64 km/h) are attained. The run-out is on to frozen Hosmers' pond. If there is clear ice on the pond, some sleds will go the entire way across, 0.25 miles (0.40 km)."

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This year's event will kick off at noon on Friday and run through till about 3 or so on Sunday, according to camdensnowbowl.com.

"Friday – Team sign-in, toboggan inspections, chute open to the public to try it out, practice

Saturday – 2-person and 3-person divisions qualifying (two runs); 4-person and experimental divisions qualifying (first of two runs); costume parade, vendors, food and beverage, celebration and cheering on your favorite teams!

Sunday – 4-person qualifying division (second run), finals for all divisions, awards."

The events are free to the public if you want to watch them. But there is a fee to park.

For a preview of what to expect, check out these videos from past participants.

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