By Alicia Dziak

Ride, slide and laugh your way to fun on Saturday, Feb. 20 at the annual Penguin Paddle!

This major fundraiser for Holiday Valley’s Lounsbury Adaptive Ski Program (LASP) features a silent auction, raffles, a lunch tent and of course the famous penguin slide, where people slip inside a garbage bag and slide on their bellies “penguin style” down the bottom of Yodeler slope.

This year’s Penguin Paddle, which runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., will feature more than 75 auction items, a radio station broadcast and possibly more surprises! Money raised from this event goes toward equipment, instructor training, the scholarship program and an annual Veterans day, this year held on March 4, when disabled veterans from all over can come and learn to ski.

“Participate or just spectate, it is a great day!” said Jane Eshbaugh, Holiday Valley’s marketing director.

For a schedule of events, see page 7.

On the same day, Holiday Valley will hold Its Demo Day. From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., guests can check out free equipment demos from major ski and snowboard manufacturers at the base of Mardi Gras.

“Reps from ski and snowboard companies bring demo skis and boards for the public to try,” explained Eshbaugh. “The demos are free, but you need a lift ticket. We are expecting skis from Rossignol, Nordica and Fischer and snowboards from Lib Tech, Gnu, Burton, K2 Roxy, Salomon and Ride. Participating local shops are The Boardroom, Mud, Sweat ‘n Gears and Dekdebruns.” She noted that a credit card is required as a deposit, as well as a parent signature if the participant is under age 18.

While you’re there, try your luck at the Training Center Raffle, in which first prize is a 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee, second prize is a 2016-17 Holiday Valley Season Pass, and third prize is a $200 gift certificate for Mud Sweat ‘n Gears. Tickets are $10 each, and are available at the Training Center, HV Customer Service, and from Holiday Valley race, freestyle and snowboard team members and coaches. The drawing will be held March 20.