One of the region's most popular downhill ski centers celebrates a huge milestone this winter.
The Big Tupper Ski Area opened 50 years ago and to celebrate, the mountain is hosting some special events through the remainder of the week.
The ski center laid dormant for years, but reopened with the help of community volunteers and ARISE - Adirondack Residents Intent on Saving their Economy.
As part of the 50th anniversary celebrations, ARISE is teaming up with the Tupper Lake Chamber of Commerce to invite business owners to set up booths at the mountain between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. through Sunday.
Events kicked off last weekend with a volunteer appreciation party, downhill races, and a big air contest.
The mountain is open all week long starting at 9 a.m. daily. Volunteers say conditions are perfect and the trails are in phenomenal shape.
Jim LaValley is chairman of ARISE.
"It really is an exciting week ahead," he said. "On Thursday, we have a free show featuring the Logger - Rusty DeWees."
"A lot of people may be familiar with him," LaValley added. "He has a very 'blue collar' approach to comedy and he's well-known throughout the northeast. He's going to do a 90 minute performance that will be open to the public. We encourage everyone to stop by."
LaValley says the business expo will feature artisans, retailers, and food vendors, as well as local and regional civic organizations.
Ski races are also planned through the weekend, including side-by-side slalom at 11 a.m. Saturday, downhill at 10 a.m. Sunday, and a big air contest at noon Sunday.
LaValley says this weekend's activities will also reflect on the past.
"Mid-afternoon on Saturday, we're going to be looking at the faces of Big Tupper - it will be a look back on the last 50 years," he said. "We'll also be acknowledging those volunteers who were instrumental in bringing Big Tupper back last year."
He adds that this particular week was selected for a variety of reasons - one of which was the Tupper Lake Central School District's new spring break schedule.
"It was a combination of things," LaValley said. "History says that they actually got the ski season going in January and February of 1961. But knowing that the schools were out and that the kids would be around, it just seemed like the ideal week to celebrate the anniversary."
This weekend's lineup also features a wood carving contest at 8 a.m. Saturday, followed by music in the lodge at 10 a.m. and an Avant Big Tupper Ski demo from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Also on Saturday, there's a Wild Game Stew Contest from 11 a.m. to noon, bingo from 1 to 2 p.m. and a Torch Light Parade with fireworks at 6 p.m.
The Adirondack Public Observatory is hosting a star gazing party at 7 p.m. as well.
The mountain opens for skiing at 9 a.m. Sunday and the day concludes with a volunteer appreciation party at 4 p.m.
More information about Big Tupper, including ski conditions, is available at skibigtupper.org.