ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Part of the 60-man team, Dan's Rowdy Raiders, sit on their cardboard motorcycles waiting to go down the slope. These motorcycles traveled in front of their very-large cardboard half-track. The team put a total of 600 combined man-hours into their creations.
Chilly weather didn't stop more than 5,000 spectators and 300 team members with more than 25 sleds, from taking part in the sixth annual Day Off at the Slopes Cardboard Classic Friday at Jack Frost Mountain in Blakeslee.
The event, hosted by radio station 93.3 WMMR in Philadelphia, was attended by highly-motivated team participants and their rambunctious spectators who came from numerous surrounding states, as well as Carbon, Monroe, Lehigh, Schuylkill, and Northampton counties.
Participants were only allowed to use cardboard and other basic items, such as tape, glue, paper, string and paint to construct their cardboard creations. By the thousands, crowds lined the slopes, some arriving as early as 6 a.m., and took every available spot near the slope to get a glance at each of the one-of-a-kind cardboard sleds that made their way through the gravity gauntlet as they sledded down the snowy slope.
More than three quarters of the entries made it to the finish line, while the remaining sleds fell apart on the slope. Ideas ranged from characters, colored-smoke, fireworks, games, toys, movies, consumer products, and yes beer. Some of the items that stood out the most were the larger sleds, one consisting of a military half-track and six motorcycles, a life size bar with stools, a two-story Pub Crawl, a 22-foot Buzz Lightyear, Space Shuttle, Zamboni, Wheel Wagon, Castle, Whack-A-Mole, Port-a-potty and more.
Some teams dedicated hundreds of man-hours into their creations.
Paul Freebery of Dan's Rowdy Raiders, from New Castle, Del., said his team put a total of more than 600 man-hours into making eight cardboard military motorcycles and a very large cardboard military half-track. His team has 60 members, which also represents the number of seconds they were on the hill.
Some sleds were so large that they had to be brought to the slopes in sections.
Prizes were awarded to the best creativity, designs, best Coors Light design and fastest down the slope. Garbage trucks and chain saws were staged at the end of the slope to gobble both the succumbing and surviving cardboard creations to be recycled.
Prior-year events were noted by some spectators as being a little too rowdy. They praised this year's event as much more controlled.