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Sunday, January 19, 2003 -- McHenry, MD
Nestea Cool All Night Snow Tubing Party (iPO Event Id#: 5291)
Story and photos by Don Parks

[Details] [Coverage] [Pic Set 1] [Pic Set 2] [Pic Set 3] [Pic Set 4]

Bear Claw
Your mission...
if you choose to accept it!
I arrived at Wisp on a cold and snowy Sunday night where the slopes normally close at 10pm. But this was just the starting time for the season's first Nestea Cool All Night Snow Tubing Party.

As the main parking area cleared, parking spaces at the far end of the lot were filling up. That would be prime parking for the Bear Claw Snow Tubing Park.

I was still a little skeptical, would people really come out to go snow tubing from 10pm to 2am? Well, I've obviously never been tubing, and never been to a tubing party.

Enjoying the ride with a friend
It starts with a huge crowd, young and old, bundled up with their warmest winter garments. Then you grab a nice big inner tube covered with canvas and plenty of hand holds.

The first ride is the trip up the rope tow. You simply sit in the center of your cushy tube, connect to the rope, and you slide up the hill in style. As they say, "It's all the thrills of sledding without the long hike back up the hill!"

Then it is time to go back down, the goal of your whole mission from the beginning. Straight down like a luge, or spinning in circles, or clung together in groups, whatever style you choose. Screaming in a mix of delight and terror, or holding your breath the entire way, you can't help but have a blast!

Ready to ride
Now this can be enjoyed all the time at Wisp, but tonight we're at a party. It starts with DJ JonnyRock taking requests and pumping out the music. He's challenging the crowd with trivia and contests and has plenty of prizes for the lucky. Joining in the fun is the Nestea Cool Snowman, and he has free Nestea Cool & Minute Maid to quench the thirst of the hardest working tubers.

That is just what you need to get ready for the races. Competition comes in the form of single, double, triple and quad categories. And no, they don't make tubes that seat four. The team competitors hang on to one another's tubes for the trip down the hill. And what do the winners get? More prizes, of course.

By now it's getting late (or is that early?), and you're about to pack it in. But wait, there's good reason to stick around just a little longer. Everyone who signs up for this party is eligible to win one of four Rossignol Premier snowboards, given away in a random drawing. That's my kind of party!

If you had to miss it this time, or you're just a party animal, you are in luck. They'll be doing it all again next month at the February's Nestea Cool All Night Snow Tubing Party.