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Smoking hot deals, great entertainment drive visitors to Boston Ski Show

If you're in the market for great snowpsort deals, rubbing shoulders with Olympians and other snowsport personalities, getting up to speed on your favorite resorts, and receiving lots of freebies, don't miss the 31st Annual Boston Ski & Snowboard Expo this week.

It runs from Thursday through Sunday at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston. Hours are, 3 to 10 p.m. Nov. 8-9; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10; and 10.a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 11.

As usual Killington will have reps and a large display booth, which, if history repeats, will be swamped with people clambering to sign up for Express Cards (which offer a free lift ticket) and vying for the special scratch-off cards which feature a season pass for the winner!

Killington, along with radio station WBOS, is also a sponsor of the SkyRiders Aerial Trampoline Show which will feature Guinness World Record holder Ken Kovach which is held daily.

Among other exciting events will be the World Slackline Federation (WSF) World Championships, featuring the top world-ranking pros in awe-inspiring competition on this amazing cross-training apparatus Saturday and Sunday. (Professional athletes perform aerial and gymnastics maneuvers while balancing on a two-inch wide trampoline known as a slackline.) This is the first time the World Championships have been held in the US, and for a special treat, Expo visitors will get to try out slacklining (with guidance from the pros).

A bit more down to earth is the chance to participate in the Eliteam Fitness Challenge, hosted by Olympic skier and Vermonter Doug Lewis. This is a great way to see how much fun fitness training can be - been there, done it, and it's definitely challenging fun!  

You can even take young ones to the Stowe Kids SnowPark learning center where they can get their first taste of sliding on mini-skis and snowboards. Or take a spin on the Cross Country Ski Areas Association Ski Demo Track. There's more non-stop entertainment throughout the Expo hall, music, and even a Long Trail Beer Garden, a first for their appearance at the show.

Visitors can meet Olympic stars at regularly scheduled poster signings and get some one-on-one time with some of the superstars of snowsports. Look for Vermonter Hannah Kearney, reigning Olympic mogul gold medalist on Friday evening and Saturday morning and Boston Red Sox mascot Wally the Green Monster on Saturday afternoon, both at the Waterville Valley booth.

Olympic gold mogulist Donna Weinbrecht will be chatting with visitors at the Ramp ski and snowboard booth on Friday and at the Killington booth on Saturday.

Olympic gold medalist Tommy Moe will be at the Jackson Hole booth Thursday evening as well as on Friday and Saturday, and Snowboard Gold Olympian Seth Wescott will be at the Sugarloaf  (ME) booth Friday and Saturday.

In addition to the fun, "some smoking hot deals," draw thousands to the Expo, commented Killington Communications Director Sarah Thorson.

She's referring to the enticing 'steals and deals' on passes, equipment, clothing, and accessories. It's not unusual to see people laden down with skis or boards and bags full of goodies that they pick up at various booths in the gigantic hall.

"Dozens of resorts from throughout New England, Quebec, western Canada and the Rockies will be selling show-only specials on lift tickets, season passes and vacation packages," noted Kathe Dillman, media director for the Expo. She added that there will be giveaways and contests as well and the drawings add to the excitement with the lucky winning lift tickets and even vacations.

The free posters and other mementoes - pins to patches, lip balm to sunscreen -abound and alone are worth the price of admission. There are food product samples, a chance to participate in a Core Power taste test challenge, and you can even watch gourmet chefs whip up tempting specialty foods.

The admission charge comes with a $10 Liftopia.com gift card (filling out electronic forms required) and a one-year subscription to your choice of SKI or Transworld Snowboard magazines.

Admission is $12 (cash only at the door) but kids up to age 12 are free. You can pre-buy tickets online or download a $2 discount coupon at www.OnTheSnow.com.

For special savings, deals and schedule updates, follow the Expo on Twitter @SkiSnowExpo or like Expo on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bostonskisnowboardexpo.