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  Comments (2) Total Sunday Apr. 20, 2014
Cut Loose in the Canyon
Cabin Fever Days celebrates 35 years
Lindsey Baker pretends to wash her hair while she and Cody Hurley ride their sled – a bathtub with a fabricated showerhead and curtains on skis – down Sugar Hill during the 34th Cabin Fever Days Barstool Ski Races in Martin City last year. File photo by Lido Vizzutti | Flathead Beacon
It’s February in the Flathead. The monotony of winter has set in, and maybe those walls are starting to close in as well. But don’t worry: the remedy to this feeling is in the canyon.

Cabin Fever Days is set for Feb. 8 through Feb. 10. This year marks the 35th year that people have gathered in Martin City, Coram and Hungry Horse to kick off the winter cobwebs and

party down, canyon style. Special events, such as the famous barstool races, raise money for local nonprofits, while everyone participating gets to cut loose for a few days.

“That’s very exciting, to be celebrating the 35th year,” said Stacy Schnebel of the Trapline Association, the nonprofit that organizes Cabin Fever Days. “That’s our theme this year.”

The number 35 will be emblazoned on T-shirts and other collectible merchandise in a new logo, Schnebel said.

But the honor of gracing the commemorative shirts next year will go to the winner of the show class in the barstool races, which has produced some intricate and hilarious entries in the past.
“That’s the new prize,” Schnebel said.

The barstool ski races are the iconic event for Cabin Fever Days. They are aptly named; racers mount a barstool and try to get down the hill in Martin City the quickest.

The different divisions – steerable, non-steerable and show – allow for a display of craftsmanship and ingenuity. Riders typically work on their entries for months prior to the event, getting ready to show off their sledding skills.

Entry fees are $20. Sign up takes place on Feb. 9 and Feb. 10 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. The qualifying runs start at 1 p.m. on those same days. The finals are at 3 p.m. on Sunday.

For a list of barstool race rules and an entry form, visit www.cabinfeverdays.com.

Despite the recent bout of warm weather, Schnebel said participants and spectators can expect plenty of snow on the hill. The Trapline Association has made sure to preserve a stockpile of snow in case the hill is a little slushy, she said.

This year will also include a better sound system for the hill, and potentially a hip-hop show at intermission, Schnebel said.

Other events include the weeklong poker run, the mountain man competition at Packers Roost, the arm wrestling tournament at the Stonefly Lounge, and snowshoe softball. Four different taverns will also host live music each night.

There is also a popular hog roast, Texas Hold ‘Em poker tournaments, pool, shuffleboard and more.

For kids, there is a carnival on Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Head Start, and a kids’ sled race at noon on Saturday on Sugar Hill. There is also a kids’ billiards tournament at the Dam Town Tavern in Hungry Horse at 10 a.m. on Saturday.

The weekend also features plenty of food and merchandise vendors, and most of the canyon-area businesses will be open for customers.

Cody Hurley, left, and David Maxwell, center, fall to the snow after giving racer Bob Donk a massive push over the starting line during last year’s Cabin Fever Days. File photo by Lido Vizzutti | Flathead Beacon

To help facilitate the amount of people and the lack of parking in many areas, Schnebel said the free shuttle would once again run from designated parking areas in Hungry Horse and Coram to all of the activities and events.

The shuttle will also stop at open businesses, Schnebel said, which is a key part of the weekend. Schnebel is an owner of the Stonefly Lounge.

“It certainly is good for all of the businesses out here to get a little bump,” she said. “We, in turn, support Cabin Fever Days.”

And, following that progression, Cabin Fever Days raises money to support the canyon community. Money brought in from merchandise, the 50/50 drawing, and barstool race entries goes to support various nonprofits, including the Martin City Fire Department, the Canyon QRU, Head Start, and the Canyon Kids Christmas Fund, which brings Santa in by helicopter each year.

Admission button sales also contribute, Schnebel said. A weekend button is $3, and they are available at the Stonefly Lounge, Packers Roost, the Southfork Saloon, the Deerlick Saloon, the Dam Town Tavern, or the Dew Drop Inn.

For a full list of events and times, visit www.cabinfeverdays.com
On 02-09-13, redhawk commented....
Reeeaallly.  It’s odd that the news media covers and posts pictures of canyon problems…and neglects to mention say, Somers…or Bigfork (wasn’t there a knifing at the kayak event?!) or the crime at the Winter Carnival.  Sheesh dude.  Like any other area, it’s got it’s ups and downs. …
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