Big air event moved 

WSSF event relocated to Blackcomb due to low snowBy Brandon Barrett

click to enlarge PHOTO BY MIKE CRANE / COURTESY OF TOURISM WHISTLER - on the move The Gibbons Big Air event at World Ski and Snowboard Festival, will be moved from the base of Whistler Mountain to the Blackcomb Terrain Park due to a lack of snow. The 2012 contest is pictured above.
  • photo by mike crane / courtesy of tourism whistler
  • on the move The Gibbons Big Air event at World Ski and Snowboard Festival, will be moved from the base of Whistler Mountain to the Blackcomb Terrain Park due to a lack of snow. The 2012 contest is pictured above.

Limited snow on Whistler Mountain has forced the relocation of one of the World Ski and Snowboard Festival's (WSSF) most iconic events.

The Gibbons Big Air, historically held at the base of Whistler Mountain, will be moved to the Nintendo Terrain Park on Blackcomb Mountain. It's scheduled for Saturday afternoon, April 11.

Sue Eckersley, CEO of festival producer Watermark Communications, said she expects the typical big air turnout of 15,000 to drop off, but is confident village spectators will get their money's worth with a new event in its place: Gibbons Plazapalooza.

"We want stuff going on down below on that Saturday evening, as does (the Gibbons Group), so we've put our heads together, figured out what makes sense and we're going to rock the plaza anyways," she said.

Taking place in Skier's Plaza, Plazapalooza is a circus-themed event featuring a surprise challenge for athletes taking part in the AFP World Tour finals, fire spinners and live music. Organizers will also broadcast a replay of the big air finals on the Main Stage big screen.

The festivities kick off at 5:30 p.m. with a performance by West Coast rapper Neph on the Main Stage. Canadian hip-hop icons Swollen Members follow at 6 p.m., while Whistler's own Mat the Alien will DJ from 8 to 10 p.m.

Festivalgoers in the village can still get their mountain sports fix the following Saturday, April 18, at the Monster Energy Shred Show Shootout, an invitational rail battle where two riders will drop in at a time to session two identical rail setups. Winning riders will move on to the next round until the $10,000 top prize is claimed. Also scheduled for Skier's Plaza.

For a full schedule of all the events taking place at the 20th annual World Ski and Snowboard Festival, April 10 to 19, visit www.wssf.com.

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