Sugar Mountain Resort in North Carolina hosts SugarFest Dec. 11-12, in the 8th annual kickoff to winter.

Sugar enjoyed one of the longest seasons in its history last winter and already used a spell of cold weather to make snow and open, albeit briefly, early this season as well.

Indications are that cold weather is settling back into the Mid Atlantic, and Sugar's snowmakers have been laying down cover as temperatures allowed.

SugarFest kickstarts the winter season with a weekend of fun sponsored by the Village of Sugar Mountain Tourism Development Authority (TDA) and hosted by Sugar Mountain Resort.

SugarFest coincides with Sugar's 17th annual Adult Preseason Ski Clinic with 1994 Olympic Gold & 1992 Olympic Silver medalist Diann Roffe, two-time (1992 & 1994) Olympian, Krista Schmidinger, and 2010 US National Super G Champion Keely Kelleher on this season's coaching staff. Cost for the two-day clinic is $150 for passholders, $225 for clinic and lift ticket.

Ski and snowboard demos from Salomon, Volkl, Nordica, Burton, Head, Never Summer, K2, Atomic, Dynastar, Rossignol, Ride, Line, Fisher, and Forum are available 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. both days. A valid driver's license or credit card is required in order to demo the equipment.

Skate with 1992 Olympic figure skating Silver Medalist Paul Wylie at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday, and 3 p.m. Sunday.

Skating and tubing is available 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. both days.

Watch a thunderous fireworks display at the base of Sugar Mountain at 5:45 p.m.Saturday.

Music by Boss Hawg, warm drinks, and food are served 4 to 7 p.m. at the base area.

The Edge of the World/Burton Rail Jam Expression Session begins at noon Sunday.

SugarFest also offers ice sculpting, snowball eating contest, and more.

More information. SugarFest; Preseason Clinic.