Afton Alps, one of the Twin Cities largest ski areas, is celebrating the longer daylight hours and warmer temps with its Spring Fling Saturday, March 19. It promises to be a lot of fun for the entire family.

Events include an obstacle course race, treasure hunt, water skipping (otherwise known as the slush pit), and a NASTAR swim suit race (bikinis optional].  For the adults there will be an ice bar on the deck, which hopefully will be a good place to watch the bikini race. Live entertainment will be taking place from 1-5 p.m. with the Cross Town Band rocking Paul's Pub.

Dough in the Snow for the kids lets them dig for prizes buried in the snow on the slopes. "The little sand shovels you find on the beach would be perfect for digging up the prizes," Afton's John Reents told OnTheSnow. Prizes include gift certificates, retail items, and a snowboard.

Rock & Ride, a snowboard and twin-tip freestyle event, also will be taking place.

Food Shelf Days is March 26-27, when lift tickets are $5 with a donation of four non-perishable food items.

Afton Alps is located on an L-shaped bluff overlooking the scenic St. Croix River valley. It features long beginner runs, interesting intermediate cruisers, and a trio of steep headwalls, which is what you see when first arrive at the area. There's plenty to chose from for everyone with over 40 runs - all of them girl's names - spread out over nearly 300 acres.

Boredom is never a problem at the Alps. Remembering where you've been is another matter. "Let's see, was that Patti's or Paula's Pass, and was that Mary's, Susie's or Ruthie's Meadow that we just skied through."

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