Last summer, Burton dropped a bomb on east coast snowboarders, and Vermont riders in particular, when they announced the US Open would be moving out west. In some the news sparked anger and others a sense of abandonment, after a 30-year legacy of hosting the event at Stratton Mountain – a resort steeped in snowboarding history. But the resort didn't despair for long, and instead hopped on the offensive and began brainstorming the next historic event to unite the snowboarding community in the sport's native state. Enter, the Vermont Open Snowboard and Music Festival.

Set for its debut March 15-17, 2013, the Vermont Open is the next generation of snowboarding competition that will pit amateurs and pros against one another in a truly open format. Designed to allow the up-and-comer to challenge retired pro circuit riders, like Olympic gold medalist Ross Powers, three-time US Open champion Andy Coughlin, even Mike and Steve Hayes, of Hayes Brothers Snowboards fame. These self-proclaimed "washed up" riders are members of the event's advisory board helping to organize everything from the on-snow competitions, to the after parties and concerts that will help fill out the weekend.

Riders can enter in one of four categories (junior, amateur, pro and “washed-up”) and compete in three events held over three days: a rail jam, halfpipe and a banked slalom representing the original Washed Up Cup. The weekend will feature nights of live music, BBQs, parties and plenty of opportunities to reaffirm Vermont's dedication to the progression of snowboarding athletes and culture.

The cost for registration is $135, which includes a three-day lift ticket, entry into all competitions, venues and official parties, BBQs and, of course, the St. Patty's Day Sunday brunch.

Registration is now open online at www.vermontopen.com.