At the Norge Ski Club in Fox River Grove, the party’s been going on for more than 110 years. This 150-feet ski jump rises high above the Fox River and offers a year-round training facility and competition venue for world-class athletes. No snow? No problem. The plastic covering on the hill creates a slick surface, even on 90-degree days.
While the athletes practice quietly throughout the year, on competition days in January and September, thousands of spectators set up at the bottom of the hill to watch the skiers fly. Wanna join in the family-friendly fun and Norge like a local? Well, here’s everything you need to know:
• Learn how to say “Norge.” It’s pronounced nor – GE (rhymes with “more tea”).
• Dress for the weather and the terrain. Leave those 4-inch red stilettos and cute dresses at home, folks. It’s time for hiking boots and long johns.
• Plan to tailgate. Pack the tent, the chairs, the grub and the grill, but remember to leave the food and drinks in the parking lot when you’re done. No outside food and beverages are allowed beyond the tournament gates.
• Arrive early. It’s not fashionable to be late for this party! To grab the best tailgating spots, get there early.
• Bring a cowbell. Ring it when the skiers have a great jump. Don’t have one among your party supplies? No worries, buy one at the tournament.
• Wear your Viking helmet and animal skins. Not required, but it sure makes for some great selfies and even better stories to tell your friends.
• Keep your Norge Ski Jump Tournament button. It’s your ticket in. And in future years, wear the buttons like badges of honor, showing the number of years you’ve attended.
While the party’s going on among the crowds at the bottom of the hill, it’s serious business for the ski jumpers at the top of the tower. These international Olympic hopefuls climb the tower in full ski gear and fly at speeds of up to 60 mph down the 70-meter hill. From the top of the tower, they can see Chicago.
Want to learn how to fly, too? Norge Ski Club offers lessons for all ages and levels.
Banquet facilities and jumping demonstrations are also available.
100 Ski Hill Road • Fox River Grove
847.639.9718 • norgeskiclub.com