This labor Day produced another successful Tiki Bar Boogie at Skydive New England. Despite on and off weather for the entire four days, it was all smiles for one of the best run parties on the East Coast. Complete with enough good weather for the Tiki Burn Blow Out Sunday. Most welcomed the rain Monday morning!
It was all set. Manufactures, Icarus, PD, and Vector were on hand with demos. Blue Skie’s infamous Lara was there in person to cover the event. Brian Touhey had the slip-n-slide set. Keith Creedy was on hand to document the action. The DZ boasts a super otter and for the boogie adds a SkyVan. Manifest and registration handled the influx fast and smooth. The beer kegs were full, the TIKI was ready for action and the girls were already dressed in tutus.
Friday was the most jumpable and some say one awesome early bird party complete with lots of practice Tiki flashing. Saturday and Sunday was dodge-ball with rolling thunderheads and Monday was a wash. Sunday just started to crank and organizers were ready for it. Once the momentum got going it was on to another weather hold and people started early for the big burn party. Still, I didn’t see anyone really complaining.
There was just too much to do. Visit old friends, hit the slip n slide or throw you and your buddies friends in the pond for whatever reason. The list goes on and on. It’s obvious the word is getting out. More and more jumpers are showing up and what was a crowded tandemonium is fast becoming a skydivers party just big enough to be called awesome.
No matter what the weather, jumpers flew in from all over the world this year, just to see old friends. Every night was a complete party with a full band and lots of fireworks and rowdy skydivers. Every night saw more and more girls get their party on in the TIKI upstairs dance area to the delight of every skyboy.
The drop zone, some say, is the best kept secret in skydiving. A real grass roots skydiving operation situated in the beautiful woods of Maine. Run by Mike Carpenter, Fred Cotreau and their team of staff, the place is known for it’s homey skydive feel. Skydive New England is one of the last 200+ acre private owned airports. And the local jumping community is just that, community.
Fred and Carp are different then most DZO’s. They aint totally crazy yet. The DZO’s and the entire community at SNE are incredibly approachable, helpful and friendly. And wow, can they throw a party!
SNE is known for constantly improving the infrastructure. A one word summation of the place could simply be, hospitality. In the last year over 30 more campground slots are now finished for staff, locals and the traveling skydiver. The Rip Cord café is constantly tying to improve it’s offering of food and is a full service one stop eatery for any skydiver. Fred even made sure there was a TON of real Maine Lobster available for skydivers to enjoy on their trip. There is even a real swoop pond where you are actually allowed to swoop with it’s own area. The improvements and variety never end and neither does the generosity.
Most staff live in the woods in deluxe and custom campground slots complete with all amenities, including Wi-Fi. Many locals also own various campers too, making the entire campground a revolving party in an incredibly nice neighborhood. I haven’t run into a nicer place to just be. The beer never seems to run out, your home in the trees is always pleasant and has some of the best sleep weather around and work is just a few steps away. And, it only lasts six months. Then you are free to go change it up for winter. Most who have found this place never leave. The ones who do always return. Many make their money in the summer, hunker down in the winter. More and more jumpers are getting property and settling down.
Bottom line, it’s a DZ you have to see and experience if you are a skydiver. When I’m here I remember vividly why I got into skydiving in the first place. The people, the community, the vibe and of course jumping out of airplanes with your best friends.
Wish I could talk about all the skydiving, cool jumps, videos, etc, but I only made three. Some didn’t make any, they were having too much fun on the ground and the parties left many casualties.
Below are some select photos. And some links to other photogs who captured the nightly action. I personally put my camera away for this party and concentrated on more personal desires. Enjoy!
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