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Vito returns home for his rail jam event

Louie Vito is in the middle of his second quest for a U.S. Olympic spot, but the Bellefontaine native is taking a short break to return home for his annual rail jam event.

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Louie Vito, shown competing in the halfpipe Dec. 21 at the U.S. Grand Prix in Colorado, returns to Bellefontaine on Saturday for his annual Louie Vito Rail Jam at Mad River Mountain. (AP PHOTO | JULIE JACOBSON)

The 10th Louie Vito Rail Jam is set for Saturday at Mad River Mountain. The event is considered one of the largest of its kind in the midwest.

Registration is from noon until 3 p.m., and the rail jam, open to snowboarders only, kicks off at 3 p.m.

There are divisions for riders ages 10-13, 14-17 and 18-and-over. Overall champions will be entered to win a spring trip to Windell’s Snowboard Camp in Oregon.

Vito will be available for autographs from 1-3 p.m. in the loft. The entry fee is $10 or a non-perishable food item that is donated to a local food pantry.

One of the top professional halfpipe riders in the world, Vito learned his craft at the local resort.

“Louie is truly a professional,” said Mad River Mountain General Manager Greg Fisher. “He signs autographs for hundreds of our guests, always with a smile on his face, and his event is the highlight of not only our holiday week, but the winter.”

Fisher said Vito’s rail jam comes at a perfect time for MRM.

“It’s been a fantastic December and our snow conditions are as good as they ever have been going into the holidays,” he said.

The Louie Vito Rail Jam has grown into a full-day, family event featuring live DJs, a fireworks show and a concert featuring Shucking Bubba Deluxe. 

For more information on the Louie Vito Rail Jam, go to www.skimadriver.com.

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