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Toboggan Nationals

“A cross between an Alice in Wonderland costume ball and a family reunion, the nationals claim to be the only organized wooden toboggan races in the country. “We figured that because there wasn’t any other, we might as well call it the nationals,” says Camden hotelier David Dickey.” — Franz Lidz, Sports Illustrated

Countdown to Toboggan Nationals








The chute opens on Friday at 11:00am for the public and practice! Enjoy.

Things you need to know about Toboggan Nationals


We are always excited when Toboggan Nationals roles around in February. We decorate the hotel with Mardi Gras decorations and bring out the crockpots and hot dog machine. The guests are always happy as the parade around the hotel and the town in their team costume “uniforms”. There is a refreshing carefree energy that fills the town. Winter in Maine can be a challenge, but this weekend, the locals and visitors embrace the winter and the activities that can only take place in freezing conditions. Camden Maine is home to the only organized wooden toboggan race in the country. The residents take pride in this and many dedicate many hours to the success of this fundraiser for the Camden Snow Bowl. It is one of the small town events that kids grow up remembering fondly and brings families together year after year.

Please keep reading to learn more about this exciting event that brings people from all over world to a small town on the coast of Maine.

The Basics

The toboggan chute was originally built in 1936 and then rebuilt in 1954 and then again rebuilt in 1990. In 1990 the toboggan chute became known as the Jack Williams Toboggan Chute. The owner of the Camden Riverhouse Hotel, David Dickey, is credited with constructing a pulley system to dispense water over the chute to ice it down. Mr. Dickey is also credited with calling the race the nationals when he realized there was not other race like it.

-The chute is 400 ft long and 70 feet in elevation. People that ride the chute can get up to 40 miles an hour. The chute empties into the frozen Hosmer Pond. On good days the toboggan glides across the pond at record speeds, on not so good days (warm days), the chute becomes a flum and you get sprayed with the melted ice water.

The Toboggan Nationals used to be on the first weekend in February, but the committee soon realized that there was a conflict with Superbowl Sunday and moved it to the second weekend.

In 2020 Toboggan Nationals also hold the Worlds: Every five years the event of the Worlds is added to the agenda. First place winners in the 4-person division going back 29 years are eligible to compete in the Worlds in 2020. This is a one-run, winner takes all race.

The 3 Rules of the Races:

  1. This race is open to everyone. Anyone can enter and anyone can be the National Champion – no matter the age, ability, race or gender!
  2. The toboggan must be traditional shap, material and design to qualify.
  3. There are 2 person, 3 person and 4 person teams.

Click here to read all the FUNNY names of the teams 2020 Team Roster for Toboggan Nationals There are teams such as Slippery When Wet, Chute Me Know, Scotch on Ice, The Pink Flamingos, and Love at Frost Sight. 425 Teams will participate.

Details of TobogganVille

Spectators are allowed for free. There is public parking at the Camden Snow Bowl with a fee of $10 per car.  There is a shuttle bus that leaves from the village green in downtown of Camden Maine for a $5.00 per person fee.

There will be Food and drink vendors on site. There is a firepit and live music. Brick oven pizza, hot dogs and hot cocoa are popular items in Tobogganvlle. There is a beer tent for adults that want a beverage.

Saturday the fun begins and Sunday trophies are fun.

Yes – There is a Parade. On Saturday there is a costume contest and parade. The majority of teams dress up like Vikings, Ninjas, teddy bears, mermaids, you name it, it probably has been here.

There is a chili Challenge. In the Downtown of Camden Maine on Saturday Night 4:30 -6:30 the West Bay Rotary hosts the Chili CHallende at 16 BayView.

$10 for Adults, $7.00 Kids

There is a Snow Plow Parade! Friday at 6pm in downtown Camden Maine, a short walk from the Riverhouse properties.

The Camden Riverhouse will have the hot dog cooker, crockpots, fire pit and other fun activities going on all weekend. The races end on Sunday with a trophy ceremony at 3:00pm.

We hope to see you at the Toboggan Nationals This year or in years to come! If you can’t make it this year, put it on the calender for next year!