Whistler-Blackcomb in partnership with the Whistler Resort Association, will play host to top competitive skiers and snowboarders from all over the world at Whistler’s fourth annual World Ski and Snowboard Festival, April 9-18. With more than 2,500 participating athletes, 50 live bands and 28 events, the World Ski and Snowboard Festival continues its reign as North America’s largest winter sports event. Some key events on the mountains include the North American Kokanee BoarderCross Championships, the Westbeach Classic Halfpipe Jam, the Westbeach Invitational Big Air, the International Freeskiing Challenge and the Air Canada Whistler Cup International Ski Races. "Only the World Ski and Snowboard Festival can boast about such a diversified lineup of ski and snowboard competitions," says Doug Perry, managing director of the festival. "The World Ski and Snowboard Festival has made Whistler Resort the place to be in April. All other mountain resorts in North America and Europe are winding down just as Whistler is gearing up for the most action-packed 10 days of the season." The festival has something to entertain everyone. On the lighter side, the second annual Whistler Dog Parade, the inaugural Monster Challenge, the Lifty Olympics and the Ski Patrol Challenge are more entertaining than competitive. The 1999 festival schedule also includes the second annual Fuji International Pro Photographer Showdown and the new 24 Hours of Whistler Photo Contest. Other World Ski and Snowboard Festival featured events are the Seaboard Life Podborski DV8 for Easter Seals, the North American Airline Ski Federation Cup, and the Salomon 1080 Challenge. In addition, 45 industry suppliers are expected for the Super Demo Days on each weekend. "Whistler’s nightlife is world-renowned," says Perry. "But during the World Ski and Snowboard Festival we take it up another notch." A major music festival will feature 10 days of free live outdoor concerts in Whistler Village. Stellar night life includes Whistler’s Biggest Rave, the Moving Pictures Canadian Film Festival, the second annual Whistler Town Party, the Kokanee Rock and Ride and the much anticipated world premiere of Radical Film’s new mountain bike movie Kranked II.