FORT KENT — For the first time ever since biathlon competition has come to Aroostook County, there will be an admission fee to the competitions of the IBU World Cup at Fort Kent and Presque Isle in February.

The Organizing Committees of both sites have set an admission fee of $5 per day for spectators over 18 years old. Those 18 and under, admission will be free.

Costs of organizing and putting on a World Cup were cited among the reasons for charging admission. Along with the competitions, Organizing Committees develop a weeklong festival for the World Cup. The Festival of Lights at Fort Kent has scores of activities downtown during the six days that the world class biathletes are in town.

The activities include programs highlighting the Acadian flavor of the St. John Valley including concerts, quilt shows, the construction of an ice castle, a parade, fireworks, parking areas, shuttle bus service to the site and open-ing and closing activities. These programs are held downtown, the Lions Pavilion at Riverside Park, at the 10th Mountain Center and on the University of Maine at Fort Kent campus.

The back-to-back World Cup Biathlon competitions, at Presque Isle, Feb 4-6 and at Fort Kent Feb. 10-13 will be the largest sports events ever held in Maine. Activities held in the two communities will be viewed worldwide by an estimated 120 million people watching television shows documented by five television networks from Europe.

“Each of these Organizing Committees have worked thousands of hours and spent thousands of dollars in prepar-ing for the activities,” said Dana Saucier, one of four event managers for the Fort Kent venue. “Each community can be proud of their work that will be displayed worldwide.

“For these two weeks, Fort Kent and Presque Isle will become a looking glass for the world,” he continued. “Our efforts will be broadcast into more than 80 million homes who will view what northern Maine is all about.”

Tickets for the competitions may be purchased at Millers Department Store at Fort Kent and the Forum in Presque Isle. They may also be purchased on-line for a price of $8 per day. To purchase tickets on-line go to Tickets will then be available at the venues each day. Tickets can also be purchased at the competition venues. Pre-purchase of tickets will save people time when arriving at the ven-ues.