Canton Winterfest begins Friday with wine tasting, continues all week
Tuesday, February 5, 2013 - 11:03 am

By LISA HOOVER

CANTON -- Everyone from golfers and runners to wine aficionados and artists will find something to enjoy at Canton’s Winterfest this year.

Winterfest will run for over a week again this season. Highlights will include wine tastings, a Frozen Foote race, chain saw carving, church concerts, Polar Bear Golf and the Grasse River Players performance of “The Philadelphia Story.”

A complete, detailed Winterfest schedule can be found in a special tabloid in this week’s edition of North Country This Week and in our calendar section.

Winterest is a good way for local shops to attract people, according to Sally Hill, executive director of the Canton Chamber of Commerce. “It’s just a fun time,” she said.

Hill said that everyone attending Winterfest should buy a $2 Winterfest button for the chance to earn a prize. Most of the events “don’t cost anything,” she explained. “The buttons pay for almost everything.”

New events this year will include make your own jewelry sessions, a beanbag toss, a Shakespeare reading, a vegetarian sushi class and chicken and spaghetti dinners, according to Hill.

While the weather may impact a few Winterfest events, most will go on regardless, Hill said. It “doesn’t look like the snow sculptures are going to look good,” she said, and SUNY Canton sledding might not be able to take place. Other events will continue with or without snow.

This includes a Monday, Feb. 11 tour of Canton’s churches with bagpiper Frank Colber. “The colder it is the eerier it sounds,” Hill said. In the past even below zero temperatures haven’t dampened enthusiasm for the event, with a “good 50 people following him,” Hill continued. The event is a popular one, she said. “Little kids that can barely walk are standing in the aisles dancing.”

The sports-enthusiasts may wish to check out public skating and hockey, a winter pool tournament, the Frozen Foote race, Polar Bear Golf and various high school and college games.

The four-mile Frozen Foote race will be Saturday, Feb. 9 at St. Lawrence University, with registration at 9:30 a.m. for $2. Registration is free with a Winterfest button.

The Polar Bear Golf nine-hole, par-three tournament will take place at St. Lawrence University’s Golf & Country Club and Best Western University Inn Thursday, Feb. 14. Food, drinks, contests, prizes and back massages will be included. For dinner and golf the fee will be $40. Golf or dinner alone will be $25. For more information contact Mackenzie Taylor at 386-1156.

Snow sculptures may appear on the corner of W. Main and Gouvneruer Streets and at other downtown locations, if the weather cooperates. Anyone may take part in the sculpting throughout Winterfest by contacting Elaine White at ewhite@stlawu.edu or 339-5311.

The Zonta Club will host a “Local Wine Tasting” at Dave’s Upstairs Banquet Room, 37 Main St., from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 8. Try wines produced locally and enjoy music by Ed McCarthy or grab a bottle to bring home. A live auction for gift baskets will be held at 7 p.m. and Zonta will have Valentine’s gifts for sale.

Wine tastings will also be held at Bessette’s Wine and Liquor and Ye Old Liquor during Winterfest.

North Country artists will be taking part in Winterfest as well, with a TAUNY exhibit and the St. Lawrence County Art’s Council’s Transition Gala. The exhibit will feature work by local artisans Saturday, Feb. 9 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Transition Gala will also be Feb. 9 and will run from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Crary Mills Grange Hall. Minor Swing and North Bound will provide music for dancing, and dinner and a silent auction will also take place. A $20 donation is suggested.

A chainsaw carving by Terry McKendree will be Feb. 15 at Coakley’s Carpet One-Ace Hardware from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Grasse River Players will show the 1939 Broadway hit “The Philadelphia Story” Thursday, Feb. 14 through Saturday, Feb. 16 at 7:30 p.m. The play will be held at the Miles Theatre, Griffiths Arts Center, St. Lawrence University. Tickets will be $8, free for SLU students.

Many other events will take place throughout Winterfest, so check our tabloid or calendar for a complete listing. For more information contact the Canton Chamber of Commerce at 386-8255 or cantoncc@northnet.org.