Canton Winterfest kicks off Feb. 8; nine-day event to feature wine tasting, snow sculptures, sled races and more
By ADAM ATKINSON
CANTON – Singing Valentines, raffle drawings, johnny cake, skating, pool, sled races, snow sculpture, vegetarian sushi, cross country skiing, prizes and wine tasting are just some of the events slated for Canton’s 26th Annual Winterfest.
The event begins Thursday, Feb. 8, with the Canton Chamber of Commerce’s annual Celebration Dinner, and continues for nine days after.With the kickoff closing in, Chamber Director Allison Bauer was busy Friday with the details of all of the various parts which make the festival the Chamber’s biggest annual event.
“I’m excited for it to finally be here,” said Bauer. The new director was hired late last year to take over from retiring chamber director Sally Hill. Hill left in December, but not before working with Bauer the last few weeks on putting the festival together. Bauer credited Hill’s guidance and training in the last weeks prior to her departure.
“It was helpful for my first time. And, nice to have those guidelines,” said Bauer.
The new director said the most difficult part of getting all of the proverbial ducks in a row with Winterfest might be the coordination of all of the volunteers, businesses and organizations that are involved.
“Definitely a lot more goes into it than I ever imagined,” Bauer said. The new director said getting things together prior to the chamber dinner on Thursday is a little “nerve-wracking,” but after the kickoff she expects the festival to go smoothly.
Bauer said the biggest addition to the Winterfest lineup this year is the Winter Olympics organized by Canton Recreation Department Director Caitlin Boreyko. The three events for the Olympics include a “build your own sled” race, snow sculpture competition and a cross-country ski race.
“It seemed to be what was lacking last year,” said the new director. Bauer said while not everyone likes cold weather, outdoor activities should be a big part of what Winterfest is about, and winter-themed events staged outdoor may help attendees “get away from cabin fever.”
“I’m definitely looking forward to it. It’s gotten a lot of positive comments so far,” said Bauer. She hopes to include the Olympics again next year, and perhaps with more events.
Other Winterfest activities this year include the annual FFA Indoor Garage Sale and Craft Fair, a screening by Gardenshare of the movie “WASTED: The Story of Food Waste” and Little River School’s 16th annual Winterfest event held at the school, south of the village. Little River will stage snow castle building, sledding, miniature donkey petting, live music, and tarot reading among other activities.
The Canton Winterfest will again feature its Winterfest Button prize giveaway. More than $1,000 in prizes from various businesses will be awarded from among those who buy a button, including the grand prize overnight getaway to Lake Placid.
Winterfest buttons can be purchased at Canton Senior Citizens, Canton VFW, Coakley Ace Hardware, Community Bank, Dr. Curt Ross’ office, Kinney Durgs, Midtown Hair Design, Mountain Mart, the municipal building, Nature’s Storehouse, Rex Hardware, North Country Savings Bank, Gray & Gray and Associates, NBT Bank, Riverside Liquors, SeaComm, Sylvia’s Lounge, The Pear Tree and White’s Flowers.
For more about Canton Winterfest, including a detailed schedule of events, see the special publication included in this week’s North Country This Week and the St. Lawrence County Plaindealer.
Individual Winterfest events will also be included in the seven-day event schedule on NorthCountryNow.com.