By ANDY GARDNER
MASSENA -- The Lake St. Lawrence Winter Chill gets underway Feb. 18 with a winter survival workshop and a ball in Massena.
It will continue through Feb. 26 with events in Massena, Louisville and Waddington, including a world-record attempt at making the most snowmen. a ball to kick off the week, firemen’s challenge games, and boot hockey.
The capstone event will be the St. Lawrence River Walleye Association’s Northern Pike Challenge, a two-day event where 1,000 anglers are anticipated.
They will give close to $20,000 in cash prizes and “thousands more in door prizes” on the first day of fishing, Feb. 26. The next day will be a 30-person fish-off. Twenty-three will be chosen at random and the other seven will be the top finishers from the previous day. Whoever catches the biggest fish takes a $3,000 prize, which is coming from the Town of Massena.
The weekend of the fishing derby will feature the majority of events, including hockey and broomball tournaments, fireworks, meals, a bonfire, live music and an antique snowmobile show and parade. Specific times and locations are at the end of this story.
Winter Chill organizers are hoping for better cooperation from the weather this year. Last year’s festivities were stymied by a week of unseasonably warm weather followed by the coldest weekend of the season with temperatures getting as low as -30 degrees.
The 2017 events start with the Winter Chill Ball Feb. 18 at The Club II, West Orvis Street, Massena. Nick and the Nice Guys will perform. They formed at St. Lawrence University 30 years ago and are now based in Rochester. There will be hors d’oeuvres and valet parking. Advance tickets will be available at the Quality Inn desk and Louisville town offices. A limited number of corporate tables will be sold at a discount rate.
On Feb. 19, local fire departments will square off in firematic-style games for the Firemen’s Challenge Winter Games hosted by Massena Fire Department at Alcoa Field at noon. Any department who wants to compete, local or not, can contact Tom Miller at 315-250-4168 for more information.
The Wounded Warrior sled hockey tournament will return Feb. 18 and 19. It will be in Louisville and Massena, weather-dependent.
“[Last year’s] teams were awesome, the guys were all awesome, they all want to come back this year,” Gagne said.
Also on Feb. 19, a group of people will once again attempt to set a world record for most snowmen built in one hour. People can arrive at noon at Massena High School. There will be food for sale from Italian Affair and a DJ.
Gagne said people can still add events to the schedule. Anyone interested can call 315-705-2181 or 315-212-7410, or look up Lake St. Lawrence Winter Chill on Facebook.
• Feb. 18: Snowy Survival, 1 p.m., Robert Moses State Park; Winter Chill Ball, The Club II, West Orvis Street, Massena, 8 p.m. to 1 a.m., tickets, more info: 315-705-2181.
• Feb. 19: World Record Attempt (Most Snowmen), noon, Massena Central School, DJ, refreshments to be served; First responders winter games, Alcoa Field, Massena, more info: Tom Miller 315-250-4168
• Feb. 21: “Pasta for People: A Night for Massena Minor Hockey”, Coach's Corner, Park Avenue, Massena, 5 p.m., more info: 315-769-2127
• Feb. 22: “Wing Thing” with live entertainment, Massena American Legion, East Orvis Street, 4 p.m.
• Feb. 23: Massena Music Showcase, 4 p.m., The Club, West Orvis Street, Massena; numerous local bands, easy listening through dinner time with style ramping up later on
• Feb. 24: First Responders Coed Hockey Tourney, Louisville Arena, 4 p.m.; contact: Dewey LaValley at 315-769-8206 or 315-250-6551
• Feb. 25: St. Lawrence River Walleye Assn. fishing derby, Waddington, Louisville, Massena, 4 a.m. to 2 p.m., more info: 315-705-2181, registration form: goo.gl/9XoV91; Massena Fire Department chicken barbeque, noon until sold out; Rock and skate, Massena arena, 7 to 9 p.m.; “License to Chill,” James Bond-themed menu at Amici’s Grill, Water Street, Massena, 5 p.m., entertainment by Big Poppa and Margarita Mike
• Feb. 25: 5k Fun Run, register at 8 a.m. at Louisville Arena, race at 9 a.m., more info: find Wendy Chapman on Facebook or call Louisville Arena 769-8206; Squirt Pond Hockey Tourney, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Louisville Arena, more info: 769-8206; Human foosball, 4 p.m., Louisville Arena, more info: 769-8206; co-ed three-on-three hockey, 4 to 9 p.m., Louisville Arena, more info: Dewey LaValley 769-8206 or 250-6551; booze and bonfire, Lousiville Arena, 4 to 9 p.m.; fireworks, 9 p.m., near Lousiville Arena.
• Feb. 26: SLRWA Assn. fish-off, Massena Intake, 7 to 11 a.m.; more info: 315-705-2181; Co-ed boot hockey, 10 a.m., Massena, more info or registration forms: Curt Wood 250-6588 or [email protected]; Redneck broomball, Waddington, 11 a.m., more info: Joe Howe 315-276-0197; antique snowmobile show and parade 10 a.m. followed by Ten Cent Green concert, 11 a.m. Waddington Arena; Family Snowshoe games, Massena Nature Center trails, 1 to 3 p.m.; antique snowmobile show and parade; pancake breakfast with Olaf from “Frozen,” Massena Moose Lodge, Ames Street, 8:30 a.m.