By LISA HOOVER
MASSENA -- This year’s Massena Winter Carnival organized by Greater Massena Chamber of Commerce will feature ice sculpting, a parade, fireworks, hockey competitions, “kids days,” a 5k walk, and a moonlight ski and snowshoe.
The carnival will run Jan. 16 to Jan. 26, with highlights to include a new geocaching event, wagon rides, lots of kid’s activities, and, if weather permits, some ice sculpting.
The opening ceremonies at the chamber office will include some “impressive ice sculptures,” according to chamber President Miriam Catapano.
The ice sculpting will be done by a company from Ithaca, who will carve the carnival logo and the logos of carnival sponsors, according to Penny Pullmain, associate director at the Greater Massena Chamber of Commerce.
An ice sculpting event will also be held at St. Lawrence Centre mall, unless the weather interferes. Mall planners “were going to do it last year, and then Mother Nature melted everything,” said Pullmain. “We hope it’s going to work, its just weather dependent.”
Pullmain said the horse drawn wagon rides are also somewhat subject to the weather. “If the weather turns nasty, we just can’t get them here.”
Most other events should continue regardless of weather, including the geocaching and snowshoeing events. Organizers “don’t even need a lot of snow for that,” Pullmain said.
The geocaching event is new to the carnival, and somewhat resembles a GPS-led scavenger hunt. “You have like a GPS unit and they give you coordinates, and you go find clues and stuff, and then you collect the clues and it’s kind of like a puzzle type thing,” explained Pullmain.
The geocaching event will be at the Nature Center, and trails will be open for snowshoeing and skiing if attendees don’t want to join the hunt.
Traditional favorites like the parade and fireworks will also return this year, along with the annual dinner for workers and sponsors. This year’s dinner will be at Violo’s. “We usually have a dinner that night,” said Pullmain. It’s “a time for all the people that have been working on it, we invite our sponsors.”
“It’s a chance to mix, mingle, and relax,” Pullmain said.
Another traditional favorite, the hockey tournament, is “totally full,” Pullmain said.
In addition, "for indoor fun, the Boys and Girls Club will hold a trivia night at the Elks Lodge,” Catapano said.
The chamber will also hold a tie-in photo contest for scenic views captured within 90 miles of Massena. All entries are due at the chamber office by Jan. 10. Residents can vote for their favorite photo, with all votes due by noon Jan. 23.
Prizes will be awarded to the top three in adults’ and children’s’ categories. Winners in the adult category will receive $100, $75 or $50. Winners in the children's category will receive gift certificates to the St. Lawrence Centre mall for $100, $75 or $50.
The new photo contest is proving popular, according to Pullmain.
A “snowshoe raffle,” in addition to the traditional 50/50 raffle, has also been added this year. The raffle will give away two packages of snowshoes, each containing one male, one female, and two youth pairs, Pullmain said.
For more information call the chamber office at 769-3525, stop in, or visit www.massenachamber.com.
The full schedule follows:
• Jan. 16 – Opening ceremonies, 16 Church St., 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., ice sculpting, music
• Jan. 17 and 18 – Massena Cup Hockey Tournament, Massena Arena
• Jan. 18 – Kids Day – Massena Community Center 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., crafts, magic show, games, wagon rides
• Jan. 18 – Moonlight ski and snowshoe – Nature Center – 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
• Jan. 18 – Boys & Girls Club – Trivia Night – Elks Lodge – 7 pm.
• Jan. 20 – Chamber office, 16 Church St., open until 8 p.m. – vote on photo contest
• Jan. 22 – Spaghetti dinner – Massena Rod & Gun Club – 4:30 – 7 p.m.
• Jan. 22 – Family skating night – Alcoa Field – 5:30 – 7 p.m.
• Jan. 24 – Winter Carnival Parade – downtown – 7 p.m.
• Jan. 24 – Winter Carnival Fireworks – Bushnell Field – 8 p.m.
• Jan. 24 – Jan. 26 – Snow Sculpting Competition – St. Lawrence Centre Mall Jan. 25 – 5k walk/run – Whalen Park – Registration 8:30 a.m.
• Jan. 25 – Events at NYPA Hawkins Point Visitors Center – 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
• Jan. 25 – Geocaching with Nature Center, Winter Carnival Market
• Jan. 25 – Senior Citizens spaghetti dinner 4:30 p.m., dance 6 p.m. – Massena Community Center
• Jan. 25 – Winter Carnival Chill Out – Violi’s Restaurant
• Jan. 26 – Events at NYPA Hawkins Point Visitors Center – 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
• Jan. 26 – Kids day – Crafts, magic, games, wagon rides, geocaching with Nature Center
• Jan. 26 – Closing ceremony – 3 p.m., drawing for 50/50 raffle, snowshow raffle