Camden Winterfest is Feb. 1

Jan 18, 2014

Camden — Winterfest, Camden’s annual celebration of winter and community, returns to the Amphitheatre Saturday, Feb. 1, at noon. T

he centerpiece of Winterfest activity is the community ice carving. Community groups, individuals, schools, and businesses carve wondrous crystalline sculptures on the day of the celebration, using the traditional tools of the ice-carving artisan. Tim Pierce, Executive Chef and master ice-carver of the Samoset Resort, assists the carvers with their creations. Winterfest is presented by the Winterfest Committee and the Camden Public Library with support from The First.

This year the Winterfest activities will be expanded to make a week-long community festival. Winterfest will be on the first weekend, on Feb. 1, and Camden’s famous Toboggan National Championships will be on the following weekend, Feb. 7-9, to create “bookends” for Camden Winterfest Week. This year, for the first time, snow sculptures are planned for Camden in addition to the traditional ice sculptures, sponsored by the Camden Downtown Business Group and the PenBay Regional Chamber of Commerce.

The Snow Bowl is planning on providing a mini-mountain of snow in the Amphitheatre for family winter fun such as sledding and building snowmen Feb. 1. With or without natural snow, families are encouraged to come and play and enjoy Camden’s downtown public parks. Winter indoor crafts and face painting are offered free of charge to the younger set in the Picker Room of the Camden Public Library during Winterfest on Feb. 1. The warm rotunda of the library hosts live music by All That Jazz. Also on Atlantic Avenue, a merry band of culinary volunteers serve a variety of delicious hot soups and light snacks donated by local restaurants. Proceeds benefit the Camden Public Library.

Camden Parks & Rec Department will host “CamJam” activities in Harbor Park during the first weekend of Camden Winterfest Week. They will install rails in Harbor Park so that skiers and snowboarders can try out the downtown slope, and on Sunday, Feb. 2, trick skiing and snowboarding competition will be held in Harbor Park, sponsored by the Camden Snow Bowl. Finals will be held at the Snow Bowl on Friday, Feb. 7.

To finish out the week, the US National Toboggan Championships will run Feb. 7-9 at the Camden Snow Bowl. Races begin Friday and continue on Saturday and Sunday. Toboggan enthusiasts are encouraged to park in downtown Camden and take the shuttle bus out to the Snow Bowl.

Special events, in addition to the races themselves, include Friday’s “Down the Chute” Beer and Wine Tasting, the Chili Challenge on Saturday, the Costume Parade and contest at noon Saturday, and the USNTC Awards Ceremony at 3 p.m. Sunday.

For more information on Saturday’s Winterfest launch, visit librarycamden.org, and for more on the snow sculptures and downtown happenings camdenwinterfest.com. Toboggan Nationals information can be found at camdensnowbowl.com.

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