Annual Winter Carnival kicks off Friday


BRATTLEBORO -- Winter Storm Pax created delays for millions of travelers along the East Coast.

The storm, which dumped more than a foot snow on the region Thursday, caused headaches for the committee members who were trying to get the Harris Hill ski jump ready for Saturday.

And it forced cancellations of school days and events across Windham County.

But for the organizers of this year's Brattleboro Winter Carnival, the storm could not have come at a better time.

The 2014 Brattleboro Winter Carnival officially kicks off today, at 4:30 p.m. with the torch lighting at the Wells Fountain in downtown Brattleboro.

A scavenger hunt follows at 5 p.m. at the Gibson Aiken Center and on Saturday, Feb. 15, there is a full day of winter activities at Living Memorial Park from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

"The snow is very helpful," said Winter Carnival President Debbie Patrick. "Sometimes we have to cancel events because we have no snow, but that's not going to happen this year."

The 58th annual Brattleboro Winter Carnival runs all week, from Feb. 14 through Sunday, Feb. 23.

The event offers families activities every day, both indoors and outdoors.

Patrick said that while the carnival offers everything from dances and music for adults to family cooking classes to special daytime movies at the Latchis Theater, the event is a celebration of winter in Vermont and with more than two feet of snow on the ground there is all the more reason to celebrate.

"The whole idea began 58 years ago to give families something to do during vacation week," Patrick said. "We pride ourselves on keeping families together."

The winter carnival features all of the tried and true events, like the sleigh rides at Fairwinds Farm, which will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. Monday and Saturday, and The Princess Pageant, scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 23, at 3 p.m. at the BUHS auditorium.

Patrick first got involved with the Winter Carnival seven years ago and she has been helping organize the event ever since.

"The snow puts everyone in a good mood," she said. "The carnival started small and now it has grown to what we have today."

She said all the work and organizing comes together over the next 10 days with activities spread out across town and offering something for all ages.

This year organizers are starting an ice shanty decorating contest during the traditional ice fishing derby Saturday, Feb. 22, from 6 a.m. Through 3 p.m. on the Retreat Meadows.

This year's carnival will also have the first craft fair, which will be held during the pancake breakfast on Sunday, Feb. 16, from 8 to 11 a.m. at the Elks Home on Putney Road.

A full schedule can be found, here (, and for more information, call the hotline at 802-348-1956.

Howard Weiss-Tisman can be reached at 802-254-311, ext. 279 or at Follow Howard on Twitter @HowardReformer.


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