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Carthage Winterfest to feature sled races, scavenger hunts

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CARTHAGE — This year’s annual Winterfest sponsored by the Carthage Area Chamber of Commerce will bring back some favorite events and introduce something new. The 16th annual celebration of winter is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Carthage Park.

The popular cardboard sled races will be returning, along with judging of most creative sled.

Registration starts at 10 a.m. with judging at 11 a.m. just before race time. Preregistration is available by contacting the chamber. On all matters, the judges’ decision will final.

There will be five categories for the race with prizes awarded for each. The Family Class is a mix of adults and children from the same household. Junior Free Style is for middle school students. Pee Wee is for elementary pupils. Free Style is for high-schoolers, and Free Riders is for anyone older than 18. There is a maximum of five riders per sled.

Sleds are to be constructed only of cardboard, paper, tape and glue. No wood, metal, plastic or glass may be used.

All riders and sleds must be at the top of the hill for a pre-race inspection.

The Precious Pet Photo Contest and Scavenger Hunt also will be held again this year.

New this year will be an ice-bowling tournament starting at 1 p.m. With pins and balls of snow and ice, five frames of bowling will be played on lanes of snow. Four-member teams will consist of two youths 12 or younger and two adults 13 and older. Teams must register by noon, and team names will be drawn for lineup times.

Throughout the day there will be raffles, food, face painting, bake sales, products available from the American Maple Museum, balloon creations and magic by Daniel Tobin and a display by Reptiles Forever. Weather permitting, there also will be snowmobile rides. Raffle tickets at a cost of $1 each are available from any chamber member before the event as well that day. Drawings for more than $400 in merchandise and gift certificates will be held every 15 minutes. This year the raffle will include a flat-screen television.

“Winterfest is a wonderful chance for families and children of all ages to come out and enjoy the longest season of the year here in the north country,” chamber Executive Director Lori A. Borland said. “It’s an opportunity to have some down-to-earth old-fashioned fun.”

“We look forward to people coming from all around the area to experience the winter festival here in the Carthage area,” she said. “We hope that these folks will enjoy themselves enough to come back and participate in other events in our area, thus sparking the economy at the same time.”

Before Saturday’s events there will be a wine tasting from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday at Porter’s Wines & Liquors, 507 Alexandria St., with sampling of North Croghan Outpost items.

For more information or to announce an event to be held in conjunction with the weekend’s festivities, call the chamber at 493-3590.

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