Crumpin Fox starts winter festival tradition

  • Giant slingshots with wooden snowmen as targets were set up on a fairway for Crumpin Fox's Winter Festival this weekend. STAFF PHOTO/MAX MARCUS

Staff Writer
Published: 2/23/2020 5:15:11 PM

BERNARDSTON — Crumpin Fox golf club held its first-ever Winter Festival this weekend, a three-day program of music, shows, fireworks and games geared toward the local community.

Club managers expect to turn this into a yearly event, and are already discussing plans for a summer festival and a fall festival this year.

Events like these are part of a broader strategy of expanding the club’s activities, especially in the winter months, said Crumpin Fox General Manager Brian Gehan.

In the past, when golf season ended, Crumpin Fox would completely shut down, including its restaurant, Zeke’s Bar and Grill. This began to change last year, when the club set up an indoor golf simulator in the restaurant space. It proved to be very popular, Gehan said. This year, Zeke’s Bar and Grill has stayed open, and the outdoor pavilion was fitted with temporary wooden walls to house the golf simulator.

The Winter Festival was Cumpin Fox’s first experiment in opening the rest of the club for programmed activities in the winter. Starting Friday afternoon, the festival featured live music, laser light shows at night, a fireworks show Saturday night, live ice sculpture carving and games.

At its peak on Saturday night, attendance was estimated to be 400, Gehan said. The festival re-opened Sunday afternoon, but by then the weather had changed, with temperatures reaching 50 degrees, and attendance had slowed down.

“We’re very happy with the turnout,” Gehan said on Sunday. “Anything today is a bonus, even though the sculptures are taking a beating.”

During golf season, Crumpin Fox Club draws membership from as far as Springfield, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Vermont. It is also seen as a destination golf course, and can attract players from different parts of the country, Gehan said.

But the Winter Festival was envisioned as an event for the local community, he said. The club did not charge admission, and advertised through social media. Financial and logistical support came from Sandri Energy, which owns Crumpin Fox; Summit Ice, an ice manufacturer in Greenfield who provided the ice sculptures; and the Bernardston Fire Department, which helped with bonfires at night, Gehan said.

For future events, Gehan said that club managers are interested in hosting similar festivals this summer and fall, and will begin solidifying their plans this week.

“You’ll definitely see more of this,” Gehan said. “We just have to figure out what we want to do.”

Reach Max Marcus at or 413-930-4231.

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