Hundreds warm up to fun and games at 97th Winter Carnival

  • Slash Dahlstrom-Hakki, from left, Marc Guillaume and Skylar Guillaume, 12, work on building a snow castle during the 97th annual Winter Carnival at Beacon Field in Greenfield. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • Hugo Taggert, 9, front, shovels snow for the snow castle being built during the 97th annual Winter Carnival at Beacon Field in Greenfield. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • Sledders gather on the hill at Beacon Field during the 97th annual Winter Carnival in Greenfield. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • Sleigh rides pulled by Bernese Mountain Dogs were available to attendees of the 97th annual Winter Carnival at Beacon Field in Greenfield. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • Tina Lacroix, front, gives a ride on an antique Sno-Prince snowmobile to Maya, 3, and Kaylee Fernette, 9, during the 97th annual Winter Carnival at Beacon Field in Greenfield. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • Sophie O’Brien, 10, holds up her snowy owl cardboard sled during the 97th annual Winter Carnival at Beacon Field in Greenfield. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • Andrew Quintana, 4, sleds down the hill in his cardboard snowmobile during the 97th annual Winter Carnival at Beacon Field in Greenfield. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • Sylvia Guillaume, 10, slides across the finish line in a cardboard frog pond sled with a first place time of 11 seconds during the 97th annual Winter Carnival at Beacon Field in Greenfield. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • Sora Bullock, 12, and Quill Bullock, 4, sled down the hill in their cardboard polar bear king sled during the 97th annual Winter Carnival at Beacon Field in Greenfield. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • Skylar Guillaume,12, sleds down in a cardboard potted forest sled during the 97th annual Winter Carnival at Beacon Field in Greenfield. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • Attendees paid $2 to sample each of the five chilis entered by local businesses into the chili cook-off at the 97th annual Greenfield Winter Carnival at Beacon Field on Sunday. Staff Photo/Melina Bourdeau

Staff Writer
Published: 2/4/2019 7:25:11 AM

GREENFIELD – With temperatures in the 30s after a week of Arctic deep freeze, hundreds of people gathered outside at Beacon Field Sunday to try chili, race cardboard sleds or to ride in a horse-drawn sleigh – just some of the highlights of the 97th annual Winter Carnival.

The warmer temperature on the last day of the three-day festival didn’t melt any snow and a layer of ice under the most recent fluffy snow allowed children on sleds and toboggans to speed down the sledding hill.

City Recreation  Director Christy Moore said Sunday was the warmest of the three days, making it tolerable for people to stay outside all day.

“It’s a wonderful turnout,” Moore said. “It’s great to see all of the people and their dogs here. We even had snow sculptures this year, which we weren’t able to have for the past couple years.”

Sled contest

One of the most popular events of the day was the cardboard sled contest. Each sled had to be made with 100 percent cardboard – no wood or plastic permitted on the bottoms.

Parents could help make sleds and even push a stuck sled down the hill.

This year’s entries, like a polar bear with a crown and a pirate ship, were creative, but they were also fast.

The fastest sled in the youth group was Silvia Guillaume in her frog pond sled, making it down Beacon Hill in 11 seconds. Only a second later, the fastest sled of all ages was the Caron family and their sled called “What does the box say?”

Chili contest

This year there were five entries into the chili contest from local businesses: Bonnie B’s Country Kitchen, Hope and Olive, Brad’s Place, Green Fields Market and Taylor’s Tavern.

Kara Peters of Greenfield said the competition brings her to the carnival every year.

“It’s one of my favorite things,” Peters said. “The cook-off is delicious. Chili warms you while you’re outside. I really liked the first one – it’s tangy and smoky. I especially like the bacon in it.”

Paula Davitt of Ware gave a flavor breakdown for each of the five entries.

“The first one is mostly meat, there are no beans. The second includes pulled pork and it’s sweet, it’s different,” Davitt said. “The third was more traditional and the fourth one was spicy. The fifth one was good too, but not as spicy.”

The winner of the competition was Hope and Olive, which was the first entry.

Other activities

While some attendees had clear reasons for going to the carnival, others couldn’t decide on their favorite event.

Andrea Dennett of Greenfield said she’s been going to the carnival for over 30 years.

“It’s a lot of fun. I love the community spirit here,” Dennett said. “You run into everyone you know when you’re here. It’s been going on for 97 years, it must be something about it. This year my granddaughter also had a sled in the cardboard sled race.”

Eleven-year-old Greenfield resident Nate Johnston said he rated the carnival a “10 out of 10.”

“It’s just a lot of fun,” Johnston said. “I get to see my friends and there are a lot of activities to do. I really enjoyed the fat bike demos and the snowmobiles.”

Christine Luiggi, a Greenfield resident, attended the carnival for the first time on Sunday.

“I heard it was great,” Luiggi said. “We’re new to the area. It was well attended. I especially like that it’s a celebration of the winter and the cold weather.”


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