Greenfield Winter Carnival begins Friday

  • Girls from Girl Scout troop 64792 compete in the cardboard sled contest during last year’s annual Winter Carnival at Beacon Field in Greenfield. STAFF FILE PHOTO

Staff Report
Published: 1/29/2019 11:29:49 AM

GREENFIELD — The Winter Carnival will return on Friday with the Parade of Lights and ice carvings throughout the downtown.

In it’s 97th year, this year’s theme is “Winter’s Majesty.” The carnival runs through Sunday, and is filled with plenty of activities.

This year, the celebration kicks off on Friday with live ice sculptures throughout the downtown that will be displayed all weekend long — and beyond. People are encouraged to vote for their favorite on the Town Common at the ballot box. The sculptures will be illuminated in the evening. 

There will also be an “official” torch lighting on the Common at 4 p.m. on Friday, followed by a performance by MEGAdance at 5:30 p.m. and the 5th annual Parade of Lights at 6 p.m. During the Parade of lights, illuminated vehicles will travel from Newton School to Beacon Field with displays sure to light up the night. Parade entries are required.

Following the parade, a warming fire and fireworks will take place at Beacon Field, and the festivities will continue with a Winter Carnival Ball at Hawks & Reed featuring TapRoots and Wurliday. Other activities on Friday include the Amateur Photography Contest, Winter Carnival Instagram Scavenger Hunt and a Hot Chocolate and Board Game Social at the library.

On Saturday, the day begins with the four-mile Sleigh Bell Run. Participants jingle their way through the scenic course that begins on Hope Street and winds through the Highland Park area. Participants can register online or at the Recreation Department, as well as on the day of the race at Hope & Olive Restaurant.

For those looking for some indoor fun on Saturday, don’t miss the Family Fun Fest, featuring a performance by world-renowned Alex the Jester, who has appeared on Showtime and America’s Got Talent. Family Fest will also feature an art exhibit, face painting, crafts and board games with Greenfield Games. Popcorn and drinks will be available for purchase. Additional Saturday activities include basketball games, Fatbike Group Ride, a cribbage tournament and the big Saturday Jamboree at Hawks and Reed.

On Sunday, events start at 8 a.m. with Breakfast with Olaf at the Ninety-Nine Restaurant. This event is a fundraiser for Winter Carnival. Tickets are $6 for adults, $4 for children age 10 and under, and free for children under age 2. Tickets are available in advance or at the door.

Sunday’s events continue at Beacon Field for an afternoon full of outdoor fun. Sledding down Beacon Hill, ice skating on the outdoor ice rink and building snowmen are all winter and festival favorites. A snow sculpture contest, Fatbike Demos by Bicycle World and snowshoe demonstrations by Eastern Mountain Sports will also take place, weather permitting. Horse-drawn hay or sleigh rides, community-wide tug-of-war, a live DJ, ice bowling, broom ball and a hockey match will add to the fun. Treats are enjoyed with the cookie bake-off, chili cook-off, marshmallow toasting, hot cocoa and other warm offerings from the snack shack.

Beacon Field will also host a Vintage Snowmobile Show sponsored by the Snowmobile Association of Massachusetts. Stop by and relive snowmobiling in its infancy, while listening to stories of how it used to be. Spectators will also be able to cast a vote for their favorite snowmobile.

Back for the seventh year, by popular demand, is the K-9 Keg Pull. Participants run, dance or do whatever it takes to urge their dogs across the finish line. Dogs will sprint, pulling appropriately sized kegs — for a Chihuahua, that’s a beer can, while larger breeds pull full-size kegs (all empty, of course). Register in advance or the day of the pull. All proceeds benefit Friends of the Paws Park.

The conclusion of the events is the great cardboard sled race. The creativity is limitless, as just about anything goes. All sleds must be made of cardboard. Prizes are awarded in the youth and group categories for fastest, most creative, zaniest and best crash. Adults earn prizes for the fastest and most creative. Businesses are also encouraged to join the fun in the Corporate Challenge, where a prize is awarded for best design. An overall People’s Choice prize is awarded based on votes by the public. Award ceremony follows the race for all competitions held throughout the weekend.

While most events are free, some activities do include a fee or suggested donation. Fee information as well as registration forms for specific activities are available on the website. For a complete schedule of events, an event map, rules for various contests, registration forms and more,  call 413-772-1553 or visit: www.greenfieldrecreation.com/wintercarnival


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