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Despite warmer weather, outdoor Snowtown events still canceled

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Warmer weather may have embraced the north country after several days of sub-zero temperatures, but it was not enough to save some outdoor Snowtown USA events this weekend.

A Red and Black snow football game scheduled for Saturday was canceled, as was an outdoor co-ed hockey game and a weekend snow softball tournament.

“Where you would play it’s pure ice. So the issue is still weather conditions. There’s six inches of ice on the fields,” said Lynn M. Pietroski, CEO of the Greater Watertown-North Country Chamber of Commerce.

A cake wars competition was also canceled Saturday after organizers were under the impression that there was not a lot of interest in the event.

According to Ms. Pietroski, some activities have been postponed until the end of this month, like those planned for Thursday in Thompson Park. Those included horse-drawn carriage rides, skijoring demonstrations, a snowshoe tour and dog sled rides.

But she insisted the challenges have not been as difficult as they sound.

“We knew going into it that we were going to have to be flexible. For the most part the community has understood some cancellations or postponements are largely out of our control,” Ms. Pietroski said, adding, “I think one of the major positives is the community. We have many organizations involved in this. It’s not a chamber event, but a community event ... For all of the events we have hosted, attendance has been great.”

One of the reasons Snowtown USA was on a 16-year hiatus was because of the potential of unfavorable weather conditions.

It may be too early to determine what worked and what did not in the festival’s first year back, but Snowtown USA committee members intend to meet in the coming week to discuss that.

In the meantime, there’s one final day planned for the event that celebrates winter in the north country.

Today’s schedule will include a character breakfast from 9 a.m. to noon at Maggie’s on the River, 500 Newell St. Volunteers will dress as superheroes, a princess, an otter and in other costumes and take photos with attendees. Admission is $5 for adults and free to children ages 10 and younger.

The Wounded Warrior Ice Hockey tournament will continue with games at 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. at the Municipal Ice Arena.

The Italian-American Civic Association, 192 Bellew Ave., will host a Bocce Ball tournament from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. A mismatch public skating will be held at the ice arena from 1:15 to 2:45 p.m.

The day will conclude with closing ceremonies at Dry Hill Ski Area, 23682 County Route 67. The ceremony will begin at dusk with a group of skiers making their way down the hill with torches. Fireworks will follow the ceremony.

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