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Colton town officials optimistic that Higley Flow damage will not affect Winterfest

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COLTON — An intense December ice storm, sporadic frigid temperatures and an overall inconsistent Mother Nature this winter aren’t stopping the town of Colton’s preparation for its upcoming annual Winterfest.

The annual festival begins its 16th edition Jan. 24 and concludes Jan. 26, with lots of old favorites and new and exciting activities on the agenda.

Every year, Winterfest activities support the Neighborhood Center serving Colton, Pierrepont and Parishville.

Among the events making their premiere in 2014 is the Passport to Winterfest.

“People who play the passport activity, if they get to at least eight of the events, they are eligible to win some awards. There are various gift cards up for grabs,” Tourism and Beautification Coordinator Ruth T. McWilliams said.

All players who get their passport sheets stamped by organizers for eight of the 12 participating events also will receive a candy bar to support the Colton-Pierrepont Central School senior class trip. Two gift cards will be awarded — one valued at $25 for those 16 and younger and the other worth $50.

Passport sheets are available Friday night and all day Saturday at the school and at Three Falls Antiques in South Colton throughout the weekend. The drawing for the winners will take place at the antique shop at 3 p.m. Sunday.

The Passport to Winterfest is only one new part of Winterfest this year.

“We have a couple of last-minute additions. The Wesleyan Church will sponsor a pizza sale during Friday’s basketball game. It will start right after school,” Ms. McWilliams said. “Also, a new activity is the Sunday morning breakfast being sponsored by a couple of classes in the school. That will take place on Sunday from 8 a.m. until noon.”

“There is going to be a snowmobile driving safety course at the school on Saturday for young kids,” committee Chairwoman Grace Hawley said. “There’s a lot of activities. I hope it’s going to be a good weekend weather-wise, because it will encourage people to come out and participate.”

Another new piece of the weekend is the town Broomball League-sponsored midseason tournament Saturday at the Pavilion in South Colton. The tournament starts at 10 a.m.

Higley Flow State Park was hit hard by the late December ice storm, but Ms. McWilliams said officials have been hard at work, and she is not expecting the closed location to alter Winterfest plans.

The festival schedule is available on the town website, www.townofcolton.com.

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