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Canton community celebrates winter with sculptures, demonstrations, treats

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CANTON — A war canoe captained by a Golden Bear has run ashore in the middle of the village park.

The snow sculpture was a shared effort by the Grasse River Heritage Area Development Corp. and the Canton Canoe Weekend committee, whose members braced the cold Saturday morning to work on their project.

“We just wanted to participate in Winterfest,” said Linda L. Fay, a member of Grasse River Heritage. “We wanted one bear on the canoe because it’s a symbol of Canton sports and Canton High School.”

Sitting behind the bear in the canoe are three people, the last of whom will be a replica of Kerry Newell, Canton.

“Kerry’s the Canton canoer who owned a war canoe for many, many years and has taken many groups of 12 to 15 people out on it at a time,” Mrs. Fay said.

The village engineer and crew gathered snow from the park and roads and dumped it into a narrow heap toward the front of the park, according to Mrs. Fay.

“The Canton village board members and the mayor will also be doing a snow sculpture,” she said. “We don’t know what they’re doing because it’s supposed to be a secret.”

Mrs. Fay and her nine-member sculpting crew were not the only ones taking advantage of Saturday’s sunshine to celebrate day three of Winterfest by sculpting.

Terry L. McKendree, Old DeKalb, demonstrated his chain saw carvings outside of Coakley’s Carpet One Ace Hardware, 2535 Route 68.

Using a chain saw, finishing tools and torches, Mr. McKendree showed off his seven years of experience with large white-pine animal carvings, including a bear hockey goalie, a German shepherd and a penguin.

“We certainly have a lot of things that are unique to this area, and it’s fun to get out and enjoy them in the middle of the winter after being cooped up for a while,” Mr. McKendree said.

The Little River School, 1227 County Route 25, participated in Winterfest with a festival of its own Saturday.

After sledding, snow castle building and igloo making, families and children enjoyed snacks, cider, music and crafts indoors as they warmed up.

“It’s a fun gathering for us and the kids and is really just to celebrate winter and to have a lot of fun,” said Steven A. Molnar, director of the school.

The St. Lawrence County Historical Association celebrated winter indoors with its Second Saturday Series for children ages 4 to 10.

“We’re focusing on the winter theme, so we had a story about a snowman and the kids will be building 3D snowflakes,” said J. Susanne Longshore, interim executive director. “They’re also going to have wax on snow, which is basically heating up maple syrup and pouring it over snow. It’s an old-fashioned treat.”

Traditional Arts in Upstate New York, 53 Main St., joined in the Winterfest activities by opening an exhibit called “Life on a North Country Dairy Farm.”

The exhibit was a research project coordinated by Hannah S. Harvester, the exhibit curator.

“TAUNY’s done a lot of research and documentation of different traditions in the region,” she said. “We’ve done some research into agriculture, but it was sort of underrepresented in our archive of the research that we’ve done.”

Ms. Harvester said she and other researchers reached out to farmers all over the north country and interviewed them, their families and employees about their lives and occupations.

Ms. Harvester said professional photographer Martha Cooper, New York City, went with her to 10 different farms to shoot photos to accompany the research, which is now all on display in themed sections.

Winterfest will continue with different events each day through Saturday .


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