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Weather cooperates to draw large crowd for Carthage Winterfest


CARTHAGE — The weather cooperated to have “perfect weather” and a “beautiful day” Saturday for the Carthage Area Chamber of Commerce’s 16th annual Winterfest, according to chamber Executive Director Lori A. Borland.

“There was a great turnout for family fun,” Ms. Borland said. She estimated that up to 200 people attended throughout the day.

The highlight of the day’s events was the cardboard sled judging and race.

Out of 37 entries, the plaque for most creative went to “Sissy and Me,” created by Kaylee L. Sixberry, Natalie L. Strough and Autumn N.A. Lauber with help from Autumn’s father, Kyle Gill. The race car cardboard sled was a replica of Mr. Gill’s race car. This was the first time the girls entered the sled race and they placed third in the family division, which was won by the Wests.

Sled designs ranged from a plain cardboard box to elaborate recreations of cars, snowmobiles, buses, airplanes and ships. There was even a heart-shaped sled in honor of Valentine’s Day.

Onboard the SS Covey, Logan C. and Kira R. Covey sailed into first place in the PeeWee division, which was the most competitive with 17 entries. With help from their father, the siblings tweaked their entry from last year and came up with a sled that was the only one to slide to the end of the course. Mr. Covey credited the smooth, flat bottom of the sled for the win.

A returning competitor, Michael Clary, won the adult freestyle division with his “simply tape” entry. The posterboard covered with three layers of tape resembled the thin plastic sleds that Mr. Clary recalled using in his youth. He has entered the sled contest almost every year of the Winterfest.

The sledding hill continued to be the main attraction even after the cardboard-sled race awards ceremony was over.

However, other displays and events were still popular.

Outdoors, the Missing Link Snowmobile Club provided snowmobile rides; horse-drawn sleigh rides also were offered.

“I enjoy doing it,” snowmobile club member Wayne B. Gillette said. “The kids like it and some have never been on a sled before.”

Floridian Matthew S. Burnette and daughters Madison A. and Elizabeth M. took their first snowmobile ride and said it was “really fun.”

This was the first time Junior ROTC members Yoseiby K. Mejia, Allie Rios, Sean A. Michael and Caelan W. Gold attended the winter outing.

“We came to help but to catch some fun, too,” Yoseiby said.

“It’s a great opportunity to get outside,” Allie said.

“It’s a great opportunity to take advantage of the great weather,” Caelan added.

Snow bowling was introduced at this year’s Winterfest. The outside bowling lane used bottled water for pins and coconuts for balls. Although it did not garner much participation, chamber President Teri L. Ellis said it will remain on the lineup for next year. Five children participated in the tournament, with Anna E. Sibley, 9, Watertown, winning the event.

Indoors, participants could handle snakes and other exotic creatures at the Reptile Forever display, have their face painted, grab a bite to eat, sample maple floss or win a variety of prizes. The top prize in the chamber raffle was a 32-inch Toshiba television won by Barbara Williams. Northern Credit Union sponsored a scavenger hunt through which Becky Steine won a pass to Enchanted Forest Water Safari in Old Forge.

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