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Tuesday, January 31 2017

Winter Carnival is Almost Here!

Adapted From a Greenfield Recreation Department press release:

Winter Carnival returns for its 95th year this Friday, February 3rd, through Sunday, February 5th. Since its very beginnings, this event has brought the community together in celebration, in a time of year that can be long, cold, and dreary. This year is no exception, with an exciting, jam packed, Arctic Blast themed weekend of activities planned.

Festivities begin early on Friday morning, with live ice carvings taking place throughout downtown Greenfield all day. Ice sculptures will be displayed for the entire weekend, and illuminated at night, and people are encouraged to vote for their favorite using the ballot box on the town common.

The celebration continues with the 3rd Annual Parade of Lights at 6PM on Friday night. Illuminated vehicles will travel from Newton School to6 Beacon Field with displays that are sure to light up the night. Following the parade, a bonfire and fireworks display will take place at Beacon Field!

On Saturday, things kick off with the 4-mile Sleigh Bell Run! Participants will jingle their way through a scenic course that begins on Hope Street and winds through the Highland Park Area. If you want to enter, you can pre-register online, or at the Recreation Department or Town Hall, or on the day of at Hope & Olive Restaurant.

For those looking for some indoor fun on Saturday, don’t miss the Family Fun Fest. It features a Lego competition, live animal presentation, art exhibit, face painting, crafts, games, and a showing of Norm of the North. Popcorn, pizza, and drinks will also be available for purchase. Additional Saturday activities include basketball games, a cribbage tournament, and public ice skating.

Sunday's events start bright and early with Breakfast with Olaf at 8AM at the 99 Restaurant. This event is a fundraiser for Winter Carnival. Tickets are $6 per person, 10 and under $4, under 2 free. Tickets are available in advance or at the door.

The fun continues at Beacon Field, with 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, and ski & snowshoe Demos by Eastern Mountain Sports also take place, weather permitting. Horse drawn hay or sleigh rides, a community wide tug of war, a live DJ, ice bowling, broom ball, and a hockey match also add to the fun. Delicious treats will be enjoyed with the cookie bake-off, chili cook-off, marshmallow toasting, hot cocoa, and other warm offerings from the snack shack.

In addition, back for the 5th 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 for glory pulling appropriately sized empty kegs (for a Chihuahua, that’s a beer can, while mighty rotts or shepherds pull full sized kegs). Participants can register in advance or on the day of the event. All funds raised will benefit the Friends of the Paws Park.

Finally, the grand conclusion of Winter Carnival is the great cardboard sled race! The creativity is limitless, as just about anything goes, but all sleds must be made of cardboard. Prizes will be awarded in the youth and group categories for fastest, most creative, zaniest, and best crash. Adults can earn prizes for the fastest and most creative. Businesses are also encouraged to join in the fun with the Corporate Challenge, where a prize is awarded for best design. Overall prizes will also be awarded for best Arctic Blast theme and people’s choice. Visit the website below for the complete rules. An award ceremony, for all competitions held throughout the weekend, follows the race.

For a complete schedule of events and event map, please visit 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 more information about the festival, please call (413) 772-1553.

Winter Carnival is presented by the Greenfield Recreation Department and sponsored by Wormtown Trading, WHAI, BEAR Country, the Ninety Nine Restaurant, Safe Schools Safe Streets, Coldwell Baker, Massachusetts Cultural Council Festival Grant, the Hammond Family Silver Screen Design, The Recorder, Cohn & Co, FRTA, Eastern Mountain Sports, Dicks Sporting Goods, C&S Wholesale Grocers, D’Angelo Grilled Sandwiches, Design Alternative, Finn Insurance, Hope & Olive, Jim’s Tree Service, Shelburne Falls Coffee Roasters, the Franklin County Amateur Radio Club, Summit Ice, Olive Street Development, Greenfield Savings Bank, Adam & Eve, Swift Cleaners, Attorney David Singer, Garden Cinema, Green Fields Market/ Franklin Community Co-Op, and Ryan & Casey Liquors.