SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – A week’s worth of mild temperatures and snowmelt couldn’t put a damper on this year’s Springfield Winter Carnival. On Thursday, Feb. 7, the HB Energy crew built the wood up for a large bonfire by the frozen pond at Crown Point Country Club, and other local businesses Crown Point Excavation and Kelley Sales and Services worked on clearing paths and prepping the grounds for a weekend of family winter fun.
The festivities usually kick off on Friday night with a bonfire and nighttime skating on the frozen pond, but with high wind advisories through the night, Springfield Fire Department recommended that the bonfire be postponed until the next day. Even so, lights decked the sliding hill outside the country club, and inside Ben Fuller performed.
The bonfire would take place Saturday night at 5:30 p.m., an hour before the fireworks presented by Atlas Fireworks. In the meantime, there was plenty of fun to be had during the day. The skies were a clear blue, and even though the temperatures had dropped back down, a bright sun added an extra cushion of warmth. With the melting in the past few days, the snow on the golf course was a manageable trek even as many spots of the walking paths were covered in sheets of ice. But even the ice didn’t bother the younger participants who saw it as an opportunity to slide down the ice on their stomachs or backs.
All day, families enjoyed sledding, cross country skiing, and ice skating on the frozen pond outside. Inside the country club, kids could warm up with indoor activities including Troy Wunderle’s interactive Big Top Circus Adventures and face painting with Mona and Heidi. The face painting added a particularly festive touch when it came time for the annual Cardboard Sled Contest, a growing popular event of the winter carnival.
Each year, families build and decorate fantastic cardboard sleds. The children then take turns showing off their unique creations by riding them down the hill to see how far they can go.
This year there were 18 entries. There were all sorts of creations, from toboggans and cars to rocket ships to unicorns. Some of the cardboard sleds slid a couple yards before coming to a stop while others flew down the hill. One sled honoring the New England Patriots sixth Super Bowl win, in particular, flew farther than the rest of the competition before coming to a stop. The crowd cheered wildly for every competitor, and as the contest wrapped up, many of the participants continued to use their cardboard sleds for the rest of the afternoon.
Following the cardboard sled competition, eight kayak racers took their turn down the hill. The afternoon activities concluded with the promised bonfire at 5:30 p.m. and the fireworks following after. Heartfire performed inside to close out the weekend.
The Springfield Winter Carnival is an annual event – put on by the Springfield Parks and Recreation Department – that has participants of all ages praising its entertainment as “getting better every year.”