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Snowmaking under way for Winterfest in Amherst

  • A snow machine makes snow for Winter Fest at Cherry Hill Golf Course in Amherst on February 5, 2013. The annual Winter Fest celebration will be taking place on Saturday and there is no natural snow on the ground.<br/><br/>SARAH CROSBY

    A snow machine makes snow for Winter Fest at Cherry Hill Golf Course in Amherst on February 5, 2013. The annual Winter Fest celebration will be taking place on Saturday and there is no natural snow on the ground.

    SARAH CROSBY Purchase photo reprints »

  • A snow machine makes snow for Winter Fest at Cherry Hill Golf Course in Amherst on February 5, 2013. The annual Winter Fest celebration will be taking place on Saturday and there is no natural snow on the ground.<br/><br/>SARAH CROSBY

    A snow machine makes snow for Winter Fest at Cherry Hill Golf Course in Amherst on February 5, 2013. The annual Winter Fest celebration will be taking place on Saturday and there is no natural snow on the ground.

    SARAH CROSBY Purchase photo reprints »

  • A snow machine makes snow for Winter Fest at Cherry Hill Golf Course in Amherst on February 5, 2013. The annual Winter Fest celebration will be taking place on Saturday and there is no natural snow on the ground.<br/><br/>SARAH CROSBY
  • A snow machine makes snow for Winter Fest at Cherry Hill Golf Course in Amherst on February 5, 2013. The annual Winter Fest celebration will be taking place on Saturday and there is no natural snow on the ground.<br/><br/>SARAH CROSBY

Organizers from Leisure Services and Supplemental Education and Friends of Amherst Recreation say they have a day filled with fun, family-friendly outdoor events, including some new offerings this year.

The sixth annual event opens at 1 p.m. and ends at 6:30 p.m. at the 423 Montague Road site. Organizers from Leisure Services and Supplemental Education and Friends of Amherst Recreation have events scheduled to keep people busy throughout the day.

One of the new activities, the “Best in Snow” dog show, begins at 3:15 p.m., where people and their pets will compete in several categories, including the best tail-wagger, most clever dog trick, best smile and best dog and owner look-alike, before an award is given to the top dog.

The dog show idea came from Claudia Pazmany, president of the Friends, who wanted to add what she calls a “fun twist” to the event for pet lovers who consider dogs part of their families.

Another new event is a group Zumbafest at 5 p.m. And a mascot named Flaky the Snowman is being unveiled, and he will be joined by the Very Hungry Caterpillar from Eric Carle’s popular children’s book.

Mostly, though, it will be return to favorites at Winterfest. The Cardboard Classic has people racing their own cardboard creations down a hill 4:15 p.m. Cherry Hill General Manager Barbara Bilz said two sleds she has already seen are a castle and a dragon.

Also, children can bring their own sleds to ride down the “superpipe” sledding hill until dusk. At 2 p.m., they will be able to build snow sculptures.

A chili cookoff from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. features competing entries from Amherst Brewing Company, Atkins Farms Country Market, Chandler’s Restaurant, The Black Sheep Deli and The Harp.

Performances by the Pineapple Dance Electric Boys and Wildcat O’Halloran, contests such as closest to the pin and Frisbee long toss at 2 and 3 p.m., doughnut eating sponsored by Atkins Farms Country Market at 5 p.m. and activities like wagon rides by Muddy Brook Farm from 1 to 3 p.m. and face painting from 3 to 5 p.m. round out the event.

Bilz said Winterfest helps show off the town-owned Cherry Hill Golf Course. “It’s a way for more of the community to experience this beautiful piece of property they own,” Bilz said.

“For us, its about getting the community out and having a good time,” said Pazmany, who added that sponsors have been instrumental to the success.

The Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce assists with the event. Executive Director Tony Maroulis said it remains one of his favorites.

“There’s nothing like coming out on a winter day (and) hanging out with friends and family,” he said.

Winterfest concludes with a 30-minute fireworks display beginning at 6 p.m. sponsored by the Friends group, Bilz said.

Parking is available at Cherry Hill, along both sides of Montague Road, and in the parking lots at Mill River Recreation Area, on Montague Road and ProSensing at 107 Sunderland Road. Shuttles will run from the two remote locations.

Tickets are $8 for adults, $7 for students with IDs, $5 for children and $20 for families and are available at the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce on Amity Street, Atkins on West Street and the Leisure Services office at the Bangs Community Center.

Food and drink are available and sold separately, though chili tasting, for all ages, and wine and cheese tasting, for adults, are included with price of admission.

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Thursday, February 7, 2013

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