Amherst Winterfest finale slated for Saturday despite snow melt 

  • Lisa Palombo, a member of the Umass Stage Crew Dance Team, at Winterfest in Amherst in 2015. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

Staff Writer
Published: 2/7/2019 9:59:28 AM

AMHERST — Even if most of the recent snow melts or washes away prior to Saturday, the WinterFest Grand Finale will still be held at Cherry Hill Golf Course that afternoon.

“We’ve had WinterFests before with little or no snow, and we’re just fine with that,” says Barbara Bilz, executive director of Leisure Services and Supplemental Education. “We’ve got plenty of events for kids to take part in.”

Now in its 12th year, and the second year of a full week of activities leading up to the finale, Bilz said her department and other local groups are ready to stage the event, which runs from 1 to 6 p.m., with or without fresh snow.

“We really are equipped to do a fantastic event without snow,” Bilz said.

For events that require snow, such as the Cardboard Classic sled race at 4 p.m., where students and community groups make their own sleds from cardboard, and the superpipe sledding hill from 1 p.m. to dusk, Bilz said a snowmaking machine will be able to produce enough snow.

Throughout the day there will be a “blazing bonfire” that will keep people warm, and a food court where people can buy food and beverages.

Many of the conventional events will take place, including an ice sculpture demonstration by Joe Almeida at 1 p.m., disc golf from 1 to 4 p.m., horsedrawn wagon rides by Muddy Brook Farm from 1 to 3 p.m., a chili-tasting contest from 1:30 to 3 p.m. and a cider doughnut-eating contest at 5 p.m.

There will also be a kids carnival and a wildlife explorers hunt, both from 2 to 4 p.m., golf contests at 2:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. and a temporary tattoos booth at 3 p.m.

One of the new events and one Bilz said she is looking forward to, is the Flying High Frisbee Dog Show and More, in which dogs will showcase their abilities to nab Frisbees thrown through the air at 2:45 p.m.

Fireworks end the day at 6 p.m.

Admission is $8 for adults, $5 for children and students, and $20 for a family of three or more.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.


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