Every year the town of Colton’s Winterfest Weekend includes many indoor and outdoor activities. This year, with the theme ‘Get Your Kicks on Route 56,’ the festival also includes activities leading up to and following Winterfest Weekend.
The festival officially kicks off on Thursday, January 25 with the All-You-Can-Eat Spaghetti Dinner at Colton-Pierrepont Central School (CPCS) and ends Sunday, January 28 with Rock ‘n Skate in the town’s Pavilion at Swift Field. The schedule of weekend activities, now available on the town website, will be updated as more details are confirmed.
In recent years educational presentations have been featured during the festival. In the lead up to Winterfest this year, there will be a presentation hosted by the Colton Historical Society on the history of Snow Bowl. The Snow Bowl was once a popular ski destination just south of the hamlet of South Colton owned and operated by St. Lawrence University (SLU) which included ski jumps, cross-country trails, and downhill trails. The free presentation, which is part of the Society’s quarterly series, will take place on Sunday, January 14 at 2 pm in the Colton Town Hall. Cyndy Hennessy and Mary Jane Watson are pulling together the program which will feature historic photos plus people involved including Bob Axtell who taught jumping as well as downhill, slalom, and cross-country skiing as a SLU ski coach.
During the event winter sweatshirts and other apparel featuring a cross-country skier, skater, and snowmobiler will be available to order. Orders placed on January 14 will be produced by Commercial Press and ready for pick up at the Craft Fair during Winterfest Weekend. Orders will continue to be taken throughout January, including Winterfest Weekend, for delivery in February.
During the festival the Colton Winterfest Planning Committee in conjunction with the Colton-Pierrepont Teachers’ Association will offer a program exploring the lives of the iconic loons of Northern New York. The Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation will share information and stories about loons on Sunday, January 28 at 2 pm in the CPCS Auditorium. Admission is free for K-12 students and $3 for adults with the proceeds benefiting the Neighborhood Center serving Colton, Pierrepont, and Parishville.
Colton’s Tourism & Beautification Committee in conjunction with CPCS art students are painting a 3×3 foot barn quilt featuring a loon to be raffled in support of the Neighborhood Center. Raffle tickets, 2 for $5, will be available throughout the festival, starting at the spaghetti dinner on January 25 and ending during the loon presentation on January 28. At other times on Saturday and Sunday the raffle barn quilt will be displayed at St. Patrick’s Church Parish Center as part of the Quilt Show.
In a follow-up to the festival, K-6 students at CPCS will be invited to participate in a book writing contest about “Higley,” the resident loon on Higley Flow. Students will be provided with pictures taken by area photographer John Bartholomew and information from the loon presentation. They will use these to write a short book about the loon who had a misadventure in the fall of 2017. The winning book will be bound and placed in the school library for all to read.
For more information about the Snow Bowl presentation call Cynthia Hennessy at (315) 262-2524, and for details about the loon program call Judy Fuhr at (315) 262-2362.
Photo: Snow Bowl by St. Lawrence University, by Dwight Church from the Dwight Church Collection at SLU Archives.