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Colton town officials optimistic that Higley Flow damage will not affect Winterfest

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COLTON - Even an intense December ice storm, sporadic frigid temperatures, and an overall inconsistent Mother Nature this winter doesn’t seem to be stopping the town of Colton in its preparation for their upcoming annual Winterfest.

The yearly festival begins its 16th edition on Jan. 24 and concludes on Jan. 26, with lots of old favorites and new and exciting activities on the agenda.

Every year, Winterfest activities support the Neighborhood Center serving Colton, Pierrepont, and Parishville.

The Winterfest Planning Committee met Thursday night to discuss final schedule changes and details for the event, and an update was posted on the town’s web site Friday.

Among the events making their premiere in 2014 is the Passport to Winterfest. “People who play the passport activity, if they get to at least eight of the events, they are eligible to win some awards. There are various gift cards up for grabs,” Tourism and Beautification Coordinator Ruth T. McWilliams said.

All players who get their passport sheets stamped by organizers for eight of the 12 participating events will also receive a candy bar to support the Colton-Pierrepont Central School senior class trip. Two gift cards will be awarded - one valued at $25 for those 16 and younger and the other worth $50.

Passport sheets are available Friday night and all day Saturday at the school. They may also be found at Three Falls Antiques in South Colton throughout the weekend. The drawing for the winners will take place at the antique shop Sunday at 3 p.m.

The Passport to Winterfest is far from the only new part of Winterfest this year. “We have a couple of (more) last minute additions. The Wesleyan Church will sponsor a pizza sale during Friday’s basketball game. It will start right after school,” Ms. McWilliams said. “Also, a new activity is the Sunday morning breakfast being sponsored by a couple of classes in the school. That will take place on Sunday from 8 a.m. until noon.”

“There is going to be a snowmobile driving safety course at the school on Saturday for young kids,” committee chair Grace Hawley added. “There’s a lot of activities. I hope it’s going to be a good weekend weather wise because it will encourage people to come out and participate.”

Another new piece of the weekend is the town Broomball League sponsored mid-season tournament Saturday at the Pavilion in South Colton. The tournament starts at 10 a.m.

Those with questions regarding the town’s new Broomball League are asked to contact Dan Murphy at coltonbroomball@gmail.com.

Higley Flow State Park has probably taken the brunt of the late December ice storm, but Ms. McWilliams said that officials have been hard at work, and she is not expecting the currently closed location to alter Winterfest plans.

“A couple of the activities occur at Higley State Park, so I called Judy Fuhr who is coordinating those activities. They have been working with the state office on cleaning up. They think they will have everything cleaned up by Winterfest,” she said.

Past activities of interest include the Health and Craft Fair on Saturday, which is organized by Ms. Hawley, and the pancake breakfast.

The festival schedule is available on the town web site (www.townofcolton.com) below the calendar under Events. Hard copies will be available at the Colton Town Hall and posters will soon be displayed around the town and in neighboring communities.

“There are many different sponsors and individuals for the events. Right now, my list has 30 sponsors from the library, churches, school, etc. I think that’s pretty good, having 30 different entities and sponsors during Winterfest weekend,” Ms. McWilliams explained. “The posters are being done with the art teacher, Krystal Stowe. There will be two posters, one of which is for the (Winterfest) concert. They have been wonderful. We are trying to highlight the theme, Jazz it Up January.”

Final revisions that came out of Thursday night’s meeting included the cancellation of the Foot Race.

Updates on Winterfest will also be posted on the town’s Facebook page. Those with questions about the overall schedule and specific activities are asked to call Scott Muller (315-244-9956.)

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