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Massena Chamber gives Winter Carnival update at Rotary Club lunch

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MASSENA - With the start of the annual Winter Carnival getting underway later this week, Massena Chamber of Commerce Associate Director Penny Pullmain spoke at the Rotary Club’s weekly get together Tuesday afternoon to provide final updates on the event.

The events kick off at 5:30 p.m. Thursday with the opening ceremonies, which will include ice sculpture unveilings, music, and food, all happening at the chamber building, 16 Church St.

The carnival, which is in its fifth year, runs through Jan. 26 and offers a large array of activities for the community.

“Typically (the carnival) is in the middle or end of January or beginning of February. It just depends on what’s going on and when they can plan the (Massena Cup) Hockey Tournament and depending on what we’ve got going on,” Ms. Pullmain said. “There is a good variety of things.

“From my understanding, there was a group of people that got together and decided that (the carnival) would be something different and if I’m not mistaken, the first year it was only a couple of days worth of events and it has grown and it continues grow. Adding on the photo contest, the skating night, the snow sculpting competition, and all of these types of things, all of these are new items and each year it continues going.”

One of the new activities will be (weather permitting) the snow sculpting competition. The event begins on Jan. 24 and culminates with the announcement of the winner on Jan. 26. The competition takes place at the St. Lawrence Centre Mall. “We attempted to do it last year but of course we lost our snow. This will be our first year for it if we are able to do it. The weather is not looking great at the moment,” St. Lawrence Centre Marketing Manager Ronald J. Patnode said. “What they are, we construct a four foot by four foot by eight foot snow block. ... Each block will have a team of up to three people. So we’re encouraging people to register who want to participate and the registration forms are at the mall.

“There’s no power tools involved. It’s all hand tools. Once you register, as a team you would kind of sketch out or design what you want to accomplish with your snow block. Beginning on Friday the 24th at 10 a.m., you can start working on your block. You can work through the night if you’d like and you have all day Saturday until the closing of the mall, which would be 9 p.m.”

“With the mall doing the snow sculpting, we encourage other organizations to do various things. We want it under the Winter Carnival umbrella, but we’re hoping other organizations will take on (some),” Ms. Pullmain added. “It all adds to it and it just makes 10 great days of things you can do.”

With recent temperatures soaring above 40 degrees and some of the carnival events being weather dependent, chamber officials are remaining optimistic that all events will go on as planned. This includes the Massena Cup Hockey Tournament, scheduled to take place on Friday and Saturday at the Massena Arena.

“With the hockey tournament, they want to have it outside, but they have the indoor ice also. So they’re good to go,” Ms. Pullmain said. “The Nature Center does Moonlight Ski & Snowshoe. Again, it’s cross country skiing and you don’t need a lot of snow, which is nice.

“The only one really is the family skating night. Again, if we don’t have ice outdoors it’s not going to happen.”

With the many new featured events on the Winter Carnival schedule, there are still a handful of mainstays that Ms. Pullmain is expecting large turnouts for. This includes the Winter Carnival Parade, which begins at 7 p.m. Jan. 24.

“It’s amazing how many people come out for the parade in the middle of winter. Last year was so cold, I’m hoping this year is not quite as cold,” she said. “It’s just a fantastic thing to see how many people come out for the parade and how many participate in the parade. Also, the winter fireworks are just fantastic.

“The Massena Cup Hockey Tournament has taken off. There’s a group that works on that and I know they have a Facebook page and from what I understand, that just keeps taking off more and more each year.”

For more information on the fifth annual Winter Carnival, visit www.massenachamber.com.

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