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Tri-Town Winter Carnival kicks off with ‘Snow Babies’ contest, opening ceremony

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BRASHER FALLS - Snow babies and a ham and turkey buffet highlight today’s first day of the 41st annual Tri-Town Chamber of Commerce Winter Carnival.

The “Snow Babies” contest - what chamber President Allen W. Fukes describes as “a beauty pageant for babies” - returns to the Winter Carnival line-up this year after a hiatus. It runs from 3-5 p.m. at the Pit Stop Diner in North Lawrence

This year’s Winter Carnival opening ceremonies will be held starting with 6 p.m, with cocktails at the Knights of Columbus in Brasher Falls. The crowning of royalty takes place at 7 p.m., followed by a ham and turkey buffet dinner at 7:15 p.m.

The evening rounds out with entertainment by Willie and Company, a ventriloquist show performed by Peggy Miller, Huntersville, N.C., who had previously performed in the Tri-Town area more than 25 years ago.

Mr. Fukes said those who haven’t already obtained a ticket for the opening ceremonies are out of luck. No tickets will be available at the door, he said.

But there’s plenty of other activity awaiting guests over the next three days, including snowmobile and ATV races at the Dishaw Farm on County Route 53, Helena. The snowmobile races run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, with registration from 9 to 11 a.m. The ATV races hit the frozen river at 11 a.m. Sunday, with registration from 8:30 to 11 a.m.

“The weather is going to be perfect for us. The river right now is the best it’s ever been. It’s flat as a mirror and as hard as a rock. I think it’s frozen to the bottom. This year, like Ed (Russell, event organizers) says, you can drive a truck right from the land down the river with no problem,” Mr. Fukes said. “It’s going to be a little chilly for the parade but other than that, it’s going to be fine.”

He said they’re hoping for at least 50 to 75 sleds for the races.

“I know there are some coming from as far away as Schroon Lake and the Richville area, along with the local boys,” he said. “I think that’s going to be our big event.”

Friday’s activities include a spaghetti dinner from 4 to 8 p.m. at the American Legion in Winthrop; a talent show from 7 to 9 p.m. at the St. Lawrence Central Elementary School; the band, Divided Roads from 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. at the Riverview in Brasher; the band, Hipshot, from 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. at The Pit Stop Pub, Winthrop; karaoke from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. at The Jug in North Lawrence; and fireworks at 9:30 p.m. at the elementary school.

Saturday starts off with a snowshoe and cross-country ski poker run at 8:30 a.m. from the Department of Environmental Conservation building in Brasher Falls. The parade lines up at 10 a.m. at the elementary school, and begins at 11 a.m. from Munson’s.

“I think the parade is going to turn out good. Michelle First has been working on that. She’s been making phone calls and sending letters out,” Mr. Fukes said.

A craft fair runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the American Legion in Winthrop. There will also be an indoor yard sale/bake sale from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Municipal Building in Winthrop.

The Kids Zone runs from 1 to 5 p.m. at the elementary school. Willie and Company will be on hand with entertainment at 2:30 p.m., there will be bounce houses from 1 to 5 p.m., crafts for kids will take place from 1 to 2:30 p.m., and a family swim will be held from 4 to 5 p.m.

“We end up with upwards of probably 200 kids for that. The entertainment this year is going to be over there too. She’ll draw a lot of them in, and the bounce houses always do good,” Mr. Fukes said.

Co-ed volleyball runs from 12 to 4 p.m. at The Pit Stop Pub in Winthrop, and The Jug in North Lawrence will host a tug of war and bed races at 5 p.m. He said they hope to draw a bigger crowd for the tug of war and bed races by moving them from Sunday to Saturday.

The primaries for a softball tournament, making its return to the Winter Carnival line-up, will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in North Lawrence. Those are sponsored by The Pit Stop Diner.

Spirts of Downtown in Brasher will hold wine tasting from 4 to 7 p.m., the band, 10 Cent Green will play from 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. at the Riverview, the band, Crunchenstein will play from 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. at The Pit Stop Pub in Winthrop, and karaoke will be held from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. at The Jug in North Lawrence.

The Winter Carnival wraps up on Sunday with a pancake breakfast from 8 to 11 a.m. at the American Legion in Winthrop; the ATV drag races at 11 a.m. at the Dishaw Farm in Helena; a snowmobile poker run, ending at The Jug in North Lawrence, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and closing ceremonies at 6 p.m. at the Riverview.

This year’s Winter Carnival includes a Chinese auction that will be located at the opening dinner, Kids Zone, talent show and the Riverview. The drawings will be held at 6 p.m. Sunday at the Riverview.

Winter Carnival buttons are required for admission to most events. They’re $2 each and can be obtained from any Winter Carnival Committee member or at businesses throughout the Tri-Town area.

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