‘Fest’ event nears

Ready to take the plunge?

The Penguin Dip, that is.

The always popular kickoff to the Whitehall Winter Festival will open a day of fun and events on Saturday, Feb. 6, at 9 a.m.

“The Opening Ceremony at 8:45 a.m. will be held at the Whitehall Marina, followed by the Penguin Dip at 9 a.m.,” said Marge Mohn of the Whitehall Winter Festival Committee. “Many hearty people will brave the icy waters of Lake Champlain and take a winter’s dip. Participants will receive a free Whitehall Winter Festival T-shirt, and spectators are welcome.”

After the dip into the headwaters of Lake Champlain, event-goers can get their fill of pancakes at the annual Whitehall Chamber of Commerce Winter Festival breakfast held at the Skenesborough Firehouse from 8 a.m. until 10 a.m. The cost of the breakfast is $5    and includes coffee or juice, pancakes and sausage, and real New York state maple syrup courtesy of Scribner’s Maple Syrup of Whitehall. 

Following the breakfast, a variety of foods will be on the menu at the firehouse as the annual Taste of the Town will take place starting at 10 a.m. and running until 2 p.m.

“There will be samplings of food for sale at a reasonable price, made by the many good cooks in Whitehall, from local restaurants and organizations,” said Mohn.

Also at the firehouse, Paul Bartholomew will return for a second year to present evidence and information about the world-wide and local search for Sasquatch at 12:15 p.m.

Speaking of Sasquatch, the second annual Sasquatch look-a-like contest will be held following the presentation next to the statue of the creature.

“The Big Foot look-alike contest will be held with three categories “Look a Like”,” Largest Big Foot” and “Biggest Foot” will be held,” said Mohn. “Fifty dollars will go to the first place winner in each category.”

Rounding out the events at the firehouse will be a chance for those who think they have what it takes to be the “Whitehall Idol” to show off their pipes with a karaoke contest starting at about 1 p.m.

There will also be a student art show featuring works from students at Whitehall High School in the Pavilion, and the Skenesborough Museum will be open from 11 a.m. until p.m.

“The art exhibit will be held all week until Thursday starting during the Winter Festival,” said Mohn. “There will be art created by students of Whitehall High School and the many local artists that are part of Whitehall Community.”

There will also be plenty of outdoors events, highlighted by the return of the Wings Clydesdales out of Granville, which are sponsored by Stewart’s and will offer rides along the Champlain Canal on Main Street, from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.

“Picture these fabulous horses drawing a shiny silver wagon behind them with smiling people aboard, going by historic buildings,” said Mohn. “Stewart’s Shops will be sponsoring this free to the public activity.”

There will be a number of activities that will be taking place in the Skenesborough Park throughout the day on Feb. 6, including Iditarod races, a tug of war, snow castle contest and snowmobile rides.

“In addition there will be snow shoeing in the park,” said Mohn. “Snow shoes will be provided for anyone not owning a pair.”

At 11 a.m. there will be two contests in the park for kids, the Hot Dog Eating Contest and the Pie Eating Contest and at 1 p.m. the Funny Hat Contest will be held.   

The Whitehall United Methodist Church will again host those who want to go for a day of sliding down the church’s hill on Greenmount Lane, with free soup and hot beverages being served.

“In addition there will be a contest where kids who design and make their own sleds will race down the hill, and the winners will receive prizes,” said Mohn. “There will be much to do in Whitehall so shake off the cabin fever. It really will be fun for everyone.”

For more information on the annual Whitehall Winter Festival, call 499-2435.

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