B y Bill Toscano
A limited version of the Whitehall Winter Festival will be held this year, and organizers said the full festival will return in 2012.
Event coordinator Marge Mohn had said late last week that the group that runs the annual winter event has decided to take this year off, due to a variety of reasons, mostly a lack of volunteers.
“It was a number of things. It was complicated,” Mohn said last week. The committee just couldn’t make the commitment, because we were without a lot of people.”
Instead, the Rev. Ginny Deyo of the United Methodist Church put the word out Monday that the church will host a smaller version of the event on Saturday, Feb. 5, the planned event date.
The church, located at 56 Greemount Cemetery Lane will host “Winter Festival on the Hill” from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
There will be free coffee, hot chocolate and soup to warm up the sliders, cookies to snack on. Hot dogs and marshmallows will be cooked over a bonfire. The fellowship hall will be available for those who need to come in and warm up.
Those attending are invited to make a snowman or snow castle and may bring beach toys to use for the construction.
There will be snowshoes available and some experienced snowshoe enthusiasts to show the novices how it’s done.
Later in the day, from 4 to 6:30 p.m., the church will host a Saturday Supper Buffet from 4 to 6:30 p.m. The cost is $8 per person and for take out.
Children under 10 are $5 each. The supper is open to the public with plenty of comfort food, such as macaroni and cheese, chicken and biscuits, cheese and broccoli soup pasta dishes, potato casseroles, baked beans and ham and other food.
The full event, usually centered around the canal, the Whitehall Volunteer Fire Company and other areas downtown, usually included indoor and outdoor events, including a dip in the canal for those brave enough, snowmobile rides and other activities. It has been held for the last 15 years.
But this year, Mohn realized, there were just too many conflicting events.
The full Whitehall Winter Festival will be held again in 2012 with more planning and an expanded committee.
This year, the Whitehall Chamber of Commerce will donate $200, $100 for the church and $100 for the food pantry that it normally spends on advertising the full event.
For now the Whitehall Winter Festival Committee is looking forward to the Winter Festival On The Hill.
For further information on this year’s event, call Deyo at 499-1826.