Winter Festival Feb. 16

I t’s never too cold for a little fun.

The Arts and Recreation Commission of Whitehall in collaboration with the Whitehall Chamber of Commerce will host the 14th annual Winter Festival on Saturday, Feb. 16.

This relatively new tradition features a full day of winter-time activities in locations throughout the village.

The festival gets off to a shiver-inducing start at 10 a.m. with the annual penguin dip at the Whitehall Marina on North Main Street.

A few intrepid, and perhaps a little foolhardy, individuals will pretend its July 16 and not Feb. 16, as they throw on their bathing suits and take a dip in Lake Champlain.

Organizers are encouraging participants to wear their most “outrageous and crazy” get-ups. Those outfits deemed worthy could win a prize.

Everyone who takes a dip will receive a T-shirt and a free drink at Howie’s Bar, Big G’s, Lucia’s and Flubberbusters.

There will be a number of other activities held along Skenesborough Drive beginning at 11 a.m.

There will be horse-drawn wagon rides, karaoke, a student art show, and snowmobile rides (the last of which is weather dependent).

Organizers have also reached out to the organizers of Tyke’s Kids’ Fishing Derby and will hold a scaled down version of the event on the Champlain Canal (weather dependent).

The event had been canceled earlier this year after financial support for the nearly four decade old event had eroded.

“They are to keep it going and I can’t blame them. It’s been around for a long time,” said Elaine Phillips.

Registration will be held from 8 to 10 a.m. and prizes will be given away at 2 p.m.

There will also be sledding at the United Methodist Church starting at 2 p.m. and noted Bigfoot expert Paul Batholomew will speak on the large elusive bipedal creature from noon to 2 p.m. at the Skenesborough Rescue Squad. And the Skenesborough Museum will be open from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The American Legion will host its Chili Cook-off from noon to 2 p.m. Everyone is invited to try their hand at creating the best chili. Judging and the presentation of awards will begin at 2 p.m. Any one interested in participating, can register by calling 499-2482.

Look for more information next week’s edition of the Whitehall Times or visit the Chamber’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/whitehallthrives.

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