B y Jaime Thomas
Winter’s biggest carnival in the area finally arrives this Saturday, Feb. 1, at the 11th annual Woodchuck Festival.
The West Pawlet Fire Department will once again host the annual event, which offers contests, games, food, crafts and more.
Among the more popular activities is the famous cow plop bingo, which will begin at 10 a.m., and which will feature Sunday and Phoebe the cows. But it is only one of many festivities taking place at carnival.
The event will provide onlookers a chance to watch as firemen from a variety of area departments will prove their mettle against each other in relay rescues and other games.
There will also be the department’s annual marketplace and artists’ gallery.
“There will be jewelry, baked goods, the Wells Methodist Church will be there with their baked beans and other goods, sewn products, yarn products, wood products—we have a really nice assortment this year of vendors,” she said, mentioning Ellie Parks as an especially large help to the effort.
At the school, officials said there will be beautiful handcrafted items for sale along with various information booths in the library, gym and art room. The marketplace will be open from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., and Beth Kashner, who is in charge of the crafts, said there a variety of goods will be for sale.
To keep competitors and spectators alike fueled throughout the day, the Woodchuck Café will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Hot food, hot and cold drinks and desserts will be for sale. And for the little ones, there will be a Woodchuck kiddy fun table in the art room with arts and crafts, as well as the annual coloring contest. The woodchuck will make an appearance as well to take pictures with kids.
As for the firemen’s games, firefighters in the Rutland, Bennington and Washington County areas are invited to participate in friendly competition.
It’s not too late for departments to sign up; registration on the day of the event will cost $30.
For the headlining Woodchuck Rescue Challenge, which begins promptly at 1 p.m., there will be “beautiful” plaques handed out to the first, second and third place teams.
To purchase a bingo square or for more information call 802-645-0158, 802-645-1977 or 802-287-0623or email firstname.lastname@example.org.