Dates Of Event: February 3-5, 2017 (the first weekend in February each year) photos taken February 5
Location(s): All over the town of Greenfield, most events held at Beacon Field, 61 Beacon St, Greenfield, MA)
Cost: Free (there are small fees for some activites such as $5 to skate at the public outdoor ice rink)
Hours: 9 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Parking: limited parking can be found at the parking lot for Beacon Field. Street parking is also available
Highlights: carnivsl hockey, sleigh rides, sled making contest, k9 keg pull, ice sculptures, family friendly activities (see web site below for more info)
Web Site: Greenfield Artic Blast Winterfest
It’s that timee of the year again. You know that time in between the “fun” part of winter and the coming spring. The holidays have passed, the seemingly never-ending chill is still fast upon us, snow has stopped looking “pretty” and everyone is just eager to be able to go outside without layering so much that they look like the Michelin man. So, to bring a little cheer to the frustrated masses, many cities and towns have organized “winterfests” or “winter carnivals” to get everyone out of their ruts and bring some cheer to the frozen masses.
Winterfests are not some new fangled celebrations. In fact, this was Greenfield’s 95th winterfest. I guess people got the doldrums back then, too.
The three day event (the first Friday, Saturday and Sunday in February) is a family friendly extravaganza. Besides what I photographed dueing my visit Sunday, there are a bonfire, fireworks and a “family fun fest” event for kids to play and do a variety of events with other children and their parents.
The first thing I noticed, and I was looking for specifically, was the winter carnival hockey game between the Greenfield Sheriff’s Department and the Franklin County Firefighters. The shortened rink and lack of goalies (they used boxes with holes in them to try to score goals), allowed for more action and more scoring chances.
There wasn’t much checking and not one fight (perhaps a first in a game between firefighters and police). But, it was still entertaining. I didn’t get a final score. But, the Sheriff’s department (in the green jerseys) had a comfortable lead when I left to check out more of the winterfest.
In between breaks, some kids came out and practiced. Future players for sure.
Most of the events during my visit took place at Beacon Field. In some of the photos, you may notice the Poet’s Seat Tower which I posted about in May of last year.
The first thing I noticed was the sleigh rides being provided.
Some children took advantage of the hill at the park to do some sledding.
Some of the children brought their home made sleds to the park for a contest. The sleds were judged but they didn’t take them on the hill perhaps due to the lack of a good snow covering.
The big event for most of us, though, was the K9 Keg Pull. Dogs from a variety of breeds, sozes, shapes and physical prowess participated. The size of the (empty) kegs and cans the dogs pulled were commensurate to their size. There was a small registration fee ($25 I think) and all of the proceeds went to a animal shelter.
There were over 60 participants and they all did great. The parents or guardians would usually run with their dog ot urge them on from the finish line. Sometimees it seemed like the parents were having more fun with it than the dogs!
Bodie and Clarence (left to right) were twoo of the bigger competitors.
Not all of the dogs there were participating in the keg pulls
Sadie is a 2 year old Lab mix.
Duncan is a 14 week old mini-poodle.
There were also ice sculptures scattered around the town. Of course, most of them had been damaged or destroyed by revelers. I was able to photograph a couple of them.
Below are 2 videos from the keg pull