GREENFIELD — The director of the city’s Recreation Department says COVID-19 will not stop the 99th annual Greenfield Winter Carnival “ICEolation” celebration from happening this year — it will just be held in a modified form.
“Nothing says ‘tradition’ in Greenfield like the Winter Carnival,” Recreation Director Christy Moore said. “Since its very beginnings, this event has brought the community together in a celebration of the season.”
The Winter Carnival will return Friday, Feb. 5, and continue through Sunday, Feb. 7. A longstanding tradition in Greenfield, the carnival dates back to 1922, Moore said. It has been a way for the community to get together during a time of year that can be long, cold and dreary.
“In a year where many are feeling more isolated than ever, it’s essential that beloved traditions continue,” Moore said.
Safety, because of the ongoing pandemic, has been at the forefront of planning the annual event, and while many of the beloved activities had to be canceled or modified this year, the Recreation Department is introducing some new events and some new spins on old favorites, she said.
The celebration will kick off Feb. 5 with live ice carvings by area residents throughout downtown Greenfield. Spectators must wear masks and maintain social distancing when viewing them. They will be illuminated at dusk and throughout the night, so people can also drive by. Voting for favorites will be done online this year.
While Saturday traditionally featured the Sleigh Bell Run 4-mile road race, this year the event will be held virtually, so participants can safely complete the course anytime during the Winter Carnival on either the traditional course or a 4-mile course of their choosing. The cost to participate is $25 and the first 25 participants will receive a Winter Carnival T-shirt, as always.
The Paper Snowflake Contest is back this year, and participants are encouraged to drop off their one-of-a-kind paper snowflakes to the Recreation Department in its contact-less dropbox by Feb. 3 to enter. Snowflakes can be big, small, plain or extravagant. Snowflakes must include the name, age and phone number of the person creating it. Winners will be chosen in multiple age groups. One entry per person is allowed.
“The K9 Keg Pull is a festival favorite, but must be put on ‘paws’ this year,” Moore noted. “Instead, we want to see how your K9 is keeping in keg-pull shape in our ‘Keeping in Keg Pull Shape’ photo contest.”
Participants can submit their 2021 training photos to the Greenfield Recreation Department’s contest via Facebook by Feb. 3. The community will then be able to vote for their favorites throughout the Winter Carnival weekend.
Another festival favorite, the Cardboard Sled Race, will also be held virtually this year in a design-only competition. For this year, awards will be given in multiple design-based categories, including “Most Creative,” “Zaniest,” “Most Realistic,” “Fastest Looking” and “People’s Choice.” To enter, submit a photo of the entry into the Facebook contest by Feb. 3. Community members will be able to vote for their favorites throughout the weekend.
New for 2021 is a citywide scavenger hunt to find the “Golden Carrot” and help restore a noseless snowman’s sense of smell. Ten Golden Carrots will be hidden throughout the city for searchers to find throughout the weekend.
Participants are encouraged to go on a search for one of the hidden carrots with their household or pod group. Anyone who finds a carrot must take a photo with the noseless snowman located outside the Recreation Department on Sanderson Street. Post the photo to the Winter Carnival Facebook event and leave the carrot in the Recreation Department dropbox along with your name, age and phone number.
Another new event that will be held virtually on Saturday, Feb. 6, at 10:30 a.m. is a Virtual Jigsaw Puzzle Contest, where teams will compete to win the “Piece Prize.” Puzzle makers will face off to see who can complete a 550-piece puzzle the fastest.
Teams may consist of up to four people from the same household or pod. The contest will be held via Zoom. The cost to participate is $20 and teams will get to keep the puzzle. Registration on the Winter Carnival website is required.
There will also be a virtual step-by-step “Warm Hugs” craft demonstration. More details can be found on the Recreation Department’s website.
The final event of the weekend, the “Adams Donuts with Olaf” fundraiser, will take place on Sunday, Feb. 7. Adams Donuts has partnered with the Recreation Department to raise some dough for the Winter Carnival.
Residents can pre-order special half-dozen Winter Carnival Fancies for $12.49 beginning Monday, Feb. 1, on the Adams Donuts website at adamsdonuts.com. Olaf will then be on site at Adams Donuts on Sunday, Feb. 7, from 8 to 10 a.m. for order pickups, with Olaf delivering doughnuts to vehicles. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Olaf will not be available for photos.
For more information or a complete schedule of events and registration links, visit greenfieldrecreation.com. With questions, call the Recreation Department at 413-772-1553.
Reach Anita Fritz at 413-772-9591 or firstname.lastname@example.org.