CLIFTON PARK: Town readies for festival

Local residents and businesses are gearing up for a busy weekend in Clifton Park with the annual townwide Winterfest slated for Feb. 10.

The festival includes activities and performances throughout the day at various locations throughout the Clifton Park. The Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Affairs has been working for months to bring together local businesses and sponsors for the event.

All of our events run smoothly because we're used to working together, says Myla Kramer of the Clifton Park Office of Parks, Recreation and Community Affairs.

Mike Handerhan from the Department of Buildings and Grounds will work for days ahead of time on the behind-the-scenes work of site preparation and setting up equipment.

"It's a lot of coordination," says Geoff Holzhauer, who helps to manage Riverview Farm, where a variety of events will take place, including scavenger hunts, a chainsaw carving demonstration, s'mores, and a contest where participants will eat a donut hanging from a string.

Local scrapbooking supply store Memory Lane hosted 400 people last year for free make-your-own valentines and is planning for more this time around. Over the next few days they will assemble piles of cardstock and die-cut hearts. Owner Stephanie Bentley estimates that they will need at least 50 gluesticks to keep the crafters supplied

The uncertain weather this winter has required flexibility on the part of the planners.

Riverview Farms is offering either sleigh or cart rides, depending on snow conditions, and Kinns Road Park is crossing their fingers for enough snow for the cross-country ski races, but the first official walking tour at Dwaaskill Nature Preserve, led by Frank Berlin of the Open Space Committee, will be held regardless of the weather.

"When Winterfest first started, everything was outside, but we can't fall to the whim of the weather because this is upstate New York and you never know. Even if there is no snow, we have events inside, and that way the fun can still go on," says Myla Kramer.

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