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Festival a Cool Draw

Downtown Saratoga and Saratoga Spa State Park’s Winterfest 2012

Outdoor activities at Chowderfest.

Outdoor activities at Chowderfest. Submitted photo

The weekend of February 3-5 will be a hot weekend in Saratoga, even if it snows. In both downtown, and Saratoga State Park there will be numerous events, culinary experiences, and entertainment venues, as their 14th Annual Winter Weekend takes over. Chowderfest, especially is a well known part of Winterfest - and draws a big crowd.

Sponsored by The Saratoga Convention &Tourism Bureau, the event is estimated to draw close to twenty thousand visitors. And it all kicks off on Friday night at the Spa State Park with a one mile candlelit loop for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

Allison Schweizer, Environmental Educator at the Spa State Park has organized the skiing and snowshoeing portions of the weekend for the past few years and estimates that (weather permitting) the park will draw about 500 people on Friday night from 6:00 – 8:30 p.m. for those looking to don those wonderfully big shoes or cross country skis. The event is free and open to the public and volunteers will be on hand to help with shoes/skis.

You won’t have to wear special footwear, but, Schweizer says, “Getting the snow shoes themselves on is the hardest part, about it. Hiking boots work the best.”

The warming hut will be the place to start out for the outdoor activities, and if you get cold, that won’t be the only means of warming up. Sponsors of the event, including Friends of Saratoga Park, and Hope for Hannah will also be serving hot dogs and hot chocolate, respectively. And of course, there’s the glow of candles, which is thanks to Schweizer’s volunteers that number around 20 and include a group of children from the nature 4-Hers. They helped her fill white bags with sand about a quarter of the way with sand, (to stabilize the candles) that will line the trails for snowshoers and skiers alike.

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