ELLSWORTH, Maine — All the snow and cold weather this winter have set the stage for the Ellsworth Winter Carnival this weekend.
This is the fifth year for the carnival, which is sponsored jointly by the city Recreation Commission, the Ellsworth Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Downtown Ellsworth Association.
The event has grown to offer a wide variety of events throughout the weekend, according to Kelly Cochrane, marketing coordinator at the Chamber.
“We’ve become a lot more diversified,” Cochrane said Tuesday. “It’s a fun day. Everybody has a good time.”
The Recreation Commission organizes outdoor events at the Woodlawn Museum and the community ice rink at the Moore School, while the Chamber and Downtown Association work with area businesses to get involved.
“It gives area businesses a way to tie in and have fun with the events as well,” Cochrane said.
The event is being advertised around town with posters designed by two Ellsworth High school students, Katey Kenney and Annika Firestone, winners of the Winter Carnival poster contest.
Among the business events are Cadillac Mountain Sports’ Banff Film Festival at The Grand at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 4, and Saturday, Feb. 5, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 6; the Union River Book and Toy Co. one-year anniversary sale Thursday through Sunday; and The Friends of the Ellsworth Public Library’s annual Cabin Fever Book Sale from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.
The Lygonia Lodge 40 will hold a Winter Carnival Breakfast 7-10 a.m. Saturday at the new lodge at the top of Bridge Hill, and Friend & Friend will hold the annual “Chili Cook Off” at the State Street location. Entrants can deliver their dishes before the eating and judging time of 11 a.m. Saturday.
One of the new features this year will be events scheduled at the new community ice rink at the Moore School property, including races. A highlight Saturday afternoon will be Human Ice Bowling, an event for ninth-graders through adults in which teams of two to five people will slide a teammate sitting in a sliding disc toward bowling “pins.” The person who is the “ball” must wear a helmet. That event will begin at 2 p.m.
Also at the Moore Community Center, the Faith in Action organization will hold warmer events such as cribbage, bridge, chess and puzzle tournaments Saturday.
Woodlawn again will be the site of the popular Cardboard Sled Races. Entrants must preregister on-site for the 9 a.m. Saturday event. There also will be an “Anything Goes” sled race immediately afterward. Also, a sled dog demonstration will be presented 9 a.m. to noon, and a snowshoe race is scheduled for 11 that morning.
There also will be a Dance & Valentine Celebration with Three Button Deluxe, sponsored by the DownEast Dancers, 5-8 p.m. Saturday at the DownEast Family YMCA.
The carnival winds up with a fireworks display at 6 p.m. Saturday that will be launched at the Ellsworth High School softball field.
A full schedule of the Winter Carnival events is available at the Chamber website, www.ellsworthchamber.org.