ELLSWORTH, Maine — Dawn Hudson is crossing her fingers for snow ahead of this weekend’s Winter Carnival in Ellsworth, but she isn’t holding her breath.
“Last I knew, it’s supposed to rain on Wednesday,” she said Monday afternoon. That rain could wash away or slush-ify the snow on the hill at Woodlawn, where the popular cardboard sled race is scheduled to be held Saturday, Feb. 2. If there’s no snow, or the snow is no good, that event will be cancelled and replaced with a sled parade in Knowlton Park.
But Hudson, the lead organizer for the carnival with Ellsworth’s Recreation Commission, said that regardless of the weather, the 7th annual Winter Carnival will be a blast.
“It’s going to be a fantastic event, even if we don’t have the sledding,” she said.
Festivities kick off Friday, Feb. 1, with the Banff Mountain Ski Film Festival at The Grand on Main Street, and continues Saturday and Sunday evenings.
Saturday is the main day of events, with festival-goers invited to a hearty breakfast of pancakes, eggs and more at the Lygonia Lodge on the Bucksport Road, free for children under 12 years old and $5 for adults.
If the snow keeps, Woodlawn will host the cardboard sled races. Entrants need to register on-site at 9 a.m., with the race beginning at 10 a.m. The Ellsworth Snowmobile club will offer rides from 9 a.m. until noon.
Though snow may be a variable, conditions are expected to be perfect for the icy events scheduled Saturday at Knowlton Park. Those include “human bowling,” in which teams will send a member on a disc-sled down the ice to knock over pins. Ice skating will be held at the new rink from 4 to 8 p.m., and Cadillac Mountain Sports will offer free skate rentals to those without their own blades.
Saturday ends with a fireworks show at 6 p.m., launched from the Ellsworth High School and visible from most areas nearby.
Sunday will feature the annual Clam Boot Hockey Classic, a co-ed ice hockey tournament scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. at the ice rink in Knowlton Park.
Follow Mario Moretto on Twitter at @riocarmine.