Second-annual Community Winter Carnival promises fun for whole family

by Town Reminder

Second-annual Community Winter Carnival promises fun for whole family
By Kristin Will
Staff Writer,

SOUTH HADLEY – From a chili cook-off to dive team demos, a winter obstacle course and art projects, the second-annual Community Winter Carnival will add some fun to the dreary days of this season.
Held Saturday, Feb. 5, the free carnival will offer endless amounts of activities for the whole family to enjoy from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the South Hadley High School.
“It’s going to be a really fun day,” said carnival organizer Emily Pritchard. “There’s going to be a real sense of representation from all areas of the community.”
The carnival serves as an opportunity for residents to connect with one another and for volunteers to get in contact with those looking for help. New this year is a service hallway, intended to showcase all of the work and subsequent impact groups and individuals have accomplished through community service during the past year. There, residents will have the opportunity to network with one another for future projects.
In the high school gym and library will be stations where youngsters can decorate cookies, participate in a coloring contest, read alouds and trivia. They can also play marbles and have their faces painted, all the while munching on freshly popped popcorn.
Teens and adults can take a Pinch Pot class with South Hadley High School Teacher Maureen McNally where they can create a lidded or footed pinch pot, which will be later fired in a kiln. Later in the morning they can listen to the sweet sounds of Gary Hall and the Faculty Band performing with various guests.
A chili cook-off challenges any resident to create their favorite chili recipes and bring in the tasty results to be judged by the head chef at Food 101 and a cooking teacher at the high school.
Outdoors, the high school grounds will be home to a fun winter obstacle course, areas in which to sled, a snowman building contest to be judged by District 2 Fire Chief David Keefe and an Ultimate Frisbee Tournament in the snow, among other organized games.
A free lunch consisting of hamburgers and hotdogs will be offered to residents, providing them with energy to perhaps partake in a Scrabble tournament, a rousing game of bingo and later in the day the closing ceremonies. Those will take place in the auditorium where prizes will be awarded and basket raffle winners announced. This year, the proceeds from the basket raffles, which contain goodies from local businesses, will be given to the Neighbors Helping Neighbors Food Pantry. Last year, the carnival was able to raise $800 from the basket raffles which was donated to the South Hadley Senior Center.
Everyone is encouraged to attend the Community Winter Carnival. “Come and enjoy a day of fun and celebrating community to get connected to each other and to enjoy the connections [residents] already have,” said Pritchard.
For more information about the event, call Pritchard at (413) 265-5263 or e-mail Karen Geraghty at

Community Winter Carnival agenda

10 a.m. – Outside obstacle course and sledding.

10:30 a.m – Pinch Pot Class: Make a lidded or footed pinch pot with SHHS Art teacher Maureen McNally. Use simple hand-building techniques to create a container in one hour. Pots can be decorated according to taste and will be fired and available for pick up Feb. 12.
– Gary Hall and Faculty Band with guest performers.
– Chili Cook-off with guest judges. Come enter your chili and win a prize!
– Indoor games in gym lead by team captains.
– Little Tykes room – a space for little ones to play safely together!

11 a.m. – Cookie decorating.
– Ultimate Frisbee in the snow.
– South Hadley Dive Team demos.
– Wii Tournament.
– Trivia games in the library.
– Marbles with Tom Wallace in the back gym.
– Arts and crafts.

12 p.m. – Lunch: join us for free hamburgers and hot dogs!
– Scrabble tournament.
– Snowman building contest with guest judge.

1 p.m. – Ultimate Frisbee in the snow / organized games outside.
– SHimprov (student improve comedy team) performance.
– Read aloud in the library.
– Children’s coloring contest with guest judges from Senior Center.

2 p.m. – Gathering for closing ceremonies in the auditorium.
– Prizes, raffle drawings, closing remarks.

All day events: sledding, face painting, free popcorn, Community Service Hallway, police and fire demonstrations, local business displays, basket raffle, hall bowling, board games, roaming tiger and more!