SPRINGDALE, NL — Some people dread the long Newfoundland winter for all its snow and bitter cold temperatures – but not the Harris family of Springdale.
Their snowmobiles are parked in the yard and snowshoes are always close at hand inside their home.
Innertubes for sliding are never hard to find and ice-fishing gear makes a meal of trout a possibility on any winter excursion.
Parents Janet and Jason will pack up the vehicle and drive to western Newfoundland for a family weekend of downhill skiing at Marble Mountain a couple of times a season.
A “boil up” is not something that has to be explained to this family of winter enthusiasts. Love of winter is the only thing Jayla, who turned eight on Wednesday, and Jamie, who will be five on Friday, know.
Even for those who don’t share quite the same joy, a carnival event in the winter helps break up the blues that can be experienced this time of year, with several days of winter activities and events adding to a season of fun.
Winterfest in Springdale does just that, says Janet Harris, who is also a Springdale councillor.
“Especially this time of year, most people are just wishing (winter) was over,” she said. “But I think this is a great time for all of the community to get together. It entices people to get out and get involved.”
The Harris family attends as many events throughout the three days as possible. The children enjoy the puppet shows and other special events, but anything involving the outdoors is extra special, said Harris.
Sliding at the town hill at George Huxter Memorial Park and getting out to make their own snow sculpture are two of the family’s favourite activities.
“It brings kids together and makes more time for families,” she said. “Everybody has busy lives all week and things like hockey on the weekends, but this is just a time to stay home in your own environment, your own community, and everybody come together.”
Harris also said the school community seemed to really increase its participation in Winterfest last year.
An overall increase in interest is a nice thing to see, she said.
“It is great, very important,” she said. “As a young councillor, my goal in the community was to bring everybody together – all ages – and make more for families. In an aging community like ours, I think it is still important that people are bringing their families together and making more activities like this and having a good time.”
Harris encourages everybody to attend the Winterfest activities, saying there is something for everybody.
SPRINGDALE, NL — Winterfest, now entering its 18th consecutive year, has been a great success in the Springdale community.
Kem Young, manager of the Green Bay Association for Community Living, says the key to that success is the partnerships and businesses that support the annual event.
Initiated by a grant, the three-day Winterfest is now totally supported by community service groups and businesses.
The event has not only been a great way to celebrate the winter season, but Young says it’s helped educate people on promoting inclusion in the community.
“Needless to say, our community has come a long way into inclusion,” Young stated in a prepared release about Winterfest 2018.
The Green Bay Association for Community Living is an advocacy association for people with disabilities. The organization has been in existence for 20-plus years in Springdale. Its goal is to educate people about what an inclusive community should look like and promote the idea that everyone should have a fair quality of life as a citizen.
Winterfest will be held Feb. 23, 24 and 25 (Friday to Sunday) and will include activities for all the family.
“Inclusive Family Fun Days”
Friday, Feb. 23
6:30 p.m. — Opening ceremonies and entertainment at Manuel Hall. Everyone welcome and refreshments provided.
8-9 p.m. — Free family skating at Springdale Stadium. Snacks provided, and children can dress as their favourite Disney character.
9 p.m. — Youth games night at ICECAP Youth Centre. For Grades 7-12 with fun games, competitions and contests. Free pizza and snacks available.
Saturday, Feb. 24
10:30 a.m. — Children’s games at Springdale Curling Club including variety show, clown show and face painting.
11 a.m. — Youth bingo at Manuel Hall. Ages 9-16.
12-1 p.m. — Free lunch at Manuel Hall.
1:30 p.m. — Adult prize bingo at Manuel Hall. Canteen service available.
1:30-2:30 p.m. — Frosty Fun Day children’s activities at Training Wheels Family Resource Centre. Ages 0-6.
Puppet show and activities at the Springdale Public Library. Ages 7-9.
3-4 p.m. — Snow softball at the softball field. Springdale Air Cadets challenging men’s league
Kids Rock Curling at Springdale Curling Club. Curling lessons to learn the game.
4-5 p.m. — Music/sing along at Manuel Hall.
5-6 p.m. — Free supper at Manuel Hall. Prizes to be given out.
Sunday, Feb. 25
1-3 p.m. — Family sliding, snowshoeing and fire at George Huxter Memorial Park (weather permitting). 1 p.m., sliding; 2 p.m., snowshoeing; 3 p.m., fire (wiener roast and hot chocolate).
6 p.m. — Family ecumenical church service at Pentecostal Church.
9 p.m. — Fireworks at college building (back parking lot).