Auburn Winter Festival officials hope for more snow

AUBURN — Thursday night's snow might have eased some worries for organizers of the city's annual Winter Festival but a few more storms would help a lot more.

"If we get another 6 to 8 inches, I think we'd be in good shape," said Ravi Sharma, Auburn recreation director. "We wouldn't have to worry about warm weather or rain or any of that. Especially for snowmobiling, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, a little more snow always helps."

It will be the 12th year the city hosts the annual celebration, scheduled this year over two weekends bridging January and February. It will kick off Jan. 27 with hockey tournaments and skiing deals at Lost Valley. It will wind up Feb. 5 with a Super Bowl celebration, mountain bike races and public skating.

Other events throughout the week include ski races, snowboarding demonstrations and freestyle contests, snowmobiling demonstrations, snowshoeing tours, food, bonfires and music.

Events will be hosted at Lost Valley Ski Area, Walton Elementary School in New Auburn, the Auburn Public Library and Ingersoll Arena.

Kickoff events will include the three-on-three pond hockey tournament, sponsored this year by Tim Hortons. The tournament will continue through Jan. 29, with the finals scheduled for noon.

The annual ice sculpture demonstration has been moved to the second weekend, beginning Feb. 4. Sharma said sculptors would make three carvings.

"In the past, they've had themes," Sharma said. "They've made sculptures that had to do with nature or with animals. This year, we don't have a theme. It's going to be a surprise."

This year's schedule also includes an event in Lewiston — a moonlight snowshoe walk in Kennedy Park led by the Androscoggin Land Trust.

This year's festival skips one of the main events from years past, the Ridiculous Relay, which featured racers relaying up and down the mountain in dog sleds, snowshoes and canoes. It was a mainstay of the festival for years, but Sharma said interest recently has been lacking.

"I know we had teams getting involved early on, but there just wasn't interest last year," Sharma said. Last year's race featured two teams.

"So it was over very quickly," he said. "For all the work and the preparation that goes into getting ready for that particular race, we decided to skip it this time."

staylor@sunjournal.com

Auburn Winter Festival schedule of events

Schedule is subject to change without notice.

 Friday, Jan. 27

* Pond hockey 3-on-3 tournament, 4-9 p.m., Walton School., preregistration required.

* Ski free Friday, 5-9 p.m. at Lost Valley.

* Middle School ski race, 5 p.m., Lost Valley

* Classic rock with Brookside Blues Band, 8 p.m. at Lost Valley.

Saturday, Jan. 28

* Pond hockey 3-on-3 tournament 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Walton School., preregistration required.

* $25 lift tickets 9 a.m. to 5 p.m at Lost Valley.

* Andy Valley Sno Gypsies open house, 10 a.m. to noon at Mount Apatite.

* Snowshoeing, 10 a.m. to noon at Mount Apatite.

* Perkins Ridge Snowmobile ride to Lost Valley and brunch, 11 a.m.

* Snow-rafting rides for $2 each or three rides for $5, noon to 4 p.m. at Lost Valley.

* Movie, "The Tale of Despereaux," 1-3 p.m. at Auburn Public Library.

* Snowmobile ride on local trails, to begin at Andy Valley Club House, 1 p.m.

* Teen Night $13 lift tickets, $13 rentals, 5-9 p.m. at Lost Valley.

* Big-air competitions, 6-7 p.m at Lost Valley. Registration closes at 4 p.m.

* Public skating, bonfire, hot chocolate and coffee, 6-8 p.m. at Walton School.

Sunday, Jan. 29

* USASA Maine Mountain Series slope-style event, 8 a.m., Lost Valley.

* Groomer rides, 8:30-10 a.m. at Lost Valley.

* Snow-rafting rides for $2 each or three rides for $5, noon to 4 p.m. at Lost Valley.

* Pond hockey 3-on-3 finals noon to 4 p.m., Walton School..

* Maine Ski Challenge slalom races 1-3 p.m. at Lost Valley. $4 registration with lift ticket.

* Cross-country skiing, pond-skating, dog-sledding and snowshoeing around Lake Auburn, 2-7 p.m. Coffee, warming fire and hot chocolate will be at 207 N. Auburn Road. Parking at both ends of Whitman Spring Road and at 207 and 115 N. Auburn Road.

* Public skating, 1:45-3:45 p.m. at Ingersoll Arena, $4 students; $3 seniors

Monday, Jan. 30

* $18 lift ticket at Lost Valley with a current ticket from another ski area, 2:30-8 p.m.

Tuesday, Jan. 31

* Buy one all-day lift ticket, get one free at Lost Valley, 2-8:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Feb. 1

* Buy one all-day lift ticket, get one free at Lost Valley, 2-8:30 p.m.

Thursday, Feb. 2

* Winter stories and crafts, hot chocolate, 10-11 a.m. at the Auburn Public Library.

 Friday, Feb. 3

* Bonfire and sledding, snowmobile/groomer rides, hot chocolate and s'mores, 5-8 p.m. at Lost Valley.

* Free lift tickets, sponsored by L-A Harley and Lee Auto, Lost Valley.

* Rock with Under the Covers, 8 p.m. at Lost Valley.

Saturday, Feb. 4

* Taylor Pond ice-fishing derby, 6 a.m to 3 p.m., Taylor Pond.

* Ice-sculpture creations demo, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Lost Valley.

* $25 lift ticket and rentals 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Lost Valley.

* Walton School events: Public skating, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; snow playground, 10 a.m. to dark; snowshoe walk to Huston Farm Field, 10 a.m.; public skating, bonfire, hot chocolate and coffee, 2-4 p.m.

*Cozy fleece hand-warmer DIY for teens and adults, 10 a.m. to noon, Auburn Public Library.

* Music by Nick Knowlton, 10 a.m. to close at Lost Valley.

* $1 face-painting for kids, noon, Lost Valley.

*Snow-rafting rides for $2 each or three rides for $5, noon to 4 p.m. at Lost Valley.

* Jib Jam Competition, 1-3 p.m. at Lost Valley.

* Children's snow obstacle, 1-2 p.m. at Lost Valley.

* Shovel races, 2-3 p.m. at Lost Valley.

* Bonfire and sledding, hot chocolate and s'mores, 5-8 p.m. at Lost Valley.

* Teen night: $13 lift tickets and rentals at Lost Valley.

*Moonlight snowshoe walk through Simard-Payne Memorial Park (formerly Railroad Park) in Lewiston, 6 p.m., with hot chocolate at Museum L-A.

* Rock with Under the Covers, 8 p.m. at Lost Valley

Sunday, Feb. 5

* Public skating, 9 a.m.-9 p.m. at Walton School.

* Music by Nick Knowlton, 9 a.m. to close at Lost Valley.

* Downhill mountain bike race, 9-11 a.m. at Lost Valley. $25 registration.

* Avalanche of mountain bikes, 11 a.m. at Lost Valley.

* Snow-rafting rides for $2 each or three rides for $5, noon to 4 p.m. at Lost Valley.

*Pre Super Bowl bash with free giveaways, noon to 3 p.m. at Lost Valley.

* Maine Ski Challenge slalom race, 1-4 p.m. at Lost Valley, $4 registration.

* Public skating, 1:45-3:45 p.m. at Ingersoll Arena.

* Public skating, bonfire, hot chocolate, 2-4 p.m. at Walton School.

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Comments

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killjoy

It only makes sense to do it there. Do you have enough space in YOUR backyard? Lost Valley has always been a big part of this. My kids and their friends look forward to this every year. What the hell does this have to do with welfare and nursing homes. You must be pretty friggen miserable if this is your only response.

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