HARRISON — Beautiful lakes and mountain views will be the backdrop for the annual Winter Fest, which this year has been expanded to two days, Recreation Director Paula Holt said Tuesday.

The event will be held at various locations throughout the town on Feb. 20 and 21. It begins with a buffet breakfast at 7:30 a.m. Saturday at the Congregational Church and ends Sunday night with a family fun night, potluck dinner and beano beginning at 5 p.m. at the church.

In between, will be everything from a fishing derby, to horse drawn wagon rides, snowman building, cardboard sled contest, gold drive contests, ice skating, snowshoeing, snowmobile rides, ice hockey and ice harvesting on Crystal Lake using draft horses.

“I always meant for it to be just a small thing for kids. But over the last several years it just grew and grew,” Holt said.

She said it’s been a one-day festival for about six years. It began with an ice fishing derby, which is still a major attraction. This year, the derby will include a junior division for children ages 1 through 16.

Prizes include new fishing rods.

The children will be given a free goody bag from Cabela’s, a bait bucket with bait. Small fishing holes will be dug at the head of Long Lake for participants.

Winter Fest ’10 has grown after many out-of-town visitors told Holt they just couldn’t do everything that was available in one day. With help from local registered Maine Guide Joe Jack and her longtime helper Caleb Hill, the event has been able to gain momentum and be expanded.

“It was a surprise how it all came together. The Lions Club was a big help,” she said of the organization which has offered to set up a food shack to sell hot dogs, burgers, Italian sausages and chili.

New events added this year in addition to the junior fishing derby include turkey bowling with real bowling pins that have been donated by Saco Lanes in Fryeburg and a cardboard sled contest. People will build sleds out of cardboard and duct tape. Prizes will be awarded for the most creative, most compact and most aerodynamic looking.

Holt said this year, despite a slow economy, a number of area merchants have provided gifts for the festival’s raffle and contests.

The events are being held at the head of Long Lake, Crystal Lake Park, the United Parish Congregational Church and High View Farm.

The festival is being sponsored by the Harrison Recreation Department, local registered Maine Guides, Harrison Lions Club, Farmers Draft Horse, Mule and Pony Club, High View Farm in Harrison, and Northern Heights Farm in Waterford. Additionally, the Harrison Friendly Riders Snowmobile Club, the Harrison Western Maine Fish and Game Club, United Parish Congregational Church of Harrison and North Bridgton, and the Waterford World’s Fair Association are involved in the event.

Further information on the events is available online at www.harrison.me.org.

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