AUBURN — The city’s Winter Festival may be down to a single weekend this year, but the event offers as many reasons as ever to get outside.

“It’s really a way to get people out of the house in the wintertime,” said Ravi Sharma, Auburn’s recreation operations director. “They can try something they never have before: They can try snowshoeing or ice skating or ski lessons. Just get outdoors and enjoy the winter.”

This is the 14th year Auburn has hosted the festival, scheduled for Friday, Jan. 24, through Sunday, Jan. 26.

Events are spread around the city — at Walton Field in New Auburn, the Auburn Public Library, Chestnut Field, the Auburn PAL Center and Lost Valley Ski Area.

“There’s a little bit of everything,” Sharma said. “We have some indoor activities, as well as those outdoor.”

Events kick off Friday morning with the opening of a snow playground at Central Maine Community College. It will remain open during daylight hours throughout the weekend.

The library will host winter stories and crafts Friday morning and snowman-making Friday afternoon. The library also will show the movie “Monsters University,” at 1 p.m. Saturday.

Most of the events will be at Lost Valley, which is hosting bonfires, snowmobile rides and ski races throughout the weekend.

One special event will be a paintball biathlon, pairing Nordic skiing and paintball marksmanship. Lost Valley Race Director Jodd Bowles said the event will be open to anyone age 6 and older. Racers will ski a loop, stopping for target shooting with paintball guns near the ski jump.

Free ice skating will be offered at outdoor rinks at Walton Field and at Chestnut Field in front of the Auburn Police Activities League Center, 24 Chestnut St.

The Norway Savings Bank Arena will offer $5 public skating and rentals from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday.

The event has been spread over two weekends in the past, but the city wanted to focus the festival a little better this year, Sharma said.

“We really wanted to fill up the whole weekend, rather than have it spread out over a whole week and having some days not having much of anything going on at all,” Sharma said.

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