AUBURN — The 2018 annual Winter Fest was chock full of ice, snow and mini goats. 

“Today was huge,” Auburn Recreation Department Director Sabrina Best said Saturday. “So many kids showed up.” 

The festival kicked off Friday night at Lost Valley with discounted lift tickets, snow tubing and a torch light parade.

Kids took over Festival Plaza on Saturday, with a snow playground and fire pits for s’mores. 

Main Street was shut down for the petting zoo, which included miniature goats, horses and donkeys that kids were welcome to feed and pet. There were also friendly, non-spitting alpacas. 

Best said she saw many people enjoying the event, visiting several restaurant and local businesses, including Top It Frozen Yogurt, which offered a discount Saturday for the festival.


The Auburn Nordic Ski Association also had a trailer of equipment for the public to try cross-country skiing for free at Wallingford’s Farm. 

Saturday wrapped up with the second Gritty’s Ice Bar — a party tent in the center of Main Street, with live music and, yes, an ice bar. There were also two ice luges, courtesy of Argo Marketing. 

This year’s ice bar was sold out before the weekend began, and the tent was quickly packed with people lining up for drinks and crowding the L-A Harley stage. 

Steve and Katie Bennett of Turner said they were at the bar “to try to get out of the house.” Katie Bennett said she saw the event on Facebook and wanted to check it out.

“It’s nice seeing new people,” Steve Bennett said, “and doing something different.”

Two local bands — Farmhouse Project and L-A Harley Band — provided live music for the party. 


“The whole weekend has been a blast to plan and coordinate,” Best said.

She said the event included more than 25 activities, and that organizers this year noticed many new faces.

“We’re seeing new people, which I think is huge,” Best said. 

She also said Saturday’s good weather was a huge help.

The festival wraps up Sunday with family sledding at Sherwood Heights, St. Dom’s Winter Carnival and a free public skate at Norway Savings Bank Arena at 4:50 p.m.

“This has really been a team effort from everyone involved,” best said. “There are events for all ages and it has been a great way to encourage the community to get out and enjoy winter.”

Brothers Benjamin, left, and Samuel Carpenter sit together Saturday on an ice throne, a sculpture on display at Festival Plaza in Auburn.

The 2018 Winter Fest at Lost Valley in Auburn.

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