NORWAY — The Norway Snowshoe Festival returns for its 10th year Saturday, Feb. 15, celebrating the town’s cultural heritage of arts and crafts.

Recognized in 2012 by the Maine Downtown Center as a uniquely Maine festival, it takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Roberts Farm Preserve on Roberts Road. The festival also kicks off to Norway Winter Carnival week, Feb. 15-23.

A new event, a trebuchet cabbage toss, will benefit the Alan Day Community Garden. Participants can bring a cabbage or select one on site to sponsor. The winning cabbage will split the pot with the Community Garden.

The Mellie Dunham contra dance will be held Sunday, Feb. 16, from 6-8 p.m. at the Norway Grange Hall on Whitman Street, where Mellie and fellow snowshoemaker Nate Noble often performed. Musicians will include Pam Weeks on fiddle, Bill Olson calling, the Better Late Than Never Band and the ’75 Scottys. A donation of $5 to $10 is requested.

An exhibit of Norway-made, Norway-owned snowshoes will be on display at Café Nomad on Main Street and the Norway Brewing Co. throughout the month. Chocolate snowshoes made by Maine Gourmet Chocolates and snowshoe tea towels will be available at Café Nomad.

Norway, once self-proclaimed as The Snowshoe Town of America, was home to four major snowshoe industries between 1850 and 1980: Dunham, H.H. Hosmer, Snowcraft, and Tubbs. Norway snowshoes took Rear Admiral Robert Peary to the North Pole, Rear Admiral Richard Byrd to the South Pole, and supported our US troops during WWI and WWII.

Mellie Dunham was not only the first commercial snowshoemaker in town, outfitting Peary’s expedition, he was also a renowned fiddler commissioned by Henry Ford to play traditional fiddle music across the country.

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