Greater Franklin Food Council is hosting Snowshoe Frolic and Garden Fair 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25. The frolic starts at the Whistle Stop Trailhead off of Oakes Street while the fair is at the Grange hall on Bridge Street. The two sites are within walking distance as seen on this screen capture of the area. Google maps screenshot

FARMINGTON — Greater Franklin Food Council [GFFC] will be hosting the first ever Snowshoe Frolic and Garden Fair Saturday, Feb. 25, with events at Whistle Stop Trail and Farmington Grange.

The council had been brainstorming ideas for fundraisers and local events, organizer Ellie Sloane-Barton told the Franklin Journal in a recent phone interview. “The snowshoe idea came from the time of year, it’s still midwinter,” she said. “People can have fun moving around outside, then come inside this cozy space.”

The fundraiser kicks off at 10 a.m. Registration for the Snowshoe Frolic will be at the Whistle Stop Trailhead in West Farmington. The frolic will meander from the historical trail through Titcomb Mountain’s cross-country ski trails. After frolicking in the snow, participants can walk over to the Farmington Grange, also in West Farmington just a short distance from the trailhead.

A registration fee of $10 – $25 has been suggested for the 5K snowshoe event. “The sliding scale is based on what people can afford or feel like paying,” Sloane-Barton said. “All proceeds will benefit GFFC, its programs. The council supports farmers, community education school gardens and food pantries.”

The first 50 to sign up will receive a GFFC water bottle. The goal is to get people off the trail by noon, Sloane-Barton said.

“It is not set up as a race, there will be some interactive elements along the way,” Sloane-Barton said. “It’s kind of an adventure.”


Sloane-Barton said some there might be the possibility for Nordic skiing in place of snowshoeing. Details were still being worked out and anyone interested should contact her at 207-860-6346, she noted.

Entrance to the Garden Fair is free, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Grange hall. “It’s for anyone interested in gardening,” Sloane-Barton said. “Those just getting started, those who want to learn about seed starting. We thought it would be a sweet event.”

Local musicians Sagittarius Rising will perform from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. then UMaine Cooperative Extension’s Nick Rowley will give a seed starting talk, Sloane-Barton said. Tickets may be purchased for several raffle opportunities with the winning tickets to be drawn at 1:30 p.m., she noted. Items and ticket prices were still be determined, she added.

During the fair a number of vendors will be on hand, some from local organizations where attendees can get information on gardening or food assistance, Sloane-Barton said. Rustic Roots will be selling Community Supported Agriculture shares; the council will sell seeds, have free gardening information and Johnny’s Selected Seeds and Fedco Seeds catalogs to hand out; Extension will have a table, she noted. There may be other vendors participating, there will be warm refreshments including soup and hot beverages, and activities for children, she added.

This event is sponsored by Bangor Savings Bank and Northern Lights Maine, Inc.

Greater Franklin Food Council’s mission to foster a healthy food system in greater Franklin County by bringing people together to ensure access to nutritious local food, support local farmers, and advocate for food related programs that strengthen local communities. The work is accomplished through the development of partnerships, outreach, and education.

For more information, check out the Greater Franklin Food Council Facebook page,

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