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Funnelator and Winter Fest in Hopkinton. Courtesy of the Hopkinton Recreation Department.




Hopkinton Funnelator & Winter Festival

When: Sunday, Feb. 19, 2 to 4 p.m.
Where: Houston Park, 41 Houston Drive, Hopkinton
Cost: Free (pre-registration for teams is encouraged)
Visit: hopkintonrec.com or call 746-2915 to register your team




Give it your best shot
Funnelator slingshot competition held at winter fest

02/16/17
By Matt Ingersoll listings@hippopress.com



You may think you can toss a snowball, but that’s nothing compared to launching one with a “funnelator” — a giant makeshift slingshot — and you can try it Sunday, Feb. 19, at Houston Park in Hopkinton.

At the Funnelator and Winter Festival, prizes will be awarded to those who launch snowballs the farthest using the funnelator. There will be other activities too, all of which are free, including a snow sculpture competition and an outdoor scavenger hunt. 
“The big question we get most of the time is, ‘What is a funnelator?’ and it’s basically a three-person slingshot,” said volunteer Jim Martin, who organizes the event. “You can use it in the summertime to launch water balloons, but we’re turning it into a snowball-launching competition.”
The Hopkinton Recreation Department, which sponsors the event, will provide all materials to assemble funnelators. These include two pieces of surgical tubing connected with a funnel and a cord tied at the end. Two people hold the ends of the tubing while the third member of the team pulls back the funnel with the cord to launch the snowball.
Participants are invited to make their own teams of three ahead of time; children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. The event will begin with opportunities to assemble your own “funnelator kits” and to get some practice snowball-launching at 1 p.m., before the competition begins at 2 p.m. There will be separate rounds for accuracy and for distance, with opportunities to win prizes and other giveaways for each.
“It’s two-fold, so in the first round, there will be targets that people will try to hit that have different point values of 10, 20, 50 and 100,” Martin said. “Each team gets three shots to get at the targets and the highest point total at the end of the round wins. … The second round will measure distance and we’ll have people out with tape measurers to measure how far the snowball goes. We’ve had people launch snowballs more than 300 feet in the past.”
Martin added that there will be several other activities going on at the park and the adjacent Hopkinton Town Library, including a snow sculpture competition.
“Bringing your own equipment to make whatever you will make is required,” he said. “We’ve seen people get very creative with putting together snowmen and other snow sculptures.”
There will also be an outdoor scavenger hunt, where participants will be tasked with looking for letters spread out across the park that spell “Hopkinton.”
If you want to get warm, you can go inside the library to play games and get free popcorn and hot chocolate. 
A bonfire is also planned for after the funnelator competitions. 





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