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Apr 19, 2018







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Teams competing in last year’s WinterFest Human DogSled Competition. Courtesy of City of Lowell.




WinterFest
Where: Downtown Lowell, Mass.
When: Friday, Feb. 21, from 3 to 9 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 22, from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Cost: Mostly free; some events have minimal costs
Visit: lowell.org




Winter wonderland
Lowell WinterFest in its 14th year

02/20/14



 Usually a dog sled competition involves huskies, but at WinterFest, the huskies become humans. In its 14th year, Lowell’s WinterFest will have its annual Human Dogsled Competition, where teams of people drag their sleds through a snowy course, trying to win the race. 

“You can enter a team in either the costume contest or the basic [speed-based] race. We have awards for the best dressed. One year we had penguins, and last year there was Cruella de Vil and her dalmatians,” said Susan Halter, director of COOL/Cultural affairs and special events. “People get really into it.” 
Each year the WinterFest comes at the end of the Lowell’s Kids Week Celebration. 
“It was created as something to get us through the winter,” said Halter.
Friday afternoon starts off with ice skating at the Tsongas Arena (skate free if you bring your own skates). WinterFest opening ceremonies start at 6 p.m., followed immediately after by the Human Dogsled Competition. Registration for the competition is still open. 
Also on Friday will be the Lowla-palozza kids party, which will feature face painting, balloon animals, a Lowla Bear temporary tattoo station and a magic and juggling show by Lucky Bob. There will also be snowman building and roasting marshmallows.
For the grown-ups, the third annual Microbrew Showcase and Competition will be held Friday night as well. Microbrews and craft beers from across New England will be available to try, and there will be live musical performances from New England Music Awards nominees. 
The New England Music Awards are being held in conjunction with WinterFest for the first time this year, with performances Friday and the awards Saturday night at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium.
Also new this year is an international food court with five menus featuring food from around the world. 
Saturday starts off early with a wildlife tracking at Hawk Valley Farm. Families will be able to learn about wildlife, including deer, fisher, fox, skunk and opossums. Saturday will also feature a chocolate festival, trivia contest, chicken truck, polar party at Club Celsius with live musical performances, mittens and museum madness for crafting, a maple sugaring demonstration, outdoor tic tac toe and a cornhole made of ice, marshmallow roasting, horse-drawn carriage rides, a soup bowl competition, a live dog mushing demonstration, the national human dogsled competition finals, a Cirque de Light Fire performance, a poetry event and a laser light show. The event culminates with New England Music Awards and a game featuring the UMass Lowell River Hawks against Boston College. 
“I think there’s something for every age. We have a wine tasting and craft beer for adults and there’s kid activities. Almost everything is free,” Halter said.  
 
As seen in the February 20, 2014 issue of the Hippo.





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