From cardboard sleds to tug-of-war, the Greenfield Winter Carnival in western MA has something for everyone February 2-4

Featured image credit: Greenfield Winter Carnival in Greenfield, Massachusetts

The Greenfield Winter Carnival probably is among the longest running winter events in New England, but the 2018 festivities from Friday-Sunday, February 2-4, are more varied and lively than ever.

The 96th annual carnival starts Friday, February 2, with live ice carvings in downtown Greenfield, Masssachusetts. Find the carvers on this map and vote for your favorite creations.

Throughout Friday, the Greenfield Public Library at 402 Main Street hosts a board game social and its first Instagram scavenger hunt. They’re also serving hot chocolate. Check in and register for the scavenger hunt at the library.

Later on Friday, watch the torch lighting in the Town Common, the official launch of the 2018 Winter Carnival. From there, warm up at the bonfire at Beacon Field, and don’t forget marshmallows and hot dogs for roasting. Sticks will be provided. After you warm up, join the half-hour MEGAdance on Court Square in front of Town Hall. The Parade of Lights, fireworks at Beacon Field, and the Winter Carnival Ball at Hawks & Reed Performing Arts Center, 289 Main Street. round out the evening. Roomful of Blues and Erin Harpe & the Delta Swingers are the featured bands for the ball.

Saturday’s events include the Youth Basketball League Games, a Sleigh Bell Run (4 miles on a scenic course), a fat bike group ride led by Bicycle World, and a “Find the Lost Yeti” Escape Room at the Greenfield Public Library. And there’s a cribbage tournament on the second floor of the Youth Center at 20 Sanderson Street.

Also at the Youth Center on Saturday, there’s a full day of activities at the Winter Carnival Family Fun Fest: comedy ventriloquist Sylvia Fletcher’s VENTASTIC show, an art exhibit, face painting, crafts, board games, and photo ops with props. Suggested donation for admission is $5 per person or $20 per family.

On Sunday, wake up to breakfast with snowman Olaf at the 99 Restaurant & Pub at 17 Colrain Road.  Breakfast costs $6 for adults and $4 for children 10 and younger. All proceeds support the Greenfield Winter Carnival. Bring cash or checks; credit cards will not be accepted for this special event.

After breakfast, take your snowshoes to the Highland Pond parking lot and join a free guided walk around the Rocky Mountain Trails.

Beacon Field has the most action on Sunday. For starters, there’s sledding, outdoor ice skating, a snow sculpture contest, cookie bake-off, chili cook-off, a vintage snowmobile show, horse-drawn sleigh rides, and a community tug-of-war. The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office and Franklin County Fire Fighters face off in a hockey match.

At the K9 Keg Pull on Sunday, dogs pull appropriately sized empty beer containers across a course to a finish line. For big dogs, they’ll pull empty kegs from Lefty’s Brewing Company; small dogs like Chihuahuas use beer cans. Entry fees are $5 in advance (register here) and $10 at the keg pull. The entry fees support the Paws Park of Greenfield.

The carnival’s highlight on Sunday is the cardboard sled contest. Entrants compete in several age groups and categories, including the fastest, zaniest, most creative, and best crash. Pre-register here by January 31 to save time at the contest.

Check out the full schedule of events by visiting the Greenfield Winter Carnival’s page. For additional information, call (413) 772-1553.

Greenfield is 93 miles west of Boston.

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