February 6, 2012
WinterFest goes green with snow a no-show
Annual celebration in Homer adjusts to year’s mild winter
HOMER — Despite a lack of snowfall and mild temperatures so far this winter, the 12th annual Homer WinterFest drew an enthusiastic crowd to its events Saturday.
At the elementary school, children enjoyed a day of crafts and games, while adults sampled wines across the street at the American Legion.
Homer WinterFest chair Eric Mulvihill said the mild temperatures deterred participants to some events while others saw a good turnout.
The human dogsled races, held Saturday morning on the Village Green, took off despite the lack of snow, Mulvihill said. Sled runners were greased up and then ran across the grass, but spectators expecting the lack of snow to halt the races missed the fun.
The wine-tasting at the American Legion was one activity whose participants were undeterred by the mild winter.
Robyn Puzo of Homer, ate a cracker and cheese after buying a bottle of Syrah wine from Long Point Winery, which is owned by Homer residents Gary and Rosemary Barletta.
Puzo said the WinterFest holds its appeal because it is a way of supporting the community.
“It’s a community event, and I can walk down and walk home and enjoy everything in between,” said Puzo.
For Puzo the day was full of delectable choices, from the chili cook-off at Hobeaus, where she voted for the white chili, to the wine tasting where she ended up.
Miguel Campos of Homer also made a day out of the activities.
Campos said he comes to the WinterFest yearly and added that it tires out his two children, ages 4 and 7.
For Campos, the day began with his children dressing as snowmen and marching in the parade, then there was game and craft time before lunch at the pig roast and then on to the wine tasting.
“By about 2 or 3 they are usually tuckered out and we live in the village so it’s easy to call it a day and go home and relax,” Campos said.
Across the street in the gym of the elementary school, children were enjoying games.
Five-year-old Adelia Maroney rolled a ball into three large inflatable bowling pins, gleeful when it knocked them down, as her mother looked on.
“I like to bring my daughter out to do fun events,” said Laura Maroney, adding it was her first time to the WinterFest and she thought it would be something fun to try.
Adelia, sporting a face painting of a fish on her cheek, said she enjoyed the magician and cupcake decorating offered earlier in the morning.
Adelia and her mother went off to collect the prizes they earned for taking part in the games, Adelia full of excitement and her mother happy to see her daughter enjoying the day.
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