Winter Carnival set for Feb. 8
By Michael Turton
A new outdoor skating rink, centerpiece for the First Annual Philipstown Winter Carnival scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 8, is almost ready for its first skaters. The 140-feet-by-64-feet rink was flooded on Jan. 26, thanks to Philipstown’s four volunteer fire companies whose tanker trucks provided the water. The recent cold snap has helped ensure a quick freeze and good quality ice.
Philipstown Recreation Director Amber Stickle said she hopes the rink can accommodate skaters even before the upcoming carnival. On Wednesday however portions of the ice were still not totally solid and milder weather is predicted for this weekend.
“People should check the Philipstown Recreation website and Facebook page for updates,” she said. Stickle wants to set up a skate exchange in the future but for now people need to bring their own skates. “We also recommend that people wear a helmet,” she said. Skate sharpening will not be available but the rink at Bear Mountain State Park offers that service.
John Maasik, chair of the Philipstown Recreation Commission, said the rink will be open daily for skating once it swings into full operation. Casual “sticks and pucks” hockey will also be allowed although he said that the priority will be family-oriented skating.
No hockey will be permitted when skaters are using the rink. Maasik said rules governing use of the facility will be posted.
The carnival, hosted by Philipstown Recreation Department, Hudson Highlands Land Trust (HHLT), and Friends of Philipstown Recreation will be held at two Garrison locations. Numerous family-friendly activities will be offered at the Philipstown Recreation Center at 107 Glenclyffe Drive just off of Route 9D, and at Winter Hill located at 20 Nazareth Way. Food, beverages and parking will be available at both sites and a shuttle bus will provide free transportation between the two locations.
Activities include skating on the new rink, snowman building, an ice sculpture demonstration, snow golf, sledding, a snowshoe demonstration and lessons, and a scavenger hunt.
Closing ceremonies will be held at the Philipstown Recreation Center and will include a raffle drawing, music and evening bonfire.
Participants will receive a special button, entitling them to a 10 percent discount at a number of local stores and restaurants during Carnival Week, Feb 8-16. The carnival raffle will feature prizes donated by several sponsoring businesses.
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