Cool fun at Wiscasset’s Winterfest

Posted:  Monday, February 5, 2018 - 7:30am

“This is our first Winterfest ever,” Nobleboro’s Oliver Blakesley, 9, said in the Wiscasset Community Center lobby where he, brother William, 2, and their father Paul Blakesley snacked between activities Saturday at Wiscasset Parks and Recreation’s Winterfest.

“I love it,”  the older sibling said. His favorite part so far was the horse-drawn wagon ride.

Stillbrook Acres’ Ernie Rogers and Heather Phinney brought Belgian drafts Bob and Tony from the farm in Gray. Phinney had been through, but never to, Wiscasset. She was liking it, she said, adding, the center is a nice facility. The farm gave rides through the parking lot.

The sunny weather for the event was amazing, the recreation department’s operations manager Bob MacDonald said. “And these horses are amazing.”

Back inside, at a Morris Farm table with farm educator Lisa Packard, Baxter Hardwick, 5, of Wiscasset, was making a bird feeder. He wanted the apple to look like an owl. Poking the fruit with a stick, he created the eyes and mouth. The feeder will go in a tree at home, he and his mother Jodi Hardwick said.

Moments earlier, Wiscasset’s Debbie Speed stepped outside to another Morris Farm table where Chayli Buenger handed her a spoonful of ice cream. Speed took it inside to friend Angela Rivera’s son Natanael. The Brunswick boy, 3, ate it all.

Rivera was glad Speed encouraged her to check out Winterfest. “It’s awesome ... there is so much going on. It’s one heck of an event,” Rivera said.

Chewonki Foundation and Wiscasset Sno-goers also took part. As the snowmobile club prepared to give rides, membership chairman Bob Bruce said the group likes to do it each year because it might be some event-goers’ only time in their lives they will get to experience being on a snowmobile, and for others, it may start them on a lifetime of snowmobiling.

At a breakfast Wiscasset firefighters put on in the Senior Center as a fundraiser for the department, Leighah Bailey, 7, of Wiscasset and brother Hunter, 4, each gave a thumbs up and a smile when asked about the pancakes. The department made plain and chocolate chip. They were equally good, said Wiscasset Ambulance Service advanced emergency medical technician Megan Williams, having breakfast with Sita West, a paramedic with the ambulance service.

Longtime fire department member David Gagnon stuck with plain. “"I'm not really a chocolate chip type,” he said. 

Jeff Crafts of Wiscasset hadn't decided yet. “This is the first round,”  he said, laughing. He likes to attend community meals for a change of pace, he said, adding, he wanted to support the fire department.

Eight hours later in the Senior Center, the Cooper-DiPerri committee and other volunteers served a spaghetti dinner with salad and a table full of dessert options, to benefit the scholarship program that helps children and adults take part in recreation department programs.

Winterfest kicked off Friday with a family trivia night Parks and Recreation Director Lisa Thompson said Drew about 30 people. It went well and she would like to do more, possibly as part of the fall scarecrow festival or other events around the year.