Celebrate winter at WinterFest

Sleighrides (wagon rides if the weather doesn’t cooperate) are a highlight of WinterFest.

Sleighrides (wagon rides if the weather doesn’t cooperate) are a highlight of WinterFest.

WinterFest at Shelburne Farms is a great way to celebrate the season whether the weather cooperates with lots of snow or organizers have to get creative with snow-free fun. Whatever the weather, WinterFest is fun with activities and entertainment for every age, from sledding on the hill to cheese sampling and great entertainment.

A co-production of Shelburne Farms and Shelburne Parks & Recreation, sponsored by Associates in Orthodontics, WinterFest this year will be on Saturday, Jan. 26 from noon to 3 pm in and around the historic Farm Barn. The event is free.

Outdoors there will be sleigh rides for $2 per person (wagon rides if the weather doesn’t cooperate). It’s a great way to enjoy the beauty of the Shelburne Farms landscape and to experience winter with trotting horses and jingling sleigh bells. Bring along sleds and toboggans (no metal runner sleds, please) and enjoy the thrill of sliding down the hill beside the Farm Barn.

Inside the Farm Barn there will be music and lively entertainment. “Buddy the Clown” will be amazing the audience beginning at 1 pm, and “Talking Hands Theatre” will entertain at 2:15 pm. The Recreation Committee will be busy making delicious sticky maple popcorn balls, and there will be sugar on snow, winter games, a live bird demonstration by Outreach for Earth Stewardship, and tours of the Renaissance School. OBread Bakery will be open for visits. Thesewoods Kennels Sled Dogs will be giving rides and there will be snowshoe demonstrations by Outdoor Gear Exchange. And some of the Farmyard animals, donkeys, sheep and goats, will be eager for petting.

All that wintery exercise makes for hungry people, and there will be good food to enjoy. The members of the Shelburne Explorers 4-H Club will sell refreshments and Shelburne Farms chefs will be cooking hearty chili and delicious grilled cheese sandwiches made from their award-winning cheddar cheese on OBread, and there will be samples of Shelburne Farms cheddar.

For more than 20 years WinterFest has been held at Shelburne Farms and it is a mid-winter tradition for Shelburne families.  One request: please no dogs, as this is an event with lots of little children and experience tells us that it is better if there are not also lots of dogs.

Recognizing the unpredictability of winter weather, organizers suggest that people can get last-minute information about parking and program by checking the Shelburne Farms website at www.shelburnefarms.org or calling 985-8686.

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