Winter fun awaits in Amherst

AMHERST – Amherst Recreation is giving families more ways to have fun outside this season with another afternoon full of winter activities.

The fourth annual Winter Carnival will return to the Middle Street Ice Rink from 1-3 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 9. Middle Street, between Main Street and Cross Street, will be closed to traffic during the festival.

Program Coordinator Jennifer Stover said that there is even more outdoor fun to be had this year. Favorite activities from last year will be joined by new ones to get the whole family involved.

All the animal-lovers can find Walnut Hollow Farm with helmets and ponies for free pony rides, as well as Gail Guertin from NH Mushers and her kid-friendly dog team. Peabody Mill Environmental Educators will have a table for creating environmentally friendly bird feeders.

Peabody Mill Environmental Center will also have snowshoes available to try out, which will also be used in races to see who is the fastest on top of the snow. The Amherst Sport Loft Ski Shop will have cross country skis available for demonstration, along with rental and purchasing information.

The ice rink will be open and Amherst eighth-grader Anna Quinlan will perform a short routine on the rink and answer questions about competitive figure skating. Those looking for some friendly competition can bring a broom for the first-ever broom ball game in the snow.

Hoynacki Kettle Korn will make its hot popped corn for sampling and sale, while the Amherst Fire Department hosts a free-will donation stand with hotdogs, hot cocoa and other winter warm-ups. The Girl Scouts will have also have cookies for sale.

The weather has been pretty cold, but that won’t chill the spirit of this event. Hungarian Boy Scout Troop 2 will keep the fire going for anyone who needs to warm up.

The festival is free to the public, but a collection box for nonperishable donations to SHARE pantry will sit on the information table, located on the corner of Main Street and Middle Street. The food pantry accepts nonperishable goods and is always in need of toilet paper, large size diapers, small size Depends and other personal hygiene items. Other suggestions include condiments, juices, cereals, pancake mix and syrup.

Stover said she is thrilled at how much the festival has grown these past four years, and is looking forward to seeing it continue each year.

“We have plenty of things to do,” she said. “This is a great chance to spend time with your family, see your neighbors and have some fun in the community.”