Merrimack’s Annual Winter Carnival

A wintry mix of games, crafts and food, plus visits with local business owners and reps from local community groups highlighted the Town of Merrimack’s Annual Winter Carnival, a free event at Wasserman Park that on Feb. 20 marked an anniversary of 29 years.

Matt Casparius, director of Merrimack Parks and Recreation, credited volunteers and staffers for a stellar event designed with safety in mind. Advance registration for the Saturday event enabled masked guests to enter at intervals and walk uncrowded through the circuit of well-spaced attractions. Hand sanitizer at each station was a bonus.

“We were pleased to be able to present this year’s winter carnival in a safe and socially distanced manner,” Casparius said. “People are enjoying getting out with the family.”

Librarians from Merrimack Public Library hosted a crafts table. Nearby, a pair of crystalline ice sculptures from Ice Breakers, of Manchester, took shape under the chisel of artist Eric Knoll, of Merrimack.

Raegan Lopez, owner of B-Well Studios, an inclusive dance and wellness center on Daniel Webster Highway, greeted dozens of families. Giselle Fournier, 6, enjoyed some wrapped candy as her mother, Rene Fournier, learned about some B-Well programs. Toddler tumbling, kids’ tap, hip-hop and ballet are popular there.

“I was able to tell lots of visitors about our spring and summer dance programs,” Lopez said. “They’re looking forward to getting out of the house.”

Members of Merrimack Family and Friends social and service organization offered juicy hot dogs and treats. Carol Figueroa, president, along with Bev Coelho, Wilma Cunningham and Julie Akers sold dozens. Tammy Ditman and Robin Johnson offered homemade bakery.

Cubmaster Stephen Luce, of Pack 525 in Merrimack, led creative kids in a Lego pinewood derby wherein kids built sturdy race cars, simple or fancy. Luce said “a ton of Legos” was donated by people in town. An inclined metal track made for a speedy flight. Car bases and wheels were provided.

“We had a lot of fun,” said Luce. “It was great to do something fun for the kids.”

The Town of Merrimack Annual Winter Carnival is one of many events and activities ongoing and planned for springtime and summer by Merrimack Parks and Recreation. A full roster is available online: merrimackparksandrec.org.