Moosestompers seek ‘snow creations’ for contest
HOULTON, Maine — Organizers of Houlton’s annual winter carnival are hoping for some artistic creativity from the public this winter as part of the 2019 Moosestompers Snow Creation Contest.
This year’s winter carnival is slated for Feb. 1-3 in Houlton Community Park, but organizers have been busy hashing out details of the event and are anxiously awaiting submissions for their “Snow Creation Contest,” which started last month.
Nancy Ketch, a member of the Moosestompers committee, said the group has expanded its scope of the snow contest to allow online entries within 45 miles of Houlton, not including Canada. The snow creations are not limited to just traditional snowmen, she added.
“We encourage people to get creative,” Ketch said. “It can be a snowman, a castle, an animal or whatever.”
People can build their snow creations at their home, snap a photo, and submit that photo to the Moosestompers Facebook page via a private message. The contest began Dec. 15 and runs through Thursday, Jan. 31. All submissions must be received no later than midnight on Jan. 31, and voting will take place through Moosestompers weekend.
Photos will be posted on the group’s Facebook page and the entry getting the most “likes” will be declared the winner.
Although the contest began Dec. 15, no photos had been posted to the group’s Facebook page as of Wednesday, Jan. 2.
Originally, snowmen had to be created inside Houlton Community Park, but that did not work out too well, Ketch said.
“It’s so hard,” she said. “If people haven’t planned ahead as to what they wanted to build, it was difficult to do so in the park. So we changed it to allow people to do them at home.”
Moosestompers was introduced in 1997 by then Town Manager Alan Bean, who took the idea from an event held on Loring Air Force Base. Prior to 1997, a winter carnival called the “YamaFest” was held in the area where Walmart and Hannaford are now located.
Moosestompers weekend is three days of winter fun for the family and features a variety of activities for family members to enjoy together. Returning favorites include the Hogan Tire Skate Night, sliding under the lights on Derby Hill in Community Park, horse-drawn sleigh rides, snowmobiles rides and the ATV/UTV/Snowmobile Light Parade through downtown Houlton.
Hosting an outdoor celebration in February is no easy task as there is a fine line between having enough snow for all of the snow-themed events and having too much snow in the form of a blizzard. Plus, one never knows if an arctic blast will send temperatures spiralling below zero, which was the case last year, prompting the postponement of one full day of events.
“Traditionally, the event has always been the first weekend in February,” Ketch said. “The biggest change this year is that the majority of the kids’ events will be held on Sunday this year, instead of Saturday. Last year, we had to cancel events on Saturday due to the extreme cold, but it actually worked out better from a planning standpoint.”
Anyone interested in joining the Moosestompers committee is invited to attend meetings each Wednesday up until the event, at 11 a.m. at the Houlton Town Office. For more information, call Ketch at 532-7111 or email email@example.com.