A stompin’ good time in Houlton

8 years ago

Community Park was the place to be this past Friday, Saturday and Sunday as the 20th annual Moosestompers winter carnival celebration was held with large crowds turning out. As if right on cue, a fresh blanket of snow covered the area Friday, giving the event some much needed extra powder.

Weather for event was just about as good as it gets as Saturday and Sunday featured bright sunny skies, with only a bit of wind.

Things kicked off Friday evening with an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) parade from the park through downtown and back, followed by nighttime sliding on Derby Hill and a beautiful fireworks display as the colors glistened off the new-fallen snow. To help people stay warm, a bonfire was ignited.

Saturday brought a full slate of activities to the park, including horse-drawn sleigh rides, snowmobile rides, children’s sliding races, a cardboard sled competition and cross-country skiing to name a few.

The competitive events of “Human Dog Sled” races and snowshoe races were sparsely attended this year and unfortunately, the Millar Civic Center was out of commission for public skating due to a compressor failure, but that did not stop many from having a good time. It was fixed by Sunday and people returned to the rink in droves.

Sunday brought a new event, youth snowmobile races, which proved to be a popular addition according to festival organizers. Kudos to the many volunteers who logged countless hours making sure things went off without a hitch.

Tourney Time

It’s Tournament Time once again for local high school basketball teams as a number of local squads have punched their tickets directly to Bangor. Coinciding with schools’ February vacation, tourney week is an excellent opportunity for families to cheer on their local squads in Bangor and if past history is any indication, The County will once again be well-represented.

The Houlton and Southern Aroostook girls secured the No. 1 seed in the Class B and Class D North regions respectively. The SACS boys finished as the No. 3 seed in their division. All three squads earned avoided a preliminary playoff and will play their first game in Bangor at the Cross Insurance Center.

The tournament begins Friday evening with three games, and a full slate on Saturday. The entire following week will feature postseason games. Unlike previous years, however, only the state championship games will be broadcast on Maine Public Broadcasting Network television. For all other games, viewers will have to log into their computers to stream games online or listen on the radio.

The Houlton girls play their first game 3:05 p.m. Saturday, while the Warrior boys hit the hardwood at 9:30 Monday morning, followed by the SACS girls at 3:35 p.m.

No. 7 Katahdin and No. 10 East Grand/Greater Houlton Christian Academy girls were scheduled to meet in a preliminary playoff Tuesday evening, with the winner advancing to face No. 2 Washburn in the quarterfinals at 9:05 Saturday.

No. 7 Hodgdon boys are slated to face No. 10 Narraguagus at 6 p.m. Wednesday (tonight) in a prelim game, with the winner advancing to face No. 2 Fort Fairfield in the quarterfinals Tuesday at 8:35 p.m.

Good luck to all our local squads in their quest to bring home a gold ball!

Joseph Cyr is a staff writer for the Houlton Pioneer Times. He can be reached at 532-2281.