Limestone holds Winter Fun Day

LIMESTONE, Maine — Families in the Limestone area came out Feb. 27 to Albert Michaud Park for the town’s annual “Winter Fun Day” event, where they enjoyed activities including ice skating, sliding, snowshoe races and hot dog roasts.

The event involved plenty of community volunteers and organizations, such as the Limestone Rotary Club, the local boy scout troop and the Limestone Development Foundation/Chamber, according to Limestone Recreation Director Doug Sharpe.

“It’s one big community effort here today,” he said.

Sharpe said he’s been involved with putting the event together for five years, since he’s been with the town’s rec department, adding that the chamber and rotary have always volunteered to help with “Winter Fun Day.”

Last year, he said the town wasn’t able to host the event as it was slated to start in March, around the same time the COVID-19 pandemic led to global lockdowns.

This year, he said they weren’t able to have sled dogs as a result of the pandemic, but they were able to host ice skating at the town’s ice rink, which was built in a basketball court at the park.

Limestone’s annual Winter Fun Day event on Feb. 27 featured ice skating in addition to sledding, snowshoe races, and hot dog roasts. (Chris Bouchard | Aroostook Republican & News)

Aside from these and a few minor changes, Sharpe said the pandemic did not lead to any major difficulties in organizing Winter Fun Day.

“Everything is going smoothly, and everyone is cooperating well with the rules we do have. With an outdoor event it’s a lot easier than an indoor event. We haven’t been able to host an event in a while,” he said.

Lisa Cantafio of the Limestone Rotary Club and Limestone Recreation Committee said the town has been hosting Winter Fun Day for well more than 20 years. 

“Years ago, the Rotary actually started winter fun day, and the rec department was always heavily involved because of all the physical activities,” she said. 

Cantafio said it was refreshing to see the community come together for an in-person event after months of corresponding via web conferencing apps like Zoom.

“It’s just great for people to be able to mingle, talk and socialize, and for the kids to play together,” she said. “They’ve been in a home environment with Zoom for months. Even in Zoom, when the kids see each other it usually takes them five minutes to settle down because they would all want to wave to their friends and see who was online.”

Jo-Ellen Kelly of the LDF/Chamber, said her organization is helping out with the snowshoe races and also making maple sugar candy.

She said it feels like it’s been years since the town has been able to come together for a community event.

“It’s so good to be outside and have people around,” she said. “People are wearing their masks and staying six feet apart, and the community has embraced it; they’re willing to do whatever it takes to make sure we can keep the community events going.”

She added that many in the town are also at an age where they’ve already received the COVID-19 vaccine, which is playing its part toward establishing herd immunity.

Cantafio concluded that the day was a great opportunity for local children to enjoy themselves after months of staying at home.

“It’s a great way to get the kids out and just burn some energy off,” she said. “It’s been tough going for these young children.”

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