Moosestompers winter carnival returns to the Houlton community Feb. 4-6

HOULTON, Maine — The 26th annual Moosestompers winter carnival returns to Houlton Feb. 4-6 for three fun-filled days of outdoor activities.

And while it has not always been the case in years past, there certainly will be no shortage of snow to go around this year. The event was held last year, but in a much scaled-down version because of COVID-19 restrictions.

“There are some new activities and we have brought back some of the things we couldn’t do last year,” explained Nancy Ketch, one of the many organizers for the event. “The Half Dollar Scramble, Sawdust Prize Search, Snowdance, Snowmobile/ATV/UTV Light Parade, Antique and Vintage Snowmobile Display, Meduxnekeag Ramblers Breakfast, hockey games and public suppers are all back after not happening last year.”

A Moosestompers Dine Or Go was new last year and is back again to encourage people to patronize local eating establishments during the weekend. Selfie photo stations were also new last year and are back. 

“This year, the weekend coincides with the opening weekend of the Winter Olympics in Beijing, so we have added some ‘Moose-lympic’ activities — snowshoe races, biathlon (cross country skiing and Nerf guns), sliding races, skating races and slap shots (timed by a radar gun),” Ketch said. 

Those events will take place Saturday, Feb. 5, with medal presentations being made on a specially created podium.

Saturday evening will also feature the return of fireworks for the first time in many years.

A number of events will return, including sliding on Derby Hill, free public ice skating in the John A. Millar Civic Center, a fishing derby on area lakes and cross country skiing and snowshoeing courtesy of the Houlton Recreation Department. A Moosestompers 5K road race will also be held.

Moosestompers began in 1997 under former Town Manager Alan Bean, who took the idea from the 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 located.

The weekend is billed as three days of winter fun for the family and features a variety of activities for children and adults to enjoy together. Returning favorites include the Hogan Tire Skate Night, popular fishing derby and sliding under the lights on Derby Hill in Community Park.

A full schedule of events can be found online at

Get the Rest of the Story

Thank you for reading your 4 free articles this month. To continue reading, and support local, rural journalism, please subscribe.