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Arctic forecast changes Moosestompers schedule

HOULTON, Maine — A predicted late-week arctic blast has curtailed some scheduled events for Houlton’s Moosestompers Weekend winter festival. 

Most of the outdoor children’s events slated for Friday and Saturday have been canceled, with many being moved to Sunday, Houlton Community Development Director Nancy Ketch said Monday.

The 27th annual celebration of winter, which runs from Friday, Feb. 3, to Sunday, Feb. 5, is all about getting outdoors and having fun in the cold and snow. But with wind chills forecast to be near 60 below, that’s too cold to keep kids and other Moosestompers safe, Ketch said. 

An arctic air mass is expected to move into the region on Friday and last through the weekend with gusty winds and very cold temperatures, according to the National Weather Service in Caribou.  

Frigid temperatures moved children’s events to another day a few years ago, Ketch said. 

Most of the indoor events will continue as scheduled, like dinners and sporting events including the Blackhawks hockey game against John Bapst, which will be played at 7 p.m. in the John Millar Civic Center.

The ATV/UTV/snowmobile light parade and fireworks at Community Park have moved from Saturday to Sunday, Ketch said. 

The traditional snow creation contest and the coloring contest will go on as scheduled because they are completed prior to the weekend. The Moose Maine-iah Monster Truck appearance is canceled for Saturday, but will be available for rides on Sunday.  

The Moosestompers Fishing Derby will begin at 6 a.m.at Seiders Variety Store on the Calais Road in Hodgdon as planned. Cash prizes will be awarded for the biggest trout, togue, pickerel and perch. 

Hundreds of dollars in door prizes and prizes for kids will also be presented. Fishing will take place at Nickerson Lake, Drews Lake and Mill Pond. Further information and registration tickets are available by contacting Geno Seiders at (207)-538-5440.

Sunday begins at 10 a.m. with a free kids’ fishing derby on Drews Lake. The event includes free bait and a free hot dog lunch. Traps For Kids organization will drill holes for kids, Ketch said. 

Antique and vintage snowmobiles will be on display from 12 to 2 p.m.at Community Park. Winners will be selected for Vintage Single Cylinder, Vintage Twin Cylinder, Open and Oldest Vintage Sled. The People’s Choice Award will win $100.

There will be hay rides, snow sled rides, a free skate with free skate rentals, a sawdust prize search and the Half Dollar Scramble, giving kids a chance to search for half dollars in piles of snow. 

For more information on the event visit www.moosestompers.com or the Moosestompers Facebook page.

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