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Hancock holds Winter Festival

February 20, 2002

Hancock holds Winter Festival



By SCOTT BUTKI
scottb@herald-mail.com


Warm weather did not melt away enthusiasm for Saturday's Hancock Winter Festival, but it made it more special that there was snow - even though it was artificial.

"What could be more fun than playing in the snow when it is 60 degrees?" asked Sinclair Hamilton.

Hamilton, a Washington, D.C.-based sculptor with a studio in Hancock, is a member of the Hancock Arts Council, which sponsored the event.

Hamilton and other Arts Council members called the festival a success and said they hope to make it an annual event.

The festival drew 300 to 400 people, organizers said. They said they had no idea how many to expect.

"We were very pleasantly surprised," said Hancock Mayor Daniel Murphy, who has been working with the council.

Arts Council members and Hancock Town Councilman David Smith used a snow-making machine, on loan from Whitetail Ski Resort in Mercersburg, Pa., during cold weather on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday to make approximately 240 tons of snow that was piled about 15 feet deep, Murphy said.

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Activities at Saturday's event ranged from tugs-of-war on top of the snow mound to snowball throwing contests to children drawing snowmen. Twenty-six people entered a snow sculpture contest.

Children laughed as they watched each other, and later their parents, fall down when joining in the tugs-of-war. Tossed snowballs were returned in force.

"It was fun," said Georgia Manning, 10. She threw snowballs and took part in the tug-of-war, she said.

Manning and two friends made a mermaid snow sculpture.

"The snow was cool," said Olivia Funk, 11, who had a snow fight and helped Manning with her sculpture.

"I think it is a real neat opportunity for Hancock to enjoy a little winter since we did not get much snow," Kathy Funk said.

Cathy Hess, 10, and Kelsea Pittman, 11, made a snow sculpture that included a Coca-Cola can with scoops of ice cream on top.

"It took three or four hours to get it all down," Pittman said.

Both took part in a tug of war and had snowball fights.

The event was a great idea, they said.

"It is something different," Hess said.

"It is something for the kids in Hancock," Pittman said.

The Arts Council was only recently created, with the hope of bringing more art-related activities to Hancock to stimulate the town's economy and create an artistic outlet for area residents.

At the first meeting, Murphy said, "They said, 'Let's do something.' "

And they did, with its first event Saturday.

The goal was for Hancock members to get a chance to have some fun, said Hope Cucina, an Arts Council member. It worked, she added.

"This is even more of a success than I dreamed," she said.

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