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Hancock's Winterfest 2008 stays cool with donated snow

February 09, 2008|By MARIE GILBERT

HANCOCK -- Snow is a key player in winter festivals.

But what do you do when Mother Nature doesn't cooperate?

If you're the organizers of Hancock's Winterfest 2008, you improvise and have it delivered by truck.

A mountain of snow donated by Whitetail Resort in Mercersburg, Pa., was the centerpiece of this year's winter celebration, held Saturday in Widmeyer Memorial Park.

Sponsored by the Hancock Arts Council, the festival is an opportunity for families to be outdoors and have some fun, said chairman Sinclair Hamilton.

But without the snow, he said, it's just another festival.

It's not unusual not to have snow for the event, Hamilton said.

In the past, organizers used a snowmaking machine to blanket the field. "But with warm weather, we couldn't even do that," he said.

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That's when Whitetail came to the rescue.

"We drove a dump truck to the resort and they filled it with snow," he said.

The effort was much appreciated by youngsters who used the snow to make a butterfly, a zebra and a snow cave for the snow sculpture contest.

Other activities included ice carving, a cake walk, a silent auction, a hay bale maze, a hat contest and parade.

Among those attending the winter festival was Jessica Francis of Hancock, who brought her two children for an afternoon of fun.

"We come every year," she said. "It's a great family activity -- something different to do on a winter weekend."

Francis said her children were eager to play in the snow, while she was looking for a cup of hot chocolate.

Susie Hott of Winchester, Va., said she also attends the festival every year.

"I'm from Hancock and still have a lot of family and friends who live here," she said.

"This is a nice way to spend a Saturday," she said. "It's a little chilly, but fun."

Debbie Murphy, wife of Hancock Mayor Dan Murphy, said she was pleased with the good turnout for this year's Winterfest.

"There are a lot of local people here today," she said. "But I'm also excited that there are people from out of town who heard about the event."

Murphy said Winterfest is a chance to be outdoors and play in the snow.

"Over the past seven years, the snow hasn't always cooperated," she said. "But we still play."




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