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Winterfest Set For SaturdayBy Susan Bush
12:00AM / Wednesday, February 22, 2006
North Adams - An aversion to chilly weather is no excuse to forgo the downtown's "Winterfest" tradition; the Feb. 25 event has an abundance of indoor events scheduled, including the very popular "Chowder Cook-Off."
Defending chowder champions Mountain View Restaurant of Clarksburg is expected to try and keep the "best chowder" crown earned in 2005, when the restaurant's chowder beat out a chowder from the Boston Sea Foods restaurant. Boston Sea Foods is among this year's anticipated chowder contestants along with the Gramercy Bistro, Lickety-Split, How Sweet It Is, Cafe Latino, and Steeples restaurants. The North Adams Regional Hospital dietary department is also expected to participate in the cook-off.
The noon to 2 p.m. event will be hosted at the Holiday Inn.
Residents are invited to taste samples of each competing chowder and make a donation to the city's Mohawk Theater restoration project, according to information provided by the North Adams Office of Tourism.
The chowder tasting may erase lunchtime hunger pangs; a First Congregational Church community pancake-and-sausage breakfast could start the day in hearty fashion. The breakfast will be served from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.. at 134 Main St.. Admission for adults is $5, children's admission is $3.
The North Adams Public Library children's section is expected to welcome a live llama from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., courtesy of the West Mountain Farm in Stamford, Vt.. Llama education, a read-aloud story, and refreshments are part of the library's "Winterfest" morning agenda.
A free "Winter White Fun" program is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. at the Northern Berkshire Early Intervention and Toy Library at 25 Marshall St.. Several hands-on activities geared toward pre-school-aged children will be offered; this event has proven a family favorite during past years' winterfests.
During the afternoon, the family-friendly animal adventure film "Madagascar" will be shown at the Western Gateway Heritage State Park Visitor's Center. The movie begins at 1:30 p.m. and is expected to conclude at 3:30 p.m.. Free hot chocolate will be available.
An arts and crafts fair benefiting a Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts alternative spring break trip is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the college's Venable Gymnasium. Numerous artisans, crafters, and vendors are expected to set up booths at the event.
The "Winterfest" finale is a popular "Mayor's Free Skating Party" hosted at the Vietnam Veteran's Skating Rink on South Church Street. The boots-and-blades party kicks off at 7 p.m. and concludes at 9 p.m.; residents of all ages are invited to glide across the indoor rink ice. Skate rentals are offered at $2 a pair for the party. A disc jockey will provide music to skate by, and hot chocolate will be offered. The event is supported by the Greylock Federal Credit Union.
Additional information about the downtown "Winterfest" is available by calling Mayor's Office of Tourism Director Rod Bunt at 413-664-6180.
Susan Bush may be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 802-823-9367.