PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A new version of the winter carnival is set for Springside Park.
The Springside Conservancy is hosting an array of children's activities — from ice skating to sledding to snowshoeing — at the park on Saturday, Feb. 17, from noon until 4. The goal is to get families back into the park for a few hours of winter outdoor recreation.
"We want to bring the concept of families and kids being outdoors," said conservancy President Lisa Tully. "Our big thing is to just get families together at the park."
The Fire Department has agreed to create an ice skating rink near the pond at Springside Park and the conservancy plans to bring in propane heaters to create a warming station. The rink had been traditionally done at the Common but not since the renovation of that park.
"That will be the hub of the event," said Parks and Open Spaces Manager James McGrath.
The conservancy is planning to have cardboard sledding races with prizes for the fastest or the best decorated sled. Tully said she's hoping to track down snowshoes for children to join in hikes. She has asked the Boys and Girls Club to bring ice skates. There will be hiking walks through the trails and bicycle events. She added she is working on an idea to have Wiffle ball at the Little League field.
And, of course, hot chocolate.
"We really want to bring attention to the park," Tully said.
Tully wanted to have a bonfire as well but fire inspectors said only one permit can be issued for events and the 10x10 Festival has routinely held one during that event — a little known restriction that surprised even the Parks Commission.
The annual Winter Carnival dated back to 1945 and was held in later years at the Controy Pavilion at Burbank Park. A volunteer Winter Carnival Committee each year planned out the well-loved event that featured a carnival queen, a ball, snowshoe and sledding races, golf on the ice, an ice fishing derby, snow sculpture contests, kite flying, and hay wagon rides. Early carnivals were held over several days, but over the years, the number of volunteers, sponsors, and participants shrank. In 2011, the group disbanded and that void hadn't really been filled since.
Tully said the event at Springside Park isn't an attempt to recreate that event, but it is based on a similar premise. She is even considering reaching out to the former Winter Carnival Committee members to see if they have any suggestions.
The Springside event will be free and is driven by Springside Conservancy volunteers who just "love" to host those types of things, she said.
This year's event evolved from the conservancy's fundraising and activities subcommittee. That group developed the idea of hosting a series of four events per year — one event per season. The winter event is not intended to be a fundraiser but instead just help drive the interest and momentum behind the park.
In the summer, the conservancy is planning out a fundraising event and had hosted a gala in the last two years. Tully said the group is looking to switch that up this coming year. There will also be events scheduled in the spring and fall.
iBerkshires.com welcomes critical, respectful dialogue; please keep comments focused on the issues and not on personalities. Profanity, obscenity, racist language and harassment are not allowed. iBerkshires reserves the right to ban commenters or remove commenting on any article at any time. Concerns may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
iBerkshires.com welcomes critical, respectful dialogue. Name-calling, personal attacks, libel, slander or foul language is not allowed. All comments are reviewed before posting and will be deleted or edited as necessary.
Comments are closed for this article. If you would like to contribute information on this article, e-mail us at info@iBerkshires.com
Tyer Says State Spending Plans Holds Good News for Pittsfield
By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Mayor Linda Tyer gave a positive budget update during her regular address Friday on Pittsfield Community Television.
Tyer said with the state passing a three-month budget, the city finally has some solid state numbers for local and education aid — and its good news.
"With those two funding sources being restored, we are in a much better financial position then we anticipated we would be in when the City Council approved the budget in June," she said.
The school and city passed operating budgets in June based on level or reduced amounts of state aid and administrators are still prepared for this funding to come in lower.
The School Committee on Thursday voted to appoint Deputy Superintendent Joseph Curtis as interim superintendent and to hold outgoing Superintendent Jason McCandless to his 90-day notice. click for more
School officials gathered to mark the milestone with the sounds of construction and sparks from welding giving proof that their vision was being made reality after a long and arduous process.
click for more