It was a Winter Extravaganza at Ski Bowl Park

Natives and non-natives alike celebrated winter in the North Country with a winter extravaganza at Ski Bowl Park on Thursday, Feb. 22. Many family-oriented activities were held, including tubing, sledding, ice skating, a bonfire and parade to Tannery Pond for hot chocolate and a movie. People trickled in slowly at first, like the beginning snowflakes of the mid-winter storm that added to the days theme. The excitement of the day gained momentum along with the force of the snowfall, and by the middle of the afternoon, the mountain was covered with eager participants. By far, the most popular event was the tube slide. The three-minute ride up the hill by means of a cable lift was followed by a thirty-second run down the 800-foot chute. Stosh Nadoraski Jr. and his young son Stosh III made many trips up and down the mountain. The pair hail from Albany, but were in the area visiting friends and decided to enjoy a fun day together before heading back home. They werent the only ones who traveled some distance to enjoy the festivities. Cars from four states filled the parking lot. Natives of the area enjoyed a hayride with a three-generation family from Long Island. Sisters Ale and Tyler Evans from Binghamton ended up towing their tubes the last part of the run, but that did little to diminish their enthusiasm. Many local families took advantage of the free day of fun and frolic, as Johnsburg residents were afforded free tubing. Others skipped the slopes in favor of the skating rink. Novice and advanced skaters shared the ice, the better skaters often lending a hand to those who struggled. They were in for a treat, as clowns were to join them for the last hour of skating. Circle B Ranch brought horses King and Rio to pull the wagon for the hayride, complete with sleigh bells. Falling snow made the hay bales wet, but that didnt dampen the spirit of the riders. Not only was the ride enjoyable, it gave strangers a chance to get to know one another. For those too small to ride the tubes, gentler slopes were available for good, old-fashioned sledding. In addition, snowshoes stood at attention in the snow bank for those wanting to see what it was like to walk on top of the snow, instead of through it. Playground equipment, half covered with snow, once again felt the presence of energetic children. Topping off the outside activities was a snow sculpture of a dragon, perched in the corner by the playground equipment. Children enjoyed climbing over him and playing king of the dragon. Inside, a hot fire in the large stone fireplace greeted participants, providing a welcome relief from the wet snow outside. Coffee, hot chocolate and snacks offered additional incentives to sneak inside for a break. Storytelling was scheduled for the afternoon, but everyone was too busy enjoying the outdoors to pause for a moment. The story teller wasnt disturbed however, as she used the time to talk with people who were coming and going. A bonfire marked the end of the activities at the park. People gathered around the fire, then formed a torch lit parade to Tannery Pond for hot chocolate and a movie.

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