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Winterfest; a way to encourage residents to enjoy winter weather

Children can sled down the hills of the park at Winterfest.

BY: Kaitlin Fritz, Metro Source | January 17, 2013

A Buffalo winter means low temperatures that rise and drop again overnight. It means snow and rain, icy sidewalks and muddy yards. We’ve even experienced these fluctuations in weather this past week. This doesn’t mean that we all must hibernate in our homes until the weather is steadily warm again.

The Town of Clarence Youth Bureau and Clarence Chamber of Commerce have collaborated since 2006 in the celebration of winter with the annual Winterfest and use this celebration as a way to encourage the community to come out of their homes, get some fresh air and enjoy the Buffalo winters.

“We really just wanted a family fun event to enjoy the winter weather,” said Executive Director of the Town of Clarence Youth Bureau Dawn Kinney.

This year, Winterfest will be held from noon until 5 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 27 in Clarence Town Park on Main Street.

There will be several events taking place throughout the afternoon that can be enjoyed by the entire family. If the weather cooperates, there will be ice skating and sledding outside.

“We’re supposed to have a lot more snow so the way it looks, it’s going to be very nice,” said Judy Sirianni, president of the Clarence Chamber of Commerce.

If the weather doesn’t cooperate and the temperatures are too high for ice skating or too low to be outside, there are still plenty of activities for families to participate in.

Inside the clubhouse there will be performances by the “Bubble Man,” Irish dancers and even some Star Wars entertainment.

In the pavilion there will be a chili chowder cook off sponsored by the Clarence Lions Club.

There will also be a petting zoo outside and several organizations will set up displays to give the community the opportunity to learn what they’re all about. Samuels’ Grande Manor will have an ice carving to make a beautiful sculpture for the event and the Clarence Volunteer Fire Company will be monitoring a bonfire to help keep warm outdoors.

New this year, the Erie County Sheriff’s Department will be doing child ID. Parents can have their children entered into the department’s database. This information could be crucial in the event of an emergency and parents are highly encouraged to stop by the department’s table.

The Clarence Senior Center will be at the event as well. Children will have the opportunity to make cards that will be sent overseas to U.S. troops.

These activities are only few of the many that are scheduled for Winterfest.

The event is free to attend. The only money that may be spent at Winterfest would be for food. All other activities are free to enjoy. Kinney said that making Winterfest affordable was very important to the youth bureau and the chamber when creating the event.

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