WinterFest 2013 wrapped up over the weekend and we at the Bethel Area Chamber of Commerce have many to thank. We hope you got a chance to attend the kick-off party at 22 Broad Street, see the Snowcano “erupt” on Feb. 16, check out the RailWars rail jam on Feb. 23, go sledding on the side of the Snowcano, or take advantage of one of the many events going on around town. We sure do love winter here in the Bethel area.
The generosity of our sponsors and volunteers never ceases to amaze us. Our presenting sponsors were Sunday River and Norway Savings Bank. Sunday River also contributed use of its snowmaking and grooming equipment, which was certainly essential to pulling off the Snowcano snow hill, which can be enjoyed by sledders for the rest of the winter season. Thanks to Brent Larson and Hiram Towle at Sunday River for coordinating efforts there. Many thanks to Jim Doar, and the Town of Bethel, for agreeing to take on the sledding hill as a town event. That partnership was critical to the chamber being able to do the event this year at all! Our true leader and overseer of the project was Jim Sysko – who puts so much of himself into creating these wonderful WinterFest projects we have come to love and some take for granted. Thank you, thank you to Jim for his countless hours of dedication.
A huge thanks to the many other businesses and organizations that planned events all over the area in the spirit of WinterFest, including the GreenStock Snowsports Club who provided FREE Snow Groomer rides on the final Saturday.
Many volunteers donated a great deal of their valuable time to WinterFest. In addition to Jim Sysko, Jim Bennett and Nate Clukey put in countless hours both in planning behind the scenes and out in the cold making things happen. Amanda Moran, Karen Saito, and Jonathan Goldberg also put in a lot of time on the WinterFest planning committee, and Bob Westfall, Doug Wilson, Billy Murphy, Bud Kulick, and “Brownie” all made key hands-on contributions to get the Snowcano built. Ms. Coyne’s math class at Telstar helped dig the tunnel which allowed the Snowcano to be lit. Jim Sysko and Susan Coyne worked in the cold and the smoldering Snowcano to build the wood platform at the edge of the Snowcano “cone” to provide a place for folks to look down into the “cone,” to provide a take-off platform for the Railjam competitors, and for safety purposes.
Many thanks to those who participated in our Snowman Building Contest! Congratulations to Carol Bourque, our winner, for her snowman creation overlooking Buck’s Ledge. Hat’s off to Don Best for his runner up creation of a great Snow Dog. You can view all the entries on the Chamber’s Facebook page found at http://www.facebook.com/bethelarea.
In-kind sponsors for WinterFest include Bancroft Contracting Corp., Computer Solutions of Maine, CN Brown Company, Savage Contracting, Andre and Jerry Bernier, ProQuip Equipment Rentals and Sales, GreenStock SnowSports, 22 Broad Street, D.A. Wilson and Co., United Rentals, Nabos, Gould Academy, Mt. Abram Resort, and True North Adventureware. Many other sponsors and volunteers assisted with the rail jam to make it a success.
We couldn’t do it without all these folks who work hard to make the Bethel area such a special place to live, work, and play! Remember – the sledding hill is OPEN and may be used for the remainder of the winter. Please stay away from the edge of the cone on the top and know that sledding is always done at your own risk. Be safe and have fun!
Robin Zinchuk and Jessie Perkins
Bethel Area Chamber of Commerce