Holderness- With sunny skies, plenty of snow, open ice skating, and a record turnout, the Squam Lakes Association (SLA’s) 22nd annual Winterfest on February 16th was again a success in the Lakes Region. SLA's Winterfest is a fun winter event free for the community celebrating the beauty and wonders of Squam Lake in the winter and promotes the protection of the lakes and surrounding watershed.
Indoors, the SLA’s center great room was bursting with good company and the aroma of nine types of hearty chili recipes from local area restaurants. Winterfest visitors sampled and voted on their favorite chili for the cook-off. This year, the Manor on Golden Pond was voted best chili for the 8th time since the contest started in 2003. Also participating in the competition was Six Burner Bistro, Walter's Basin, Golden Pond Country Store, the Common Man in Ashland, Sunshine & Pa's Restaurant, Rubbin’ Butts BBQ, the Common Café & Tavern in Rumney, and Hart’s Turkey Farm. After a cold day on the slopes, or a wintery afternoon hiking up West Rattlesnake, be sure to stop by any of these local restaurants and order their delicious chili to warm you up!
Outside, visitors cruised on the pond hockey rink and played mini golf cleared in the SLA’s cove. A campfire blazed by the waterfront where children roasted marshmallows and sipped hot cocoa. Every year, ice enthusiasts are able to demo nordic skates provided by Jamie Hess of The Nordic Skater. Also a huge hit this year were ice fishing demos by Bob Livens and Squambat kitewing demos by Martin Kimbell of Kimbell Designs. The SLA would like to give a special thank you to the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center for hosting a live animal exhibit at the event, which was a crowd favorite.
The SLA would also like to thank the many generous sponsors, volunteers, and food and raffle donors who graciously supported the event, which include; Meredith Village Savings Bank, The Cottage Place on Squam Lake, The Vintage Market on Squam Lake, The Common Man, Dunkin Donuts, Forbes Bakery in Plymouth, and EM Heath Supermarket.
The annual Winterfest celebration is free and open to everyone. Throughout the year, SLA provides access to the lake, camping on Squam Lake, boat rentals, and hosts community education programs. Membership to the Association also supports the SLA’s water quality monitoring program, invasive plant management, youth programs, trail maintenance, and other efforts to protect the beauty of the Squam Lakes watershed.