February 4

Waterville Winter Carnival welcomes snowstorm

The carnival at Quarry Road Recreational Area has been canceled the last two years, but the half-foot of snow predicted to fall Wednesday has organizers excited.

By Jesse Scardina jscardina@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

WATERVILLE — While some in central Maine may be anticipating winter’s latest snowstorm with dread, or at least resignation, organizers of the Quarry Road Winter Carnival can’t wait for the fresh snowfall.

Quarry Road Winter Carnival

Quarry Road Winter Carnival

 

When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday

Where: Quarry Road Recreation Area, North Street, Waterville

What: Ski, snowshoe and walking trail tours, winter biking demonstrations, sledding, Amazing Tree Maze, Winter Story Walk, information from Friends of Quarry Road on snow-making, ski pass system and plans for future development.

New: Dog sled rides from Heywood Kennels in Augusta.

Information: Free, but donations are welcome. Hosted by Friends of Quarry Road and City of Waterville, with the help of collaboration with the Central Maine Ski Club, KMTrails, Inland Hospital, Alfond Youth Center and other local organizations.

Predictions are for 6 to 10 inches to fall on central Maine, starting in the morning and lasting most of the day.

This is the fifth year since the Winter Carnival started, but the past two years it’s been canceled because of poor conditions for its key attractions, which include skiing, snowshoeing, sledding and dogsled rides.

“I had a staff meeting with members from Waterville Public Works, the Fire Department and the Police Department, and they said that I’m probably the only one happy to see a storm coming,” said Matt Skehan, director of parks and recreation in Waterville.

At least 6 inches is expected to accumulate in the Augusta and Waterville areas, according to Margaret Curtis, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Gray. Southern Maine is expected to get 8 to 10 inches.

“It should start snowing at 3 or 4 a.m. and will snow throughout the day,” Curtis said. “During the daylight hours, you’ll be seeing snow.”

Most of the state will be under a winter storm warning Wednesday, Chase said.

Waterville is expected to be under a winter storm warning from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday, according to Curtis, and the conditions should affect the morning commute.

“I imagine there will be a lot of cancellations throughout the state,” Curtis said.

The conditions will be milder as the week moves on, with a partly sunny sky and temperatures in the high 20s expected through Saturday, Curtis said.

The heavy snowfall this winter has created ideal conditions for the Winter Carnival, which is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Quarry Road Recreation Area and was started five years ago by Waterville Parks and Recreation.

“We’ve been really lucky this year as far as the trails go,” Skehan said, adding that a fresh coat of snow will add a winter wonderland look to the day.

“The fresh snow does make the area look gorgeous,” he said.

In addition to ski instruction, snowshoe races, winter biking demonstrations and sledding hills, a four-legged friend will be a new feature at the annual event.

“We have about three or four dogsled teams from Heywood Kennels in Augusta. We’re really excited about it,” Skehan said.

Volunteers are finishing the final touches for the weekend, Skehan said.

After the fresh snowfall, volunteers will shovel and plow the snowshoeing and skiing trails and tidy up the rest of the area for the several hundred guests who are expected, Skehan said.

Jesse Scardina — 861-9239 jscardina@centralmaine.com Twitter: @jessescardina
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