Out & About: Newport Winter Carnival Promises Fun, Snow or No Snow

  • At the 100th Newport Winter Carnival in Newport, N.H., spectators watch the Axe Man Challenge on the green on Feb. 13, 2016. Participants of the challenge try to split as much wood as they can in two minutes. Wood is then auctioned off with the proceeds going to the Newport Recreational Center. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Jennifer Hauck

Valley News Correspondent
Published: 2/6/2018 10:18:36 AM
Modified: 2/6/2018 10:18:39 AM

Newport — For 102 years the citizens of Newport have been looking forward to the town’s winter carnival as a way to shake off the winter doldrums, get outside and have fun with the community despite the frigid temperatures. When the carnival comes to town this weekend, Thursday, Feb. 8, through Sunday, Feb. 11, there will be classic activities like ice skating, but also new offerings including a snow softball tournament.

And speaking of snow, don’t worry about the forecast ruining the fun. In more than a century of planning the event, organizers have become expert at planning for frigid temperatures with lots of snow and for unseasonably warm days.

“We try to plan around the weather,” said Becky Merrow, the recreational supervisor at the Newport Recreation Center, which runs the carnival alongside the Newport Area Chamber of Commerce. Hundreds of people are expected to attend indoor and outdoor events throughout the weekend.

One of the most popular events is an Easter egg hunt on the town common Saturday at 10:30 a.m.. Although it isn’t a traditional winter activity, Merrow said it’s a hit with kids and their parents. The winter carnival parade follows soon after at 11 a.m.

Another highlight of the weekend is the pageant, held Friday evening at 7 p.m. at the Newport Opera House. There, teen girls from Newport compete to be Queen of the Carnival, while second-graders from around town compete as princes and princesses.

“It’s nice to watch the local talent, and see what the teens in town work hard to do,” Merrow said.

Most carnival events are free with a carnival button, which costs $1 and can be purchased from local retailers around town. Some events, including the pageant, have an additional admission charge.

For more information or to see the full schedule for the weekend visit www.newportwintercarnival.org.

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