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Made of snow and ice

Castle construction underway for Mayville winter festival

Submitted Photo The above photo was taken Friday during the snowstorm by Shannon Biekarck of Mayville. She is a volunteer with the Mayville-Chautauqua Community Chamber. New this year, the castle will be made of snow and ice, instead of strictly ice.

Special to the OBSERVER

MAYVILLE — The Mayville-Chautauqua Community Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that construction has begun on the centerpiece snow and ice castle for the 34rd annual Presidents Day Weekend Winter Festival, which will take place Feb. 14-16 at Lakeside Park in Mayville, along the shores of scenic Chautauqua Lake. This annual winter event, a highly anticipated Chautauqua County tradition since 1987, will feature winter events, activities, crafts and food for the entire family, contests for children and adults.

For the first time in the festival’s history, this year’s castle is constructed of a combination of snow and ice, as the all-volunteer construction crew adapted its plans due to recent variable winter weather conditions to ensure completion of the festival centerpiece. The crew will be on site at Lakeside Park, weather-permitting, during daylight hours throughout this week to complete the castle.

The Presidents Day Weekend Winter Festival will launch at 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14, with the lighting of the castle followed by the Queen of Hearts Ice Ball, a night of great music and dancing, with food trucks, a cash bar and more from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. in the heated party tent at Lakeside Park. Live music will provided by popular and award-winning Buffalo band Black Widow. More details available at the festival’s Facebook page — search for Presidents Day Weekend Winter Festival Mayville.

The Polar Plunge, a festival favorite, organized by Family Health Medical Services, is scheduled for 12 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15. Proceeds will benefit the FeedMore WNY. Registration for the Polar Plunge begins at 10:30 a.m. Participation forms are available at the 2020 Polar Plunge Facebook page, facebook.com/ PolarPlungeMayville, or at the FHMS website.

Also returning in 2020 is the annual Chili Cookoff, to be held from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15. For more details and to enter, call 716-366-6200 or email jsasso@chautauquachamber.org. With a purchase of tasting tickets, festival goers will serve as judges for the contest. The prize presentation for the winning chili chef will take place at 5 p.m.

The Festival is proud to partner with the Chautauqua Striders in 2020 to introduce the Ice Extravaganza 5K to Festival offerings, starting and ending at Lakeside Park from 10 to 11 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 16. Registration and details are available at the Striders Facebook page, facebook.com/chautauquastriders.

The 2020 Presidents Day Weekend Winter Festival will feature a number of new popular events and activities and continue many introduced in 2019, including the return of the popular beer and wine tent, pond hockey and a children’s activity tent with activities planned by Camp Mission Meadows. Other events and activities again featured will be the traditional Saturday-evening fireworks and flare parade (weather permitting) by Chautauqua Lake Snowmobile Club, cold-water rescue demo by the Dewittville Fire Department, snowmobile rides (weather permitting) by the Chautauqua Lake Snowmobile Club, the annual Pet Parade at 4 p.m. Saturday, the Great Alphabet Scavenger Hunt sponsored by Beauty Boutique and G.L. Olson, the Snowball Distance Throwing Contest sponsored by Westfield Dodge City, a children’s Snowman/Snow Animal Building Contest sponsored by Chautauqua Harbor House, Lego Creation Contest sponsored by North Shore Specialties, Kids Corner edible crafts sponsored by Wegmans, and Rainbow the Clown.

Those interested in volunteering to help with the festival preparations or at the festival itself should call Chamber Coordinator Jacquelyn Sasso at 716-366-6200. Special thanks to festival sponsors to date: Town of Chautauqua; Douglas Crane Service; Lictus Oil & Propane; Jeff Lang Enterprises; Empire Energy; Andriaccio’s Restaurant; Webb’s Captain’s Table Restaurant; and Clark Patterson Lee Architecture, Engineering & Planning (Platinum Sponsors); Chautauqua Marina; Guppy’s Tavern; Chautauqua Institution; Kravitz Tree Service; Pepsi Bottling Group; Camp Mission Meadows; Chautauqua Energy/A-Way Self Storage; Jamestown Awning; Digitell Inc.; and Chautauqua Iron Works (Gold Sponsors); and Maple Inn and Maple Group Real Estate; Inner Lakes Federal Credit Union; Freay Funeral Home; Lake Chautauqua Memorial VFW Post 8647; ProForma; BestWay Container; 360 Graphics; K-Kare Services, Inc; Northwest Bank; Uncle Jack’s Saw Shop; DFT Communications; Sysco; Action Jackson Enterprises; and Larry Spacc GMC (Silver Sponsors). Those interested in making a financial contribution to the festival to help cover the many expenses associated with an event this size, should call the Chamber office at 716-366-6200 to learn about available sponsorship opportunities.

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