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Auburn Winter Festival starts Friday, Jan. 28

The 11th Annual Auburn Winter Festival kicks off next weekend with fun, activities and competition for the entire family.

Winter Festival events will be held Friday, January 28 through Sunday, February 6. The week-long festival includes snow rafting rides, Groomer Rides, 3-on-3 Pond Hockey, snowshoeing, ice sculpting, skiing, races, ice skating, a giant snow playground and much, much more!

The Winter Festival offers events beyond the competition of the Olympics or anywhere else in the world. One true competitive team event, called the “Really Ridiculous Relay Race,” will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, February 5. The event is a three-part relay race involving a 100-yard human dog sled, a 100-yard uphill snowshoe, and concluding with a mad downhill dash in a canoe to the finish line.

Prizes will be awarded to the top three teams. Kids may also participate in their own sled obstacle race for prizes beginning at 1 p.m. on Saturday, February 5. Sledders will navigate a slalom course, limbo and maneuver through a pyramid of haystacks.

The final event of Saturday is the one that requires the least equipment. At 2 p.m. kids and those young at heart can bring their shovel and try their luck cascading down the face of Bull Moose in an all-out effort to be the first one to cross the finish line.

If racing isn’t in your blood, then come join in the state’s largest outdoor musical chairs event. Nick Knowlton will be the master of ceremonies for the event. His Music Connection van will provide the tunes as players of all ages will compete to win a family four pack of tickets to a MAINEiacs hockey game.

The fun continues on Sunday, February 6, beginning at 9 a.m. with the Downhill Mountain bike race and Avalanche of Mountain Bikes. Just when you thought mountain biking was only a three-season activity, an event like this comes along and challenges your idea of what off-road biking is all about.

Bikers will defy the conditions to test their bravery in this double-elimination modified giant slalom course. Come show what you are made of or just have some fun in these out of the ordinary events. After the Avalanche of Mountain Bikes join everyone for a slope side barbecue from noon to 3 p.m., weather permitting.

Other events you don’t want to miss include:

Snowshoeing at Mt. Apatite and Huston Farm Field;

Snowmobile Ride led by Andy Valley Sno Gypsies;

Ice Sculpture demonstrations;

Snow Rafting Rides;

Bonfire and S’mores;

Kiddy Sledding;

Shovel Races down Bull Moose;

Torch-Light Parade;

Cross-Country Skiing at Mt. Apatite and Lake Auburn;

Events at Auburn Public Library;

Fishing Derby at Taylor Pond;

and a Slope Side B-B-Q

As always, the Winter Festival would not take place without the generosity of our sponsors. We would like to thank City of Auburn, Lost Valley Ski Area, Tambrands, Gleason Media Services, Sun Journal, Tim Horton’s, Hilton Garden Inn-Auburn River Watch, Encompass Marketing & Design, Central Maine Health Care, Mechanics Savings Bank, Federal Distributors, Oxford Networks, Platz Associates, Le Passe Temps Club, Lewiston MAINEiacs and Gritty McDuff’s Winter FestivAle.

To see a complete schedule of events, please visit auburnmaine.org or contact the Auburn Parks  & Recreation Department at 333-6601, ext. 2108.

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