Snow shoeing the roof off winter

Jamie Heap
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Chilli Willi winter carnival wraps up Sunday night with community coasting party at pit pond

SPRINGHILL-What they lacked in numbers, they made up for in enthusiasm on Saturday during the blow the roof off winter snow shoe nature walk that commenced at the Dr. Carson and Marion Murray Community Centre.

“We had 30 people last year,” said Heather Laurie of Springhill Leisure Services.

While snow shoe enthusiasts from Amherst and Oxford did not make the trek to Springhill on Saturday as they have in previous years, those who did venture outdoors enjoyed a short snow shoe nature walk in above average temperatures.

“It’s a good day for it,” said George Gilbert. “It’ll be a little tough going the first time. We’re just going to do a walk around the ball field since it’s a little soft.”

Gilbert, who walks a mile every day, participated in the annual snow shoe nature walk for the seventh consecutive year. He turned 81 years of age on Thursday.

“He’s the only one I know who can keep up with the kids,” stated Springhill Leisure Services volunteer Johnny” Parsons. For 36 years, Parsons, who has volunteered for 46 years with leisure services, was Chilli Willi mascot for 36 years.

According to Laurie, Gilbert’s daughter, the kids have a hard time keeping up with him. Tim Smith, Marilynn DesBarres and four Springhill youth, Bryanna Ashe, Tyra Ashe, Sara Gabriel and Brittany Chapman, also snow shoed on Saturday.

Snow shoers also enjoyed hot chocolate and a piece of Gilbert’s birthday cake.

On Sunday, a community coasting party will place at pit pond from 6:00 pm until 8:00 pm. Hot chocolate to follow back inside the Teen Centre. On Monday, the winners of the annual Chilli Willi snow sculpture competition, an event sponsored by Ross Anderson Pharmacy and Springhill Leisure Services, were scheduled to be announced.

“The weather has cooperated,” said Laurie. “I’m excited to see the snow sculptures. I’ve seen a few online. In the past, snow sculptures were done on sight with students from Springhill’s elementary schools coming down to make them.”

Cash prizes of $100, $50 and $25 will be awarded to the top three sculptures.

Organizations: Ross Anderson Pharmacy and Springhill Leisure Services, Teen Centre

Geographic location: Amherst, Oxford

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