The checklist for this weekend’s 2017 Amherst Winter Carnival is marked off, all that’s needed now is for hundreds of families to flock to the many events on tap until Monday night.
This year’s theme is ‘Celebrating 150 years of Heart, Culture and Play.’
“Heart, culture and play has been the theme of the Winter Carnival since it started three years ago,” said Bill Schurman, recreation director for the town of Amherst. “It’s part of our goal to become the healthiest and most active community in Nova Scotia.”
Walk to Amherst, New York
Last year people kept track of the laps they walked at Amherst Stadium to reach the destination of Amherst, Massachusetts. This year’s goal is Amherst, New York.
“Because we did so good last year we’re going to say hello to Amherst Massachusetts, and then keep on going to Amherst, New York,” said Schurman.
Last year approximately 5,000 laps were needed to make it to Amherst, Massachusetts, this year it will take 7,965 laps to get to Amherst, New York.
Chilli Cook-off Challenge
This year there is a Chilli Cook-off Challenge at the Mosaic, which is where Dayles used to be located.
“Local politicians are being challenged by our deputy mayor Sheila Christie,” said Schurman.
Politicians putting their chilli to the test are Bill Casey, MP for Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley; Terry Farrell, MLA for Cumberland North; Trish Stewart, mayor of Oxford; and Allison Gillis, warden for the Municipality of Cumberland County.
The challenge is Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and the public is encouraged to come out and taste the chilli and vote for their favourite.
Amherst Ramblers Street Hockey
Besides playing the Dieppe Commandos Saturday night, and the Truro Bearcats Sunday afternoon as part o the Heritage Day Classic, the Public is welcome to play street hockey with the Ramblers Sunday afternoon on Electric Street from 2 to 4 p.m.
Ramblers mascot Slapshot will be joined at the street hockey event by Moncton Wildcats mascot Wild Willie.
Free Horse and Wagon Rides
Also on Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m. are free horse and wagon rides.
“You can pick up your ride on Maple Street and they will ride around town,” said Schurman.
Carnival continues to grow
“I think its catching on and we’re pleased with the number of businesses and the number of volunteer organizations that have stepped up to provide activities,” said Schurman.
Tamara Porter, active living co-ordinator for the Town of Amherst, was instrumental in co-ordinating the Winter Carnival, along with many businesses and organizations such as the SOAR Community Health Board and Maggie’s Place.
“This would not be possible without hundreds of volunteers and a good percentage of the business community taking part, even if it means placing a poster in their window or putting a brochure on their counter. It all helps,” said Schurman.
The full schedule of activities can be found at amherst.ca
“Check the Amherst website to look for changes in schedule based on weather,” said Schurman.