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Don’t you just love it when a plan comes together?

A few weeks ago, we reached out to Amherst businesses and organizations to invite their participation in the Fourth Annual Amherst Winter Carnival. We asked them to plan activities connected to the theme of “heart, culture, and play,” and they responded with an amazing show of creativity and enthusiasm.

More than four dozen groups and businesses will be hosting events during the week of Feb. 13 to 19!

If you have a dog that loves to play with others, Dogs to Divas is hosting a doggie social on the afternoon of Sunday, Feb. 18 at the off-leash dog park. If there’s enough snow, organizers are looking for volunteers to help make an obstacle course for dogs to race through. Volunteers with Lillian Allbon Animal Shelter will be selling chili and hot chocolate at the park during the event as a fundraiser.

Arts and culture feature prominently in this year’s program, including productions by Live Bait Theatre, Showcase Productions Youth Players, and a hypnotism comedy show by master hypnotist Ed Ratelle.

Artistic types will enjoy painting workshops, and if snow is your medium of choice, here’s your chance to create something spectacular.

Build a snow sculpture on your front yard and send a photo to for a chance to win a $100 gift card.

Many winter carnival events will be free of charge, including introductory classes in martial arts and yoga, workshops for entrepreneurs offered by lifestyle educator Stephanie Allen, and horse-drawn wagon rides through downtown Amherst.

Building on the popularity of the past few years, the Recreation Department is challenging the community to walk the distance between Amherst, N.S. and Amherst, Virginia during the seven days of winter carnival.

With a distance of more than 1,900 km, walkers will need to tally up almost 10,000 laps around the Amherst Stadium’s indoor walking track.

Last year, we walked to Amherst, N.Y. (1,631 km) and in 2016, we walked to Amherst, Mass. (1,027 km). We can go the distance!

The week of festivities will wrap up on the holiday Monday with a Heritage Fair that brings together local artisans and heritage organizations for a day of historic displays, presentations, and demonstrations of traditional craft.

The family-friendly event will include a chance to try dipping a beeswax candle the old-fashioned way.

These are just a few of more than a hundred activities and events planned for the 4th Annual Amherst Winter Carnival.

Visit or the Facebook Event page for the full program and details.

Here is a taste of what’s happening around Amherst this week:

  • Saturday, Jan. 27, 7:00 p.m.: Pearl Bingo Night at Beans & Cocoa Toys & Gifts
  • Sunday, Jan. 28, 1:00 p.m.: Songs & Stories from Beyond at Bella’s Bistro
  • Monday, Jan. 29, 9:00 a.m.: Coffee & Conversation weekly parenting drop-in at Maggie’s Place
  • Tuesday, Jan. 30, 10:00 a.m.: Once Upon a Time for preschoolers at Four Fathers Memorial Library
  • Wednesday, Jan. 31, 11:00 a.m.: Beginner Line Dancing at the YMCA of Cumberland
  • Thursday, Feb. 1, 6:30 p.m.: East Coast Art Party paint night at Old Warehouse Café and Lounge
  • Friday, Feb. 2, 6:00 p.m.: Tea social “flowering teas” at Piano Tea Room

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