Stanstead Fun Day a Cold Day
Madeline Mulholland, Stanstead
Stantead’s annual Winter Fun Day was celebrated last Saturday at Beebe’s Memorial Park. Although this year’s turnout was somewhat lower than last year’s, with approxi--
mately 150 to 200 residents coming out to enjoy the day, it was still well-attended given the very cold temperatures and a conspicuous absence of snow accumulation. The event began at noon and ran until 4:00 pm, although the park was virtually empty shortly after 3:00 pm, as many succumbed to the cold. Some of the regular annual events, such as pony rides and the Polar Plunge, were featured this year, although the popular 15 foot snow mountain, constructed by volunteers for last year’s event, was not possible due to the lack of snow. Organizers improvised by installing inflatable games, including an inflated racing circuit with snow-scooters, which offered hours of fun to local children who lined up to enjoy this event for the better part of the afternoon. Although the mechanical bull and sugar-on-snow were not featured this year, there was a very creative, and large, game of checkers provided. It featured large, dyed blocks of ice equipped with cord handles that were set up on a giant checker board. The popular dog-sled rides were offered at $3.00 a ride, and many lined up to enjoy a tour through the open field.
The Polar Plunge seemed to be the highlight of the day, as many attendees started leaving shortly after this event. Although there were only six or seven individuals courageous enough to dive into the icy water, the entertainment factor was greatly increased by the showmanship of some who braved the pool. This year’s first place winner of the diving contest was D.J. Smitty, whose hula skirt attire added a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ to his elegant swan dive. It seems judges couldn’t resist the allure of an airborne man sporting a grass skirt. Second place was awarded to Brenda Wilson, who dressed for the occasion in a cow suit, while the third place winner was Guy Beaudoin. What many may not realize is that the water for the plunge, which is normally drawn from a water tanker truck housed in the fire station, was instead drawn from Holland Pond this year.
Despite Mother Nature’s lack of cooperation, Stanstead’s Winter Fun Day seemed to be a success once again. Temperatures were hovering around –15 to –20 during the afternoon but many kept warm around the bonfire or enjoyed homemade soup provided by the cantine on site. Organizers and volunteers should be commended for their resourceful improvisation which resulted in another successful community event enjoyed by many local families.
Winter or summer, inflatable games are always a hit.
Children played checkers on a huge board with chunks of ice.
D.J. Smitty takes a dive at Stanstead’s Polar Plunge, attired in a hula skirt.
Brenda Wilson takes a swan dive while cleverly disguised as a cow.
Councillor Wayne Stratton (left) and Stanstead mayor Philippe Dutil get ready for some fun.