Stanstead Fun Day a Cold Day

Stanstead Journal - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

Pho­tos Stanstead Jour­nal

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.

Pho­tos cour­tesy

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.

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