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PolarFest committee looking for new ideas, events

Typically it is a little warmer and the threat of grass poking through is present when the PolarFest Planning Committee meets to assess the winter carnival, but this year the temperature was hovering around the minus 20 mark.

The meeting took place last Wednesday at Chemong Lodge in Bridgenorth and people representing most of the events were present.

The general feeling was that PolarFest was a great success. Although not present at the meeting a special thanks was issued to Jen MacKenzie from the Lakefield Pantry as she convened both the Polar Bear Ice Carving Competition and the Polar Paddle which both took place in Lakefield.

The Polar Paddle was bigger and better than ever and people were still taking pictures of the ice carvings in Cenotaph Park three weeks after the carvings were created.

The Ice People also created ice carvings in Bridgenorth at Heritage Park and Ennismore at the four corners across from Sullivan’s Store. They also attracted people for weeks following PolarFest.

The Opening Ceremonies were hosted in Bridgenorth for the first time and the organizers welcomed record crowds.

The Ontario Speed Skating Oval and Adventure Outfitters also hosted the 2nd annual Nordic Day held on the Oval site which gave people the opportunity to try speed skating, cross country skiing as well as snowshoeing.

Wrapping up PolarFest as always was the BEL Rotary Polar Plunge. This event raises thousands of dollars and attracts upwards of 2,500 people to Rotary Park in Ennismore. BEL Rotary is always looking for ways to improve the event, but it is hard to elevate perfection.

This year the Lakefield Legion came on board with an ice bar that attracted people to the Nichols Street location in Lakefield. The committee expressed its hope that the Legion will participate again for the 2015 carnival.

Many of the events that entertain the people across the Township of Selwyn are fundraising events for non-profit organizations. Doug Northey, Chair of the PolarFest Planning Committee wanted to invite any organization that is interested in participating in the 2015 carnival to contact Tiffany Owen at the Township office and give the details of their plan. Owen can be contacted at 705-292-9507.

Remember to “Come Chill With Us” January 30 to February 1, 2015.

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