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February 7, 2014

Olympics-themed Winter Carnival starts today

By Meghan McCaffrey Contributing Writer
The Daily Star

---- — This year’s theme is Winter Olympics for the Cooperstown Winter Carnival carnival, which will take place from today through Sunday.

“We are really excited about the theme. We’re hoping that the enthusiasm for the Olympics carries over to our event,” said Sarah Korsch, co-chairwoman of the event.

The 13th annual “Brian Boitano” Carnival Fireworks Display will kick off this year’s event tonight at 6:30 at Lakefront Park. The fireworks will be followed by a drink-tasting contest, the “Elixir of the Gods” Carnival Cooler and Drink Contest from 7 to 11 p.m. at Templeton Hall, 63 Pioneer St. There is a $5 entrance fee that includes drink samples. The event is for people 21 and over.

Local bars will create drinks related to the theme; there will also be food and a photo booth, Korsch said.

Participants can also view the actual opening ceremony of the Olympics, which will be shown at Templeton Hall on Friday night.

“So people can watch the ceremony while they dance and drink,” Korsch said.

The events on Saturday and Sunday begin with the Cooperstown Lions Pancake Breakfast from 8 to 11:30 a.m. at the Veterans Club on Main Street. The event is sponsored by the Cooperstown Lions Club and served by the Leo Club.

“It’s usually a pretty popular event. The pancakes are delicious and they use real New York maple syrup,” Korsch said.

The “Olympiad” parade begins at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday on Main Street and will conclude at the Doubleday Field Parking Lot where the “Olympic Village” will be open until 4 p.m. The “Paws-Abilities” SPCA dog show will take place at noon. There will also be a bounce house, a chili contest, games and music.

There will be tubing at Glimmerglass State Park on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the park on Rt. 31. Admission is $5 per person; children 13 and under must be accompanied by an adult.

For wine-lovers, there will be two wine tasting events on Saturday, one at Cooperstown Wine and Spirits, 45 Pioneer St. from noon to 4 p.m. The second event is the SPCA Wine Benefit at a Nicoletta’s Cafe on Main Street from noon to 3 p.m. There is a suggested donation for the benefit.

The Clark Sports Center Bowling Tournament will take place Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Clark Sports Center. It costs $3 per member or $6 per non-member.

For those interested in doing something creepy, Cooperstown Candlelight Ghost Tours will be departing at 1 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday from Pioneer Park. The tour costs $10 for adults and $5 for children; children under five are free.

There is also the “Tonya Harding” Chicken Wing Contest at 3:30 p.m. at the Cooperstown Veteran’s Club on Main Street and there is a $5 fee.

The events on Saturday will conclude with the “Triple Lutz Saturday Night Extravaganza” which includes several local bands playing at bars in Cooperstown starting at 9 p.m.

“Most of the bands are cover bands and will play popular music,” Korsch said.

On Sunday there will be “Cool Runnings” Youth and Adult Sled Races, registration is at 10:30 a.m. and races will begin at 11 a.m. at Lake Front Park.

There will also be an Adult Free Throw and Three Point Contest at 11 a.m. at the Clark Sports Center. Participants must be 18 or older.

There will also be the 42nd Annual Bob Smullens 5K/10K on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. in Cooper Park.

After the race, the winners from all of the events and raffles will be announced.

The goal for the Winter Carnival is for people to get outside during the winter and socialize, Korsch said.

“It’s good to try to get people to participate in events during the winter,” Korsch said. “It’s been a tough winter so far but we’re hoping to have some fun with it.”

Korsch said they did not add new events this year in an effort to simplify, and instead they focused on the most popular events.

“We want to highlight the events that have been popular in the past and have them be really successful,” Korsch said.

This is the third and final year for both Teresa Mae Leveille and Korsch, co-chairs of the Winter Carnival.

“We’re hoping to go out with a bang,” Korsch said.