By Michelle Miller
The Daily Star
---- — The Cooperstown Winter Carnival has become a tradition and a way to shake off the winter blues, and for most, Old Man Winter could not spoil the fun this year.
Event co-chairwoman Teresa Leveille called the snowstorm that rolled in Friday as the three-day event was getting started both a blessing and a curse. She said some vendors did back out, and attendance might have been slightly down the first couple of days.
At last year’s event, activities such as sledding and ice skating had to be canceled because of lack of snow. That was not the case this year.
“We had a lot of people last year that missed those outdoor activities, so it is good that we are able to make those things happen this year,” Leveille said Saturday in between activities.
“I think the dog show was a good testament that people still came out despite the cold,” she said. “We had a pretty good turnout for the parade too. There was not as much (participation) as last year, but it was good.”
The sun did come out bringing warmer weather on the final day, with temperatures reaching in the upper 20s.
“The sled races were amazing, and the day was heavenly,” Leveille said.
Another well-attended event Sunday was the chili contest, Leveille said. Brewery Ommegang won top honors at the contest that was held at the Back Alley Grille.
The Susquehanna Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal dog show, which features canines in costumes and showing off their talents, was held under a tent at Lakefront Park on Saturday instead of outdoors in Doubleday Parking lot.
Elizabeth Rickard of Hartwick said she has been coming to the carnival for many years, but had never seen the dog show before.
“It has probably been my favorite thing so far,” she said after the competition Saturday.
Cooperstown resident Willis Monie, whose dog, Sophie, won best costume, said he felt it was a bit cramped in the tent, but was happy to be where it would be warmer not only for the humans but also for the dogs.
Monie said he and his wife, Dina Sams, try to get to a lot of the events offered at the carnival each year. After the dog show, he said he was looking forward to the chicken wing and lip sync contests. He said he really enjoyed the “BritishMania” Beatles Tribute band that performed at the Otesaga Resort Hotel on Friday night.
“There is just so much to do,” Monie said. “There is a wine tasting, a chocolate event. We do all those.”