Cooperstown carnival to celebrate 56th 'winterful' year

Jan. 31—The annual Cooperstown Winter Carnival is gearing up for its 56th year with a weekend full of events to take the chill out of the mid-winter season.

Themed "It's a Winterful Life," submitted by Marcia Nye, this year's four-day celebration will kick off Thursday, Feb. 1, according to a news release.

"We're hoping that the whole village community comes out," Keith Gulla, one of 11 members on this year's winter carnival committee, said Wednesday on behalf of the group. "The weather is looking really good for the weekend despite the snow."

New events this year are sports trivia, scheduled for 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 3 at Templeton Hall with cash prizes, and a Blizzard Bash tailgate party, scheduled for 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 4 in Doubleday Field parking lot.

The Blizzard Bash celebrates the final day of the winter carnival weekend — a free event featuring face painting, games with prizes, a pie eating contest, a bounce house and a visit from NY Goat Yoga baby goats.

To keep things warm, there will be a bonfire and warming station with music provided by DJ Raphael. The tailgate is bring-your-own food and drink, and food will be available to purchase from Brewery Ommegang's food truck.

Concluding the Blizzard Bash is a Tesla car light show featuring synchronized and choreographed light sequences using headlights, taillights and interior lights to create "a visually stunning performance," organizers said.

Limited parking spaces for the tailgate are free and available to the public. To register for a space, or to volunteer a Tesla for the show, email

Thursday's events will start with a hot cocoa warm-up from 4:30 to 6 p.m. at The Otesaga Resort Hotel's Fenimore Room, featuring hot chocolate as well as adult beverages, a fireworks display scheduled for 6 p.m., music by Shadowfax, appearances by princesses Cinderella and Rapunzel and a commemorative address by Cooperstown Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh.

The winter festivities will continue throughout the weekend with special events, such as the Fenimore Quilt Club show, a family movie night screening of "Barbie," Friends of the Village Library book sale, a village scavenger hunt, Lake Front Park sledding if the weather permits, a visit from the Utica Zoo, snowpal making contest, free ice skating, the Bob Smullens 5K and 10K Race, restaurant specials, retail events and appearances by princesses Cinderella and Rapunzel.

"There are a lot of events, indoor and outdoor, for all ages taking place throughout the weekend," Gulla said.

Collector winter carnival pins will be available at various venues around Cooperstown including Tin Bin Alley, All About The Girls, Kate's Upstate, The Local Bird, Bridgett and Main, The Beverage Exchange and J Gorman Jewelers. All proceeds will go toward future winter carnivals.

The Cooperstown Winter Carnival is produced under the umbrella of the local Lions Club and is a volunteer-run committee that relies on donations to fulfill its mission of bringing winter fun to Cooperstown, organizers said.

For a complete list of events, visit All events are subject to change.