NORTH ADAMS -- Saturday's forecast: Wintry, with a chance of chowder, ice sculptures, pony rides and more.
The 17th annual Winterfest returns from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, and if forecasts for a snowstorm Thursday are correct, attendees will have plenty of seasonal atmosphere.
"I always like to get a little bit of snow a few days before," said Veronica Bosley, the city's director of tourism. "There was one year which was nice because it was 45 degrees out. But it didn't have that winter feel to it."
Attendance has been affected by the cold in past years, she said. But there will be at least one spot for attendees to warm up.
"Something that we added last year that we're continuing is the community campfire on Holden Street," she said. "We'll be shutting down Holden Street, and we have city workers bringing in a setup to safely run a campfire. We'll have marshmallows and benches ... it's a nice gathering spot for the day."
Holden Street will also be the place to catch a pony ride, Bosley said, offered by Bonnie Lea Farm from Williamstown. A $5 ride from 10 a.m. to noon will benefit an equestrian team for middle and high school students.
The chowder tasting, a perennial favorite, will take place in 107 Main St. from noon to 2 p.m.
New eateries expected to participate include Mikey Joes', which many people know from the North Adams Farmers Market and the Crystal Hard Hat, Bosley said. Also entering this year are the Adams Ale House and the Drury High School Dining Service.
Ice sculpting also will return, Bosley said.
"We've ordered eight blocks of ice for local participants to carve," she said. "We have a couple new places that have signed up, including Steepleview Realty, which has a new location on Main Street."
Information booths on Main Street will include the organizers of the upcoming Snocross snowmobile race on Feb. 22 and members of the Berkshire Black Bears to talk about starting a hockey league.
Live music will be performed in front of Eagle Street Music on Main, weather permitting, Bosley said. The Berkshire Emporium also will host Blueberry Buckle Trio from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Other scheduled events include a walk around the city's new walking loop created by Mass in Motion, horse-drawn wagon rides sponsored by MountainOne Bank between 1 and 3 p.m., arts and crafts at MCLA Gallery 51, and an open house at the new Once Around the Block Consignment Shop at 18 Holden Street from 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
The day's festivities wrap up at with a skating party from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Peter W. Foote Vietnam Veterans Memorial Skating Rink, 1267 Church St.
For more information, visit www.explorenorthadams.com or call 413-664-6180.
To reach Edward Damon:
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On Twitter: @BE_EDamon