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Frost Festival likely to be a lot more frosty this year

DERRY - Last year's Frost Festival didn't quite live up to its name, as warm winter temperatures and a lack of snowfall caused a lot of the three-day festival's more wintry events to be canceled.

With a major storm expected to blow through the region this weekend, the outlook is more promising for this year's festival, which takes place at a number of locations throughout town on Friday, Feb. 15, through Sunday, Feb. 17.

"We're talking about some snow on Saturday, and certainly the ponds are frozen, so we should be able to do some of the activities we were not able to do when we had the balmy temperatures last year," said town administrator John Anderson.

The festivities kick off on Friday, Feb. 15, with a free spaghetti dinner for senior citizens at the Gilbert H. Hood Middle School sponsored by the Derry Village Rotary Club.

There will also be a different look to the traditional Frost Festival Ball this year, with the Frosty's Dueling Pianos Show at Promises to Keep on Rockingham Road on Saturday, Feb. 16, from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Tickets for the event, which also includes appetizers, dancing, a DJ and a cash bar, are $40 and available at the Derry Municipal Center and the Derry Parks and Recreation office.

There will also be plenty of events for the family on Saturday at Veterans Hall from noon to 3 p.m., including a puppet show, a mad science fire and ice show, and wildlife encounters.

The Granite State FFA is sponsoring snowshoe races at J&F Farm on Saturday as well, with registration beginning at 9:30 a.m.

The fun continues on Sunday, Feb. 17, with ice sculptures on West Broadway from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; sledding, a bonfire, and the crowning of Miss Derry at Alexander Carr Park; an ice fishing demonstration and chili cook-off at Gaillen's Town Beach; and snowmobile riding and demonstrations at Hoodkroft Golf Course.

"We're supposed to have a blizzard coming, so we will get the snow in here and enjoy it," said town council chairman Brad Benson.


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