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A Poker Run is one of the many events at the 21st annual Winter Carnival. (JOHN QUINN PHOTO)

Make the most of the snow this weekend at Milton Winter Carnival

MILTON - Residents are invited to take advantage of the recent blizzard by strapping on snowshoes, learning how to harvest ice blocks or coax a fish out of Three Ponds this weekend.

The 21st annual Winter Carnival is scheduled to begin Friday at 6 p.m. in the Moose Lodge #1298, which will host the Chilli Willi Chili/Chowder Cook-off, the Mark Goodell Memorial Pool Tournament and the first Death by Chocolate silent auction and sampler.

The bulk of the cold-weather activities are set for Saturday at the Town Beach and the Emma Ramsey Center, both of which are along Route 125.

After the recent snowfall, Recreation Director Karen Brown, who's been involved with the carnival for the past two decades, said conditions are ideal for the carnival, which was far less successful without snow last year.

What a difference a year, and two feet of snow, makes to help drum up anticipation for the winter carnival, Brown said. "I think people are itching to get out in the snow," Brown said.

Fishing fans of all ages will come to compete in the annual family derby, which kicks off at 8 a.m. Younger participants have until noon, while adults have until 3 p.m. to test their skills. Registration forms are available online.

Brown said firefighters will check the thickness of the ice Friday and Saturday and have crews at the carnival as a precaution while Explorers will be on-hand to help keep participants warm at a beach-side campfire. Additionally, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., firefighters will also answer questions about new equipment, the conditions of the existing fire station and plans for a new facility, which is on the ballot this year.

To keep costs down and interests up, Brown said several area snowmobile clubs - including Evergreen Valley, Seven Lakes, Powder Mills and Wolfeboro SMC - teamed up to organize the Poker Run, which should last about 2½ hours.

The cost is $10 and registration begins at 9 a.m. at Milton Pump and Filter Shop. The event will begin at 10 a.m.; registration ends at 10:30 a.m.

Members of Moose Mountain Regional Greenways plan to take children and adults on an hour-long family snowshoeing trek beginning at the town beach at 9:30 a.m.

At 10 a.m., volunteers from the New Hampshire Farm Museum will start drilling and cutting into the ice as part of their annual ice harvesting demonstration. While many older residents remember how ice harvesting used to be a booming industry in many communities with freshwater lakes, Brown said younger crowds are fascinated to see the process and learn about the days of ice boxes.

For more information, or for a schedule of events, go to


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