NEW LONDON — The first Winter Carnival is an attempt to bring together several winter events in town, said New London Recreation Director Scott Blewitt.
The New London Winter Carnival starts Monday, Jan. 27 and runs through Saturday, Feb. 1.
"In the past there have been various events in New London such as the dinner with Jack Frost," Blewitt said, adding he has organized the event drawing on his two decades of experience working for the Newport Recreation Department.
The pan is to make the Winter Carnival a yearly event, he said.
"New London has such a strong tradition of the Hospital Days and the whole community support. I think this will be the winter version of the Hospital Days and celebrating the winter and the coming for spring and having a little fun with their neighbors," Blewitt said.
The fun starts Monday with the Snowman Building Contest along Main Street, which ends Tuesday at 4 p.m.
Winners in both individual and business categories announced Wednesday at the Torch Lighting at 5 p.m.
To register for the Snowman Building Contest participants need to register at the Lake Sunapee Region Chamber of Commerce as well as to receive their Snowman's Hawaiian lei since the theme for the carnival is "Winter Warm-up."
If you don't live on Main Street you can build your snowman at your home or on the town common on Main Street.
Carnival organizers are hoping to line Main Street with the Hawaiian snowman, Blewitt said.
Also on Wednesday is the learn to skate and skating games for all ages at Andrew Memorial Ice Rink from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and then at 5 p.m. the Jack Frost 1k Torch Run, Torch Lighting and Wife Carrying Contest.
Thursday starting at 9 a.m. there is Special Ski Day at Ragged Mountain and from 4 to 6 p.m. a Broom Hockey Tournament at the ice rink Friday at 4 p.m. is a free magic show at Whipple Hall, wagon rides on the town green from 5 to 7 p.m. and then the dinner with Jack Frost on the town green complete with bon fires and tiki torches. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students and are free for children 8 and under. Dozens of local restaurant are donating food to the event, which raises money for the recreation department. The dinner is limited to 250 people.
"The Dinner with Jack Frost really has such a great reputation. That event hasn't been done in the past two years, which is why it has most people excited," Blewitt said.
The carnival ends Saturday with the Frozen Open, mini gold on snow for all ages, and the In-laws Christmas fruit cake toss both starting at 11 a.m. A hot chocolate bar serving free hot chocolate on the green from noon to 3 p.m. Ski Joring from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., a noon dog sledding demonstration, and the Winter Carnival Parade at 6 p.m.
Then after dark a fireworks show is planned with viewing area behind the 1941 building on Main Street.