Yarmouth Winter Carnival kicks off outdoors with skating rink and magic

It’s a hot, foggy day in early February, and outside the Yarmouth Chamber of Commerce offices and along Highway 28 the scene is quiet, with barely a soul in sight.

The town of Yarmouth hopes to change that outlook this weekend with a first-ever winter carnival that will feature activities including skating, ice sculptures, food trucks, animals, s’mores, and magic and hula-hoop shows.

To accomplish all of this, the Yarmouth Chamber is partnering with the city’s recreation department for the outdoor event, which will be held Friday through Sunday at Skull Island Adventure Golf & Sports World (formerly Bass River Sports World) on Highway 28 in South Yarmouth.

“We are so excited. We’ve been talking about it for years,” says Mary Vilbon, executive director of the Yarmouth Chamber. Organization officials hope a successful weekend will help make the carnival an annual winter event for the city: “It’s meant to be a community event and the kick off of the (school) holiday week. .”

The timing could also be useful, she says, for local businesses during Cape Town’s slower winter season.

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Jenn Werner, director of marketing, communications and events for the chamber, says the carnival will be filled with outdoor family activities, as well as performances and special events. A detailed schedule of all programs is available on the website, https://yarmouthcapecod.com/.

Some activities mentioned therein include an outdoor synthetic ice rink; food trucks, including Sunny Side Down and Kono Pizza Cape Cod; makeup artist and balloon artist; magic/, fire, hula hoop and skating shows; a petting zoo; an ice sculpting demonstration; children’s crafts and story time with Yarmouth City Libraries; and cornhole with Ryan Family Amusements.

The new synthetic rink, which was purchased by the Yarmouth Recreation Department, is a 44-by-24-foot structure made up of individual panels of high-density polyethylene plastic, “almost like plastic foam,” says Vilbon. The surface mimics ice equally well in all seasons, and the “ice” surface accommodates both hockey and figure skates. More modular panels can be added as needed, to increase the size of the rink, she says.

Officials plan to offer half-hour skate times, accommodating 15 skaters each session. Those who register can bring their own skates and hockey skates will be available for rent. Advance registration is required and registration begins February 14.

According to Werner, special performances and demonstrations will take place throughout the weekend. On Friday evenings, visitors can see Celtic magician Daniel GreenWolf combine storytelling with a “little bit of danger” in a magic and fire show. Also after Black Friday, an LED Hula Hoop show will be presented by Phoebe Flows, who, according to the artist’s advertisement, gives a “stunning performance” using an array of “dance, acting…and acrobatics”.

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Ice sculpting demonstrations will be offered on Friday by Sean Fitzpatrick of Fitzysnowman Studios, whose sculpting art is also responsible for the artwork on the Yarmouth Sand Sculpture Trail during the summer months.

Saturday’s events will include performances on the ice rink by a skating group that carnival organizers call “ice princesses.”

The organizers have recruited more than 70 volunteers to ensure the smooth running of the events.

If you are going to

What: Yarmouth Winter Carnival

When: 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday; noon to 6 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday

Or: Skull Island Adventure Golf & Sports World (formerly Bass River Sports World), 934 Route 28, South Yarmouth

Admission: Admission $2 (free for children 6 and under), cash only at the front door. Ice skating: $8 if you bring your own skates; $10 with skate rental

Information and skating reservations (from February 14: https://yarmouthcapecod.com/; 508-398-2231 ext. 1520; Yarmouth Recreation Office, 424 Route 28, West Yarmouth

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