OSWEGO COUNTY – Spice up your winter at the Warm Up Oswego Festival on Friday and Saturday, February 3 and 4. The event kicks off at 6 p.m. with a bonfire at the Oswego YMCA Armory on West First Street where prizes will be awarded for the snow sculpture contest. Bring your dancing shoes to the McCrobie Building on Lake Street at 7 p.m. for a fun evening of contra dancing.
Festivities continue on Saturday with family-friendly activities, food and music scheduled from noon until midnight at the Oswego YMCA Armory and throughout downtown Oswego. Sign up for the Hot 2K Trot Fun Run and Walk, listen to the sounds of local musicians and savor warm and spicy foods. Cheer on your favorite team in Crazy Costume Sled Races while the kids enjoy the Treasure Hunt in the Snow. Gather your friends to join in the Downtown Hot Scavenger Hunt.
Admission is free for the festival which features a variety of activities including: Irish step dancing, gymnastics and karate demonstrations, coloring and foul-shooting basketball contests, mask-making workshops, swing dancing lessons and preview performances of “The Sound of Music” and “Les Misérables” by the Oswego and Mexico High Schools.
The day’s festivities wrap up with a fireworks display over the Oswego River at 6 p.m., followed by community fiestas and an Oswego Music Hall concert with Jonathan Coleman and Boots N’ Shorts at 8 p.m. at the McCrobie Building on Lake Street.
For festival details and a complete schedule of events, call the Oswego YMCA at 315-342-6082 or visit www.warmuposwego.com.
Continue celebrating the winter season with community events. Weather permitting, the Sandy Pond Sportsman’s Association on county Route 15 in Sandy Creek hosts its annual Mad River Children’s Ice Fishing Derby on Saturday and Sunday, February 4 and 5. Family ice fishing runs from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days and prizes are awarded for the top in each category. For registration and derby information, call 315-387-6310.
The Northern New York Vintage Snowsled Race takes place at the Oswego County Fairgrounds on Hadley Road in Sandy Creek on Saturday, February 11. Warm-ups begin at 10 a.m., followed by a full day of racing. Admission is $10 for adults and free for children age 12 and younger. For details, call 315-387-3834.
On Saturday and Sunday, February 11 and 12, bring the whole family to the 12th Annual Great Eastern Whiteout at the Fulton War Memorial on West Broadway. Starting at 8 a.m. on Saturday, enjoy antique and vintage sled displays, rides, and drag races hosted by the Fulton Area Snowmobile Travelers. For admission prices and show details, visit www.thegreateasternwhiteout.net.
Follow the bay of sled dogs to the Winona State Forest Recreation Area in Boylston for the 18th Tug Hill Challenge Sled Dog Races. From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, February 11 and 12, cheer on your favorite sled dog race team, watch dog weight pulls, or try your hand at skijoring at the CCC Camp on county Route 90 in Mannsville. Admission is free. For more information, go to www.pennsleddogclub.com.
Bring the kids to the Oswego County Winter Carnival at the Sandy Pond Steakhouse on Wigwam Drive in Sandy Creek. Festivities run from dawn to dusk on Saturday and Sunday, February 11 and 12. Enjoy an ice fishing tournament, dog sled rides, and a “Chillin’ Chili Cook-off.” Bring your winter gear to join in family ice skating, a cross-country ski tour or a snowshoe beach walk. At 1 p.m. on Saturday, adventurers will participate in the first-ever Sandy Pond Polar Bear Plunge! Later, the Pulaski-Boylston Snowmobile Club presents a Snowmobile Lighted Night Parade at 5:30 p.m. Admission to the festival is free. For event details and registration information, visit www.salmonriverfishingmuseum.com.
The Sandy Pond Sportsman’s Association on county Route 15 in Sandy Creek hosts its 36th Annual Ice Fishing Derby on Saturday and Sunday, February 18 and 19. Trek carefully onto the ice and fish from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days to bring in the winning catch! For event and registration details, call 315-963-0760.
Calling all cross-country skiers and snowshoe racers! The 32nd Annual Winona Forest Tour-a-thon runs from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday, February 18. This Nordic-sanctioned ski race includes 12.5, 25, and 37.5 km distances. On Sunday, February 19, the inaugural I Love Winona Snowshoe Race and Empire State Snowshoe Championship will start at 10 a.m. at the CCC Camp on county Route 90 in Mannsville. Distances include a 5 km citizen’s walk/run and the 10 km Championship Race. For directions and registration details, call 315-298-6993 or visit www.winonaforest.com.
For more information about these or upcoming events in Oswego County, call the Oswego County Tourism Office at 1-800-596-3200 ext. 8322 or go to www.visitoswegocounty.com.