Winter Returns For Annual Camp Hollis Festival

OSWEGO, NY – Old Man Winter’s latest barrage couldn’t have come at a better time for the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau.

The public is invited to the Hollis Winter Festival on Tuesday from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.

Sledding is a popular event at the Hollis Winter Festival for all ages.
Sledding is a popular event at the Hollis Winter Festival for all ages.

The annual free event for youth and their families is held at Camp Hollis in Oswego Town. Donations for future fun events will be accepted.

On the schedule are sledding, snowshoeing, snow sculpturing, arts and crafts (inside so you have a chance to warm up), an iced penny hunt as well as other outdoor activities. And, this year, there ought to be plenty of snow to go around.

An outdoor campfire will be the setting for a sing-along marshmallow roast.

Lunch will be served for all participants.

While Fulton cracked the 100-inch plateau for snowfall on Jan. 12  (100 inches), Oswego has peculiarly been languishing behind.

“For whatever reason, the snow has been heavier on us instead of staying closer to the lake,” said John Florek who has been keeping track of Fulton’s weather for several years.

For the winter of 2004-05, Oswego went over 100 inches on Feb. 21, 2005 (100.7). Fulton did so a few days earlier, hitting 102 inches on the 11th.

The winter of 2005-06 shows similar numbers: Oswego 100.3 inches on Feb. 19, 2006, and Fulton again a bit earlier, 105 inches on Feb. 7.

For the winter of 2006-07, Oswego hit the 100-inch mark earlier (106.5 inches on Feb. 8, 2007), but Fulton still got there first (117.5 inches on Feb. 5).

In the winter of 2007-08, Oswego slipped into triple digits on Feb. 11, 2008 (113.9 inches). Fulton had crossed the line on Jan. 20 (110.5 inches).

Last winter, Oswego got to 102.6 inches by Jan. 16, 2009. Fulton topped the mark on Dec. 31, 2008 (104.5 inches).

For the winter of 2009-10, Fulton hit 100 inches on Jan. 12, 2010. At that time, Oswego had a mere 68.4 inches.

According to Bill Gregway, local observer for the National Weather Service, the phenomenon known as El Nino is pushing the snowy weather much further south this season.

“Average precipitation for February is 2.83 inches. We’re more than half way through the month and we’ve got 0.38-inch,” he said. “The normal snowfall is 34.5 inches and all we’ve got is 9.4 inches.”

Gregway maintains that 2009-10 will be “an open winter” with less than 100 inches of snow. It has happened twice already this millennium with 1999-2000 coming in at 76.6 inches and the winter of 2001-02 had even less (70.6 inches).

The least amount of snowfall fr an Oswego winter is 47.4 inches in the winter of 1932-33.

King of the snow pile in Oswego is 251.6 inches (1971-72) and for Fulton it is 275 inches (1995-96).

In case of heavy snow, contact the Youth Bureau at 349-3451 or email [email protected] to make sure Hollis Winter Festival will still be held.