CAMDEN — What other event combines a doggie winter wear fashion show, ice sculpting, a polar plunge into water that’s 37°F, free films, music, and a wild ride down a 400-foot toboggan chute?
Only the week-long celebration of Winterfest in Camden, of course, according to organizers, in a news release.
This year’s festivities will run from Saturday, Feb.1 through Sunday, Feb. 9.
It all kicks off on Saturday, Feb. 1, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Camden Public Library and neighboring Harbor Park where visitors will be able to watch teams of amateur ice sculptors transform 300-pound blocks of ice into artistic masterpieces.
At noon, community members are invited to bring their dogs to walk the catwalk in the first ever “Dog Days of Winter Doggie Fashion Show.” There will be a dog toy giveaway for the first 60 doggie models, donated by The Maine Dog. Participants will receive a ticket for a free raffle for a goody basket donated by Loyal Biscuit Company and a tote bag full of gourmet dog food donated by Fromm Family Foods.
Kids can meet Petey, the costumed dog mascot from the Camden animal adoption center (P.A.W.S.) and warm up inside the library with an array of craft activities and face painting.
Everyone can stay cozy by sipping on soup donated by Marriners Restaurant, chowder from the Waterfront Restaurant, hot chocolate from Boynton McKay, and hotdogs from French & Brawn. All proceeds from food sales benefit the Camden Amphitheatre and Harbor Park.
At 2 p.m., the bravest and hardiest can take a Polar Plunge into the picturesque (and frigid) waters of Camden Harbor hosted by SunDog Outdoor Expeditions.
All of these furry, frosty festivities are made possible by the generous support of the First National Bank.
The fun continues all week long with a free family film screening of the animated film Balto on Tuesday, Feb. 4, at 6 p.m., at the Camden Public Library.
Another classic winter film, Ice Age, will be shown free of charge on Wednesday, Feb. 5, at 6 p.m., at the Camden Opera House.
Head over to the Camden Opera House again on Thursday, Feb. 6, at 7:30 p.m., for the Winterfest concert by Rustic Overtones, with opening local act Drive By Todd. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 day-of-show.
The week culminates with the U.S. National Toboggan Championships beginning on Friday, Feb. 7, and running through Sunday, Feb. 9. Visit their website: www.camdensnowbowl.com/toboggan-championships/ for full details on the Toboggan Nationals.