Camden Winterfest returns to the Amphitheatre on Saturday, February 1

Winterfest, Camden’s annual celebration of winter and community, returns to the Amphitheatre on Saturday, February 1, at noon. The centerpiece of Winterfest activity is the community ice carving. Community groups, individuals, schools, and businesses carve wondrous crystalline sculptures on the day of the celebration, using the traditional tools of the ice-carving artisan. Tim Pierce, Executive Chef and master ice-carver of the Samoset Resort, assists the carvers with their creations. Winterfest is presented by the Winterfest Committee and the Camden Public Library with support from The First.


This year the Winterfest activities will be expanded to make a week-long community festival. Winterfest will be on the first weekend, on February 1, and Camden’s famous Toboggan National Championships will be on the following weekend, on February 7, 8, and 9, will “bookend” the week. The Camden Snow Bowl, Camden Public Library, Camden Downtown Business Group, and the PenBay Regional Chamber of Commerce are busy planning mid-week events as well. This year, for the first time, snow sculptures are planned for Camden as well as the traditional ice sculptures.

Camden Parks & Rec Department will host “CamJam” activities in Harbor Park during the first weekend of Camden Winterfest Week. They will install rails in Harbor Park so that skiers and snowboarders can try out the downtown slope, and on Sunday, February 2, trick skiing and snowboarding competition will be held in Harbor Park, sponsored by the Camden Snow Bowl. Finals will be held at the Snow Bowl on Friday, February 7.

The Snow Bowl is planning on providing a mini-mountain of snow in the Amphitheatre for family winter fun such as sledding nd building snowmen. With or without natural snow, families are encouraged to come and play and enjoy Camden’s downtown public parks. Winter indoor crafts and face painting are offered free of charge to the younger set in the Picker Room of the Camden Public Library during Winterfest on February 1. The warm rotunda of the library hosts live music by All That Jazz. Also on Atlantic Avenue, a merry band of culinary volunteers serve a variety of delicious hot soups and light snacks donated by local restaurants. Proceeds benefit the Camden Public Library.

Master Carver Tim Pierce will offer an outdoor workshop and demonstration on ice carving at the library on Sunday, January 19, at 1:00 pm. All are welcome; carvers who are participating in this year’s Winterfest will be particularly interested in attending the workshop for tips on design and carving ice sculptures.

The Amphitheatre is home to the ice sculptures for several weeks after the event in what the committee calls a “Winter Ice Garden.” The community is encouraged to keep coming back to the park to watch on a daily basis how the ice sculptures change and melt away. If you are interested in trying your hand at ice carving, call Ken Gross at the library at 236-3440 for more information on reserving an ice block. The blocks are exceptionally clear and surprisingly easy to sculpt. Click here to download a registration form to reserve an ice block and to register a team. bringing as many diverse community groups, especially youth, as possible into one event in the parks for the enjoyment of all.

The accompanying photos are from the 2013 Winterfest celebrations. Come join the fun!