Friday, February 12, 2010

Winter Carnival, with a twist!

Last Sunday was notable not only if you were fans of New Orleans football, but for a singularly different Winter Carnival at West Newbury's Mill Pond as well. With absolutely no snow on the west-facing slope overlooking Mill Pond, the whole focus of the day was at the foot of the hill. Between the morning's under-the-ice rescue demonstration by the West Newbury Emergency Crew and the sailing ice boat at sunset, skating and sliding families filled the glassy-smooth ice from east to west.

Pick-up hockey games, puck shooting and ball-tossing at a snowman were popular, as were saucer and tube riding behind willing dads. Around 150 neighbors enjoyed hot food provided by Glenn and Mary Kemper, hot cocoa and treats. The Girl Scouts sold cookies and several Boy Scouts assisted with parking. The Mill Pond building, was open and warm, but bright sun, a bonfire, burned marshmallows and a cloudless sky kept things plenty comfortable outside.

Couldn't make it? The Mill Pond and adjoining public land is available for skating, hiking, cross country skiing, dog walking, canoeing and passive riding year round, dawn to dusk. Mill Pond is a natural gem right in the center of town, a respite from the world just minutes away. Maps of the area's open spaces can be purchased from the GAR Library, or viewed online at or on the ECTA website.