The Saratoga Sun -

By Joe Elder 

New events and plenty of snow for Winter Carnival


The Sierra Madre Winter Carnival in Encampment has slalomed through some changes over its more than 25 years in existence.

This year, the carnival will have a winter feel thanks to snowfall in December and a proactive public works department in Encampment that helped preserve the snow by piling it early on.

The carnival kicks off Friday night with a treasure hunt starting at the Opera House at 6 p.m. and ending there with a roast beef dinner afterwards.

Kid’s sledding, the event that was around before the Winter Carnival, is on Saturday at 10 a.m.

Susan Munson, chairperson of the Winter Carnival committee, said there is a “build your own” sled category again this year.

“You can build it out of anything, it just has to come down the hill,” Munson said. “I’ve seen toilets, tubs and shopping carts used.”

Munson said there are also categories with regular sleds and the committee usually has extras for those that don’t own sleds.

A snow sculpture contest and Casino Night at the Opera House are also on Saturday.

The fun continues on Sunday at 2 p.m. with several events: the Sixth Street snowmobile sprint, human saucer bowling, snow golf and turkey curling.

Snowmobilers will have one block to see how fast they can go as clocked by radar and those interested in some mid-winter golf, Wyoming-style, can bring their own clubs and try their swing with tennis balls in the snow.

Human saucer bowling, a new event cancelled last year because of lack of snow, is just what it sounds like: humans on saucer sleds mimicking bowling balls careening towards pins.

Those who have never slung a frozen turkey will get their chance in the new turkey curling event.

Munson said she has been involved with the Winter Carnival committee for about six years.

Sunday’s events also include a chili and bread cookoff. All of the events take place near or at Grandview Park.

Due to a miscommunication, the Carnival almost didn’t happen one year, but within a month the committee managed to put on the kid’s sledding event.

“I have a handbook now so I can pass on the building blocks,” Munson said.


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