By Katie Lovett
---- — While the temperatures seem more like spring lately, the Bartlet Mall will be set to welcome revelers celebrating winter on Saturday, Feb. 9.
The annual Winter Carnival will run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and offer a day full of skating, hayrides, games and, yes, hopefully some sledding. It was originally scheduled to be held Feb. 2, but a decision was made today to postpone it a week due to potentially hazardous ice conditions.
Organizers decided to hold the carnival based on forecasts that call for the weather to return to normal conditions by the weekend.
Although this year’s festival may not offer the same type of wintry conditions to create the sledding hills of years past, Newburyport Parks administrator Lisë Reid said revelers will find an area ready for skating and some sledding.
Participants can still register for the Human Dog Sled Race, in which teams of five or less people — a driver and human “sled dogs” — race across the frozen Frog Pond. Teams need to provide their own sled and rope to attach the sled to participants. Interested parties need to register at the information booth by 1:45 p.m. The race will start at 2 p.m. at the corner of the pond nearest the courthouse.
In addition to skating and sledding, attendees will find an assortment of other activities, including horse-drawn hayrides provided by Scott Colby of Colby Farm, children’s games organized by the Newburyport Mothers Club and snowshoeing demonstrations offered by outdoor gear retailer REI. Free cookies and cocoa will be available throughout the day, as well.
The Newburyport Winter Carnival is funded with donations from the Institution for Savings and the Newburyport Five Cents Savings Bank.