The Warren County Winterfest committee has been gearing up all year for another spectacular festival.
A 32-mile dog sled race from Chapman State Park to Hickory Creek Wilderness Ranch and a "Meet the Mushers" event will kick off Winterfest at Chapman State Park, which is set for Friday through Sunday, Jan. 23-25.
Sled dogs, said Ed Atwood of the Tionesta Snowmobile Club and Jim Lobdell Memorial Sled Dog Races, "really bring out the people."
This year, more than 70 sled dog teams have signed up to be a part of the weekend's events, according to Atwood.
"We are the only sled dog race in Pennsylvania and on state game lands," said Atwood. "People come from all over to participate and bring their families to watch. We have had people as far as North and South Carolina to Ohio and New York."
Some of the events include Ski-joring, sportsman, unlimited, pro and junior level sled dog racing.
"We are really excited for the events this year," said Travis Hummel, Warren County Recreation director. "We look forward to everyone coming out and having a great time."
A new event called "Winterfest Amazing Geo-Race" will start at 11 a.m. Saturday and will feature an "Amazing Race" type atmosphere.
"Geocaching has become really popular and has taken off the last couple of years," said Atwood. "We know a lot of people will come out for this event. It should be really exciting."
Other events, said Hummel, include snow-shoeing, ice fishing, sleigh rides, sled riding races, cardboard box derby, ice sculpting contest, ice skating exhibitions and ice safety demonstrations.
The schedule for Friday through Sunday is as follows:
Meet the Mushers - Friday 3 to 5 p.m. at the Kalbus Rod and Gun Club. A spaghetti dinner will follow from 5 to 8 p.m. Cost is $4 for adults and children ten and under are free.
Ice Fishing Demo- Saturday from 9 a.m to 3 p.m.
Snow Sculpting Contest - Saturday with judging at 3 p.m.
Ice Safety Demo with Glade Township Water Rescue Team - Saturday at 1 p.m.
Sled Riding races ( tubing and snowboard included) - Saturday at noon.
Ice Fishing Contest- Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (16 and over require fishing license)
Explore the Trails - Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; 1 p.m., ski clinic for beginners; 2 p.m., guided trail tours; Sunday 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., snowshoe clinic and guided hike for beginners
Warren's Champions on Ice (special figure skating exhibition) - Saturday at 6 p.m.
Tails of the Tundra (Siberian Husky Rescue) Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m to 4 p.m.
Jim Lobdell Memorial Sled Dog Races - Saturday and Sunday: Ski-joring (2 miles) 9 a.m.; 4- Dog Sportsman (5 miles) 10 a.m.; 6 -Dog Sportsman (5 miles) 10:30 a.m.; 2 - Dog Junior (5 miles) 11 a.m.; 4-Dog Pro ( 5 miles) 11:30 a.m.; 6- Dog Pro (6 miles) 1 :30 p.m.; Unlimited ( 12 miles) 2 :30 p.m.; Pee Wee (100 yards.) 2:40 p.m.; I.W.P.A Weight Pull Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m.
New Hope Assistance Dogs of Warren County- both Saturday and Sunday.
Winterfest Amazing Geo-Race - Saturday at 9 a.m. (seminar) and at 11 a.m. the event will take place.
Carboard Box Derby- Sunday: 1 p.m.- race registration; 1:30 p.m.- judging and rules meeting; 2 p.m. - races begin
Polar Bear Plunge- Saturday at 1 p.m.
In addition to the events listed, food and craft vendors will be available as well as free hot chocolate on both Saturday and Sunday in the Warming Hut courtesy of Kondak's Community Market.
Free skis and snowshoes are available at the Event Tent as well as information regarding any of the events.
For more information or to download registration forms, go to www.WarrenCountyWinterfest.com.