An ice bar, ice castle, and ice skating under the stars? That’s ice cubed. Thrice the ice.
But seriously folks, Ole Savannah’s three-day Winterfest is already shaping up to be one of the coolest dead-of-winter events in the county. It kicks off this Fri. Feb. 17 at 5pm, when the gates of the ice castle ostensibly will swing open, accompanied by a frozen bar with special guest bartenders, each donating their tips to a charity of their choice.
At 7pm, DJ Eddie Parker will spin for ice skaters, followed by “jukebox rock and roll” tribute band Roadhouse. Visitors will enjoy food stations for s’mores, cotton candy and popcorn, alongside fire pits to warm up by. There will also be a “flip cup” marathon with 4-person teams, and all donations will go to a charity of the winner’s choosing. And that’s just the first day!
On Sat. Feb. 18, the fun continues at noon, with a new crew of guest bartenders giving their tips to a wide variety of nonprofits. Until 4pm, take to the ice with guest skaters who are also raising money for causes they’ve chosen, check out Ulster SPCA’s adoption day setup, browse a craft fair with local vendors, touch a truck, paint a face, take a picture in the photo booth, and play winter carnival games.
Sun. Feb. 19th is even more kid-friendly, with a 10am brunch featuring Elsa, Anna and Olaf from Disney’s Frozen franchise. The day will proceed with similar events as Saturday, culminating in a fierce chili cookoff between 14 local restaurants and cooks, presented by The Arc Mid-Hudson.
Get jiggly with it
And now for something completely different: The Great Jell-O Jamboree will wiggle its way into Kingston’s Fuller Building place this Sat. Feb. 18. Local artists have been invited to create sculptures out of gelatin, and the whole community has been invited to come to the party. Expect boozy Jell-o inspired food and drink, along with music, dancing, art exhibits and a photo booth. The event is “adult-centric” but kids are welcome.
Lest you think this was the invention of a retro-dessert obsessed sculptor, the event was actually dreamed up by the creative folks at D.R.A.W. (Department of Regional Art Workers). This will serve as their inaugural fundraising party, and the public is invited to support D.R.A.W.’s dedication to growing and educating a community of local creators.
Go loco for cocoa
Ashokan Center will host a 2-day Hot Chocolate Festival this weekend, Feb. 18-19. Two cups of the hottest drink of the winter season will be included, with eight flavors to choose from. Of course, no one’s expected to travel deep into the forest for a couple cups of hot chocolate, no matter how good they are. Fortunately, the Ashokan Center is a wonderland unto itself.
Attendees will gather around cozy campfires, admiring the stunning natural scenery, enjoying live music from Hey Bub and Krisha and the Krew, jugglers (on Sat.), and a live ice sculptor (on Sun.) For those that want to get a closer look at the winter forest flora and fauna, guided winter hikes with sustainable land planner and landscape designer Del Orloske will kick off at 10:30am and 12:30pm. Food and drink will be available for purchase, and tickets are $8 in advance, $10 day of, and free for children under five.