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Winterfest shows cool place does not have to be freezing

Joe McIntyre/staff photographer

Ted Vigleitta, of Cortland, center, takes his children Adelina, 10, left, and Nate, 12, ice skating Wednesday on the Village Green in Homer. The green is among several sites for Homer Winterfest activities on Friday and Saturday.

HOMER — Brandon McCorduck of Homer has been going to the Homer Winterfest for five years, first with his family and now on his own. He is not into the winter activities, but he loves the barbecue chicken sold along Main Street.

“They make a good chicken,” McCorduck said.

The 18th annual Homer Winterfest will take place Friday and Saturday, with events and activities all over the village.

Forecasts call for a high of 38 degrees, a low of 29 degrees and no precipitation on Friday while Saturday calls for a high of 47 degrees, a low of 35 degrees, cloudy skies and a 20 percent chance of precipitation.

The only new event this year will be Sinfully Sweet Cafe’s gingerbread cookie decorating contest at 6 p.m. Friday. Participants must pick up their cookies beforehand and decorate them at home before presenting them in the contest.

A bonfire will happen next to the Community Building on Main Street at 6:30 p.m., followed by fireworks at 6:50.


Sinfully Sweet Cafe owner Stacey Pryor hands out gingerbread cookies on Wednesday to be decorated for a Homer Winterfest contest this weekend.


Saturday kicks off with a pancake breakfast at the Paul Hill Community Building at 7 a.m., with a Town Hall flea market, an antique and small crafts sale at Homer Junior High School and a mammogram van on Main Street starting around 9 a.m.

A parade will start at 10 a.m. and go from Clinton Street to Cayuga Street. The human dog sled race will take place at 11 a.m. at the Village Green bandstand.

Other events include a snowshoe demonstration by Lime Hollow Nature Center staff near the bandstand, a wingfest and beer tasting at the Homer Elks Lodge, a chili cook-off at Hobeau’s 281 Bar & Grill and a volleyball tournament at Homer Junior High School.

The snow sculpture contest also will be judged over the weekend, with eight sculptures on display along Main Street.

There will also be events for kids at Homer Elementary School from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Brenda Contento, a Winterfest committee member, said thousands attend each year, with so many events to do around town.

“I’m the antiques show organizer and that has between 300 and 500 people going through it,” Contento said.
Rob Garrison, a manager for Homer Men and Boys Store, looks forward to all the people who come to the village. And people stop by Homer stores as well.

“Merchants have sales during that time,” Garrison said. “It keeps businesses busy.”

To Contento, what brings people back every year is the consistency of events.

“People know what to expect every year,” Contento said, with people looking forward to the parade, the human dog sled race and wine tasting, going from 1 to 4 p.m. at American Legion post 465 on South Main Street.

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