October 21, 2021

Homer Winterfest is still on for next year

Cortland Standard file photo

Tommy Barnes, 10, of Homer pulls his sister Mackenzie, 7, during the human dogsled race at the Homer Winterfest in this January 2019 file photo.

The committee that oversees Winterfest in Homer is on schedule for preparing next year’s festival after it recruited new members and rearranged who handles various tasks.

“Everything is on track,” committee member Stephen Major said Wednesday. “We have a new influx of volunteers.”

Concern over whether there was a committee to create and manage the event for 2020 and possibly years to come was brought up at this month’s Homer Village Board meeting by board member Kevin Slack.

He said he had heard there were not enough committee members to get everything done, meaning Winterfest might not happen next year.

However, that isn’t the case, said Eric Mulvihill, the clerk of the Cortland County Legislature and a committee member.

Major noted Mulvihill is one of the members leaving the committee, but that Brenda Contento, who was in charge of organizing the antiques show and other things, is stepping into Mulvihill’s shoes.

“She’s going to be taking over an oversight role because Eric is leaving, so that’s a good thing” Major said.

Contento couldn’t be reached for comment.

But just because there are now 12 committee members, Major said that doesn’t mean more volunteers aren’t welcome.

“We always need volunteers,” he said.

In the past, Contento has said the event draws hundreds of people. Next year’s festival will be the 20th annual. The two-day event in late January lets people take part in a number of activities, from ice skating on the Village
Green and eating chili to checking out ice sculptures or shopping for those flea market finds.

“It is one of Homer’s signature events and people always seem to enjoy it,” Mayor Darren “Hal” McCabe said in an email. “Any assistance that the Village of Homer board or staff can be of to ensure this wonderful tradition continues, we will provide. Let’s face it, it is something for people to look forward to in the wee small hours of the winter.”