FROM THE PRINTED PAGES
OF HOMETOWN, FREEMAN’S
Editor’s Note: This feature story first appeared in the AllOTSEGO.life section of Hometown Oneonta and The Freeman’s Journal published last Thursday and Friday. This year’s 52nd annual carnival ends this evening.
By LIBBY CUDMORE • For AllOTSEGO.life
COOPERSTOWN – If you looked out and saw cars out on Otsego Lake today, you would probably call a tow truck.
But in 1974, when Bill Waller was Cooperstown Winter Carnival chairman, it was all part of the fun.
“We had all sorts of events on the lake – Just as long as the ice was 18-inches thick,” he said.
Back then, chief among the favorite activities was the annual gymkhana, where cars would race through cones across Otsego Lake’s ice.
“When we came up for the first Winter Carnival in 1969, I saw all these cars out on the ice,” said Waller. “I took my car out, but I had the wrong tires on, so I didn’t do very well.
2019 COOPERSTOWN WINTER CARNIVAL
As it has for more than a quarter-century, the Cooperstown Winter Carnival begins when Dick Sliter declares, “Soup’s on!” The carnival’s traditional first event, the Soup R’ Chili luncheon at the First Baptist Church, 21 Elm St., is underway until 2 p.m. (and again 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday). Sliter, a retired pastor who came out of retirement in the past year to fill in at the Columbus Community Church, west of West Edmeston, has been head cook at this event for 26 years now. Inset is Dick’s wife Gail, who has a lot of heart, including heart-shaped cookies, also available. (Jim Kevlin /AllOTSEGO.com)
2018 COOPERSTOWN WINTER CARNIVAL
The Doubleday Cafe’s Tim Searles, above, prepares specialty grilled-cheese sandwiches made with goat cheese and elderberry jam at Grilled Cheese For A Good Cause at the Cooperstown Farmer’s Market Sunday evening; the Otsego 2000 fundraiser wrapped up the 51st annual Cooperstown Winter Carnival. Behind him Jim Hoffmann, Cooperstown, gets a bowl of soup from volunteer Susanna Membrino . The event featured live music, ice cream and of course, grilled cheese made special by many area eateries. In inset photo, Winter Carnival Committee chairman Rich McCaffery, right, congratulates Katie Marvel of Oneonta and her boyfriend, John Janitz, Jr. of Fly Creek, on receiving a $500 check for finding this year’s Winter Carnival medallion at Council Rock. The presentation was made at Cooperstown Distillery; the medallion hunt is sponsored by The Freeman’s Journal & Hometown Oneonta. The couple plans on going out to a nice dinner to celebrate. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for SUNDAY, FEB.11
GRILLED CHEESE NIGHT – 5 – 7 p.m. Enjoy comfort food from local chefs as well as local beer, wine, cider, live music, more. Proceeds benefit Otsego2000 & Otsego Outdoors. Cost, $25/adult, $15/child. Cooperstown Farmers Market, 101 Main St., Cooperstown. Call 607-547-8881 or visit www.otsego2000.org
SNOWSHOE WALK – 10:30 a.m.-Noon. Look for signs of life past, present and future with a guide from OCCA. Clark Sports Center, Cooperstown. Call 607-547-4488 or visit occainfo.org/calendar/winter-carnival-snowshoe-walk/
2018 COOPERSTOWN WINTER CARNIVAL
The sledding hill at Lakefront Park is packed as Cooperstown Winter Carnival fun shifts there this afternoon. Matthew Perrino, Max Koffer and Brenin Dempsey, top photo, join the fun; also available for sledding are large, inflatable sleds, with a giant Duck able to carry five kids at a time. At right, Owen Nolan, 9, tries out sugar on ice as Farmers’ Museum docent Pat MacGregor advises. Owen’s mom Stephanie and brother Aidan look on. There are also pony rides and wagon rides. The activities at Lakefront culminate with fireworks at 6, but bands and fun are planning throughout downtown this evening. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for TUESDAY, FEB.6
CHILDREN’S FREE THROW – 3-4 p.m. Elementary Free Throw contest for the Winter Carnival. Clark Sports Center, Cooperstown. Call 607-547-2800 or visit www.facebook.com/clarksportscenter
FAMILY COOKING – 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. Learn to cook “Valentine Desserts” with Executive Chef Jim Perillo. Cost $99/adult + 1 child. Includes all materials. The Otesaga, Cooperstown. Call 607-547-9931 or visit www.otesaga.com
50th WINTER CARNIVAL • WEEKEND II
Steaming Hots Wings
At Farmers’ Market
If you hustle down to the Cooperstown Farmers’ Market – right now! – you still may help judge the best chicken wings in Baseball’s Mecca. The competition, a perennial hit at the Cooperstown Winter Carnival, which winds up today, continues until 4:30 p.m. Serving the wings are, from left, Josh McMahon, Georgia Hren-Saphier, Claire Kepner, John Saphier and Shirley Tyler. In right photo, Parker Davidson, 7 months, on mom Marassa’s lap, seems in awe of a new delicacy. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)