Village Prepares For 31st Annual Winter Fest Weekend

Preparations are being made to host the 31st annual February celebration at Mayville’s Lakeside Park, which this year will be held Feb. 16-18. Submitted photos

MAYVILLE — If everything goes as planned, visitors from near and far will see another ice castle at this year’s Presidents Day Weekend Winter Festival celebration in Mayville.

Preparations are being made by the village to host its 31st annual February celebration at Lakeside Park, which this year will be held Friday through Sunday. The famous ice castle along with a number of events, activities and vendors have drawn hundreds of people to the lakeside spectacle for the past three decades.

According to Debbie Marsala, Mayville-Chautauqua Community Chamber of Commerce community coordinator, the ice castle has always been the festival’s main attraction and noted that the outlook for its full construction is optimistic. As of Friday, about 850 blocks of ice from Chautauqua Lake have been used to construct most of the base for the castle.

A crane will be used early this week to place block on top of the frozen structure.

“The Presidents Day Weekend Winter Festival committee has worked very diligently to plan a wonderful event that the whole family can enjoy, with lots of events and activities, contests, fireworks, and so much more,” she said. “The chutes were placed at the castle construction site (on Thursday) in preparation for the construction, and there’s a lot of ice out there (on the lake). So it’s looking good so far.”

Among the many indoor and outdoor activities taking place over the course of the festival will be contests, food and craft vendors, chainsaw carving and carriage rides. On Saturday, a cold water rescue demo will take place at 1:30 p.m., followed by a Polar Plunge at 2 p.m., and a fireworks display at 8 p.m. The opening ceremony will be held Friday in front of the ice castle.

Also highlighted on Saturday will be a pet parade at 4 p.m. and a chili cook-off. All chili entries need to be delivered to the festival tent by 1:30 p.m. and judging will take place from 2-4 p.m. The Veterans Administration Mobile Veteran Center will again be at the festival on Saturday and Sunday during the weekend to assist veterans with information.

Besides all of the events taking place at the park, local businesses and organizations have also planned some specials as well.

The Mayville Library, located on the corner of S. Erie and Evans streets, will hold their mini winter book sale on Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Chautauqua Township Historical Museum, located in the old train depot on Water Street, will be open Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to welcome visitors to tour this interesting museum filled with local history memorabilia.

Reverie Creamery, 3943 Route 394, is holding special sales during the month of February. All cheeses will be 20 percent off, plus free coffee will be served. On Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 18, from noon to 5 p.m., Portage Hill Gallery — located 2.5 miles north of the uptown Mayville four corners traffic light on Route 394 — will premiere a new winter block print, with a drawing held for one of the prints. Past prints will also be for sale. They will also be serving hot fudge sundae tastings and mulled cider on Sunday from 2-4 p.m.

Webb’s Cottage Collection, Mayville will be holding their winter sale, with additional specials during the festival. The Mayville Merchants group will again hold Winter Festival events during festival weekend. The Lakeview Hotel, 13 Water St., will have live music by Pat Cook at 2 p.m. and the Porcelain Busdrivers at 10 p.m. on Saturday. The Lakeview will again sponsor the Fire and Ice Volleyball Tournament on their volleyball court on Sunday, with the games beginning at 8:45 a.m.

For a complete listing of Presidents Day Weekend events, or information on participating in them, email Marsala at, call the chamber office at 753-3113 or find the event on Facebook.