Kings Of The Castle

33rd Annual Winter Festival To Kick Off Friday

Volunteers pictured Monday putting together this year’s ice castle for the 33rd annual Presidents’ Day Weekend Winter Festival, which will take place from Friday through Sunday at Lakeside Park in Mayville. P-J photos by Eric Tichy

MAYVILLE — Volunteers spent Monday placing dozens of ice blocks — freshly harvested from Chautauqua Lake — into place on the heels of this year’s Presidents’ Day Weekend Winter Festival, scheduled to take place Friday through Sunday at Lakeside Park in Mayville.

A staple in the Mayville area since 1987, the winter festival features winter events, activities, crafts and food.

However, it’s the iconic ice castle has drawn visitors for decades. An all-volunteer construction crew will spend much of the week at Lakeside Park building the structure, battling cold one day and the potential of snow melt due to warmer temperatures the next. A crane was scheduled to be brought in early today to help place some of the higher ice blocks onto the castle.

According to the Mayville-Chautauqua Community Chamber of Commerce, this year’s event will also feature a number of new events and activities, including the addition of a beer and wine tent, a children’s activity tent with activities planned by Camp Mission Meadows and the Great Alphabet Scavenger Hunt, sponsored by Beauty Boutique and Two Lakes Studios of Mayville.

Other events and activities again featured will be the traditional Saturday-evening fireworks and bonfire, plus a flare parade (weather permitting) by Chautauqua Lake Snowmobile Club; a cold-water rescue demo by the Dewittville Fire Department; and snowmobile rides (weather permitting) by the Chautauqua Lake Snowmobile Club, alongside numerous food and craft vendors.

The Polar Plunge, organized by Family Health Medical Services, is scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday. Proceeds will benefit the Food Bank of Western New York. Registration for the Polar Plunge begins at 1 p.m., just before the event. Participation forms will be available at the 2019 Polar Plunge Facebook page,, the Winter Festival Facebook page or at Call 753-7107, ext. 100 for more information.

Also returning is the annual Chili Cookoff, to be held from 3-5 p.m. this Saturday. With a purchase of tasting tickets, festivalgoers will serve as judges for the contest. The prize presentation for the winning chili chef will take place at 5 p.m.

Chainsaw carver Vince Liuzzo of Sherwood Arts will offer demonstrations of his work throughout the weekend. Half of the proceeds will benefit the Food Bank of Western New York. The annual Snowball Distance Throwing Contest sponsored by Westfield Dodge City, will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday. The annual Pet Parade will be held at 4 p.m. this Saturday. Leashed pets and their humans should gather at 3:30 p.m. in front of the Carlson Community Center.

Participating pet owners are asked to RSVP to the chamber office at 753-3113. John Savage of North Shore Specialties will lead this event. A Snowman Building Contest, sponsored by Andriaccio’s Restaurant in Mayville, will take place Sunday, with judging at 2:30 p.m. Participants should bring their own accessories to personalize their snow creation. Other weekend-long family friendly activities include the annual Lego Creation Contest, sponsored by North Shore Specialties of Mayville, and Kids Corner Edible Crafts, sponsored by Wegmans in Jamestown.

The Festival Logo Scavenger Hunt, again taking place for the 2019 festival, is sponsored by Northwest Bank, Mayville, lasts the entire month of February. Entry forms are available by visiting the Winter Festival Facebook page, or at, emailing Chamber office at, or calling the chamber office at 753-3113. Entry forms can also be obtained at participating chamber member scavenger hunt sites Webb’s Candies, Webb’s Cottage Collection & Cafe, Lighthouse Point Grocery, 3 Seas Recreation, Reverie Creamery, M&T Bank, Town of Chautauqua offices, Northwest Bank, Village of Mayville offices, Mayville Auto Parts, Stewart’s Mayville Hardware, Two Lakes Studios, “A” Automotive, Chautauqua Suites Meeting & Expo Center, Mayville Service Center, Timeless Treasures and Chautauqua’s Gateway Graphics, all in Mayville; Camp Mission Meadows in Dewittville; Smith Boys of Chautauqua in Ashville; and Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau and Chautauqua Bookstore at Chautauqua Institution. For scavenger hunt sites not open during the weekend (banks and municipal offices), the logo will be placed so that it can be viewed from outside the building. Complete instructions are included in these entry forms.

Those interested in volunteering to help with the festival preparations or at the festival itself should call Chamber Coordinator Debby Marsala at 753-3113. Those interested in making a financial contribution to the festival to help cover the many expenses associated with an event this size should call the Chamber office at 716-753-3113 to learn about sponsorship opportunities available.