WinterFest 2018 – Community Fun in Bemus Point

Article Contributed by
Lisa Yaggie

Ah February! The time where everyone who isn’t into snowmobiling or skiing is looking for the snow to go away. But thankfully for those winter outdoor enthusiasts, Chautauqua County can count on snow for at least another two months. So let’s embrace the beauty of the season and get outside for some fun. WinterFest 2018 offers just such an opportunity. On Saturday, February 10th from Noon to 6pm, at the Bemus Point Golf Course & Tap House, located at 72 Main Street in Bemus Point, NY, the 5th Annual WinterFest will be held. This OUT DOOR event promises fun for everyone who attends. Jenna Head, one of the event founders, stressed that this day is meant to be a community occasion, not just for snowmobilers. “You can ride or drive in” she noted. There will be parking for cars and snowmobiles alike.

Head and four of her snowmobiling friends, Bryce & Rachael Steffen, Mitch Splawski and Ryan Crandall, came up with this idea for a festival in order to support the five area snowmobile clubs. Sunset Drifters, Ellery Sno Cruisers, Cherry Creek Sno-Goers, Lake Effect Trailbreakers and the Chautauqua Lake Snowmobile Club maintain trails from Silver Creek/Irving, to Stockton, Cherry Creek, Ellington, Gerry, Kennedy, Sinclairville, Mayville, Bemus Point and Ellery. Each club, comprised of thousands of members who live both locally and in neighboring states, volunteer their time to all year round to make sure signing and grooming make for a safe and fun season. According to TourChautauqua.com, over 400 miles of scenic trails are groomed by the five clubs. The maintenance on the grooming machines and the fuel to operate them is very costly. Each club makes money through membership fees, some grant awards and or very little state money. Any fundraising the club takes on helps them to say around.

Snowmobiling has been a favorite snow sport in Chautauqua County for many years. The importance to the local economy is significant. It is good business for hotels, restaurants and gas / service stations. The trails are typically open from late December through late March. You can check various sites for current trail openings and conditions or also at www.tourchautauqua.com, or by calling 800-242-4569.

Something for Everyone
WinterFest 2018 will feature fun food vendors like Fowler’s Taffy and Franklin’s Kettle Korn. Other food and beverage vendors will be on hand for the day. The organizing committee has received many wonderful donations from local businesses to hold a large Chinese Auction. There are some really neat big ticket items this year also.

Live from the porch of the Golf Course & Tap House, the band Black Widow will play from 1-5pm. This group plays all types of music and brings an energetic vibe to any place they go.

From collected dead Christmas trees, there is a huge bonfire to help keep everyone warm. And the “not-to-be-missed” Sledding Pile is always a fun thing to try out.

If you are a snowmobiler or are looking for winter appropriate gear, there will be several outfitter vendors attending also.

Sure sounds like a fun day in the middle of February! For full details (they are adding things daily) on the event, check out their Facebook Page – WinterFest 2018.