Welcome to the 36th Annual Mayville Winter Festival!

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The lit ice castle from a previous Winter Festival draws a large crowd.

Contributing Writers
Joni Blackman

After a two year break, the family-friendly Mayville Winter Festival is back on February 18-20, 2022 at beautiful Lakeside Park in Mayville, N.Y. “The weather looks spectacular!” said Brian Pender, Mayville-Chautauqua Community Chamber of Commerce board member. Pender has strong ties to the ice castle, his grandfather, Don Hogan, was instrumental in building the first ice castle years ago. The local chamber group that has put this festival together is a “great group” according to Pender. “We work very well together, helping out where we are needed and picking up the tasks as needed. The town and village have been great to work with too,” he added.

A wooden ice castle model was built to use in one of the recent holiday parades. It will be at the Winter Festival to admire & explore.

But before the fun begins on Friday night, community members are hard at work building the centerpiece of the festival, the ice castle. The snow foundations were put in place over the past week. Harvesting of the 10” x 24” ice bricks from Chautauqua Lake began on Monday, February 7. When the construction is complete, the structure will be strengthened with a blast of icy snow which acts as a mortar between the bricks. Friday night’s opening at 6 PM will start with the lighting of the ice castle and the crowning of the king and queen of the festival, Mr. and Mrs. Noel Guttman. THe Guttmans were nominated by Thane Bunce who said, “The main reason I nominated them is because of their long service to the Mayville Fired Department.” Mr. Guttman has been a member of the Mayville Fire Department since 1991. Over the years, he has served as the department’s assistant fire chief, company president, EMS lieutenant, training officer, grant writer, emergency medical technician (EMT), EMT-critical care, and paramedic. Mrs. Guttman is a paramedic too. She used to fly on for the Alstar service too.

Many community members make the ice castle a reality.

Food Trucks, Fun and Fireworks

The festival continues throughout Saturday and Sunday with a long list of activities including a polar plunge, snowball throw, chain saw carving, vintage snowmobile show, pet parade, horse-drawn carriage rides, and KidZone activities. Saturday night at dusk there will be a flare ride by the vintage snowmobile club followed by fireworks. Sunday’s activities include a 5K run and snowman building contest along with many of the activities from Saturday. Don’t forget to bring your ice skates for the old-fashioned skating rink on the lake.

Warm-up with a hot meal at one of the five food trucks that will be at the festival throughout the weekend. They are The Best of Buffalo by Byron, Kev’s Kitchen, Cherry Bomb BBQ and The Cluck Truck. The In Crowd will be making music Saturday evening and DJ/MC Carmello will entertain throughout the weekend. There is a vendor tent, beer & wine tent all weekend. The renowned chili cook off is from 3-5 PM on Saturday.

“One of the neat children’s activities at the festival is the large wooden ice castle built for the Jamestown Christmas Parade. It is 10 feet tall, and the children may be allowed to go in it if we have enough volunteers. We are planning to put it on the tennis court,” said Mr. Pender, “the JCC Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy students will be here doing activities with the children as well. There will also be a big sliding hill for everyone to enjoy.”

Sitting against the stark background of the lake and the Chautauqua Belle, the 2022 ice castle construction begins.

Parking, Sponsors, and Volunteers

There is a donation of $5 for parking at the event. Your parking donation supports local sports teams and organizations and the Chautauqua Lake Snowmobile Club that are managing the parking throughout the weekend.

Thank you to the long list of sponsors for this year’s event. To sponsor or volunteer contact Shannon Biekarak at the Chautauqua Chamber of Commerce. “The festival was picked up by the Chicago Fox station because we were mentioned in the Steven’s Best Places in America series. We will also be featured on the local Erie and Buffalo stations,” said Pender.

Bundle up the family and come over to snowy, sunny (hopefully) Mayville, N.Y. at the top of Chautauqua Lake and enjoy a great time outdoors.