Saratoga County

Ballston Spa winter festival off this weekend for lack of snow

The 4 inches of snow that landed in and around the village Tuesday — the first significant snow i


The 4 inches of snow that landed in and around the village Tuesday — the first significant snow in weeks — wasn’t enough to save this weekend’s Ballston Spa Winter Fun Festival.

Organizers said Wednesday the event scheduled for Saturday has been canceled because there isn’t enough snow.

The event, which was to celebrate its 15th year, has drawn hundreds of people to the village in the past.

The centerpiece of the festival is the creation of a sledding hill on Bath Street. The road is closed for the day and snow trucked in from storage sites around the area is used to create a family sled run.

It was already known that the festival was in danger of cancellation.

“Creating the snow hill takes more than the few inches of snow we received this week,” said Meg Stevens, co-chairman of the Winter Festival Committee. The cancellation applies to both the sledding hill activities during the day on Saturday and evening activities that were going to be held at the Milton Community Center.

Stevens said no future date was set for the event. The cancellation again highlights how little snow the Capital Region has seen this winter. Winter activities in Saratoga Springs, Glenville, Amsterdam and other communities have also suffered.

As of Wednesday, the National Weather Service in Albany said the biggest storm of the season has been 7 inches on Dec. 9. Tuesday’s storm measured 5.3 inches in Albany. But this year’s storm pattern has often seen areas north and west of Albany receive less snow than Albany. Ballston Spa got only 4 inches Tuesday.

For the winter, Albany has now received a total of 27.7 inches, which is 16.3 inches below normal, said National Weather Service meteorologist Bob Kilpatrick.

He said weather service records indicate the last big snow even was 17 inches between Dec. 19-21, 2008.

“We usually get two or three big storms a season, and a lot of little storms just because of where we are,” Kilpatrick said.

But he cautioned against drawing too many conclusions. “Winter isn’t over yet.”

The Ballston Spa festival was also canceled for lack of snow in 2006.

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