The mild and snowless winter has claimed another longtime community outdoor event.
For the second time in the past three years, the village has canceled its Winter Fun Festival, which was scheduled for Saturday, due to lack of an essential ingredient: snow.
“There is just no snow to be had anywhere,” said Mayor John P. Romano.
The centerpiece of the event, held in mid-February since the mid-1990s, has been closing Bath Street and covering the hill from West High Street to Washington Street with snow, creating a sled and toboggan run in the middle of the street. Children line up from early morning for a trip down the steep hill.
In good years, the village and the town of Milton stockpiled snow from the entire winter in huge mounds, waiting for the festival. The day before the event, municipal trucks would bring the snow to Bath Street, where graders worked it into a sledding run.
Without snow for Bath Street hill, Romano said, there’s no reason to hold the festival. Almost all the activities take place outdoors.
“The biggest and most fun part is sledding down the hill,” he said.
The festival was also canceled because of a lack of snow in 2006 and 2010. Last year, there was plenty of snow, but the day was bitterly cold — not that the participating children noticed.
“Hopefully we will be able to hold the festival in 2013,” Romano said.
In a bit of better news, the mayor also announced that the village has been awarded $70,716 in disaster recovery funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and state Emergency Management Office.
The biggest award, $61,317, will go toward repairing 600 feet of a historic stone retaining wall along Gordon Creek that was damaged by high waters during the Aug. 28 storm. That work can now be scheduled, Romano said.
The village will also be reimbursed $5,418 for repair work that was completed immediately after the storm in the Woods Hollow Nature Preserve in Milton. There, an earthen dam for an old village reservoir overflowed and partially washed out, requiring immediate repair, Romano said.
The village will also receive $3,979 in salary reimbursement for time village public works employees spent removing tree limbs and other debris left around the village in the wake of the storm.
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