Until last week, it wasn’t certain there would be enough snow for the annual Ballston Spa Winter Fun Festival. Now there’s a chance there might be too much.
After the Feb. 5 winter storm, there is sufficient snow for Saturday’s community sledding event — but there’s a risk an storm forecast to hit the region today could lead to its cancellation.
The National Weather Service is predicting heavy snow today and into Friday morning, which would preoccupy the public works employees who would otherwise be assigned to building the sledding run on Bath Street.
“In the event of a snowstorm of significance, the event would have to be canceled, because the first priority has to be the clearing of the streets,” said Mayor John P. Romano.
During the all-day event, Bath Street is closed and covered with packed snow on the long hill from West High Street to Washington Street. The snow is trucked in from the Saratoga County Airport and other storage locations.
The event, now in its 18th year, has been troubled in recent years by lack of snow. It was held last year, but its status wasn’t certain until a snowstorm the week before. The situation was similar this year, until the latest storm brought nearly a foot of new snow to Saratoga County.
The festival was canceled in 2006, 2010 and 2012 for lack of snow.
If the event goes forward, Bath Street will be closed starting around 7 a.m. Friday while municipal crews prepare the hill by spreading stored snow. Officially, the sledding will take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, but sledding has always started as soon as the first kids got there in the morning.
In addition to the daytime sledding, there will be evening activities at the Ballston Spa Elks Lodge on Hamilton Street from 6 to 10 p.m. The indoor activities will include a snowball toss, children’s crafts, music and free food, including hot dogs, chips, cookies and beverages.
The event is sponsored by the village, the town of Milton, the Ballston Spa Business & Professional Association and the Elks.
Anyone interested in helping during the sledding is asked to contact the village office.
“We’re always looking for volunteers on the hill,” Romano said.