The annual Winter Carnival in Waterville, scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 2, was canceled Thursday morning due to recent high temperatures and heavy rain. This is the second year in a row organizers have been forced to cancel the big event. Last year, the cancelation was due to dangerous ice and lack of snow cover.
Even the city’s new ability to make snow can’t save the highly-anticipated community event.
The carnival venue, Quarry Road Recreation Area, features an extensive snowmaking system — complete with underground piping and several snow towers — that was just completed this year. The city fired it up for the first time mid-January to cover the area and a 3.3-kilometer cross-country ski trail with snow for last weekend’s Winter Carnival hosted by Colby College.
Temperatures climbed about 50 degrees Fahrenheit on Wednesday and Thursday in Waterville, and rain washed away the venues manmade snow. Though temperatures are predicted to drop to the 20s on Friday, organizers say that they won’t be able to make enough snow on the soft ground for snow sports and other carnival activities.
“I just came from the site — there’s nothing left,” wrote Matt Skehan, director of Waterville Department of Parks and Recreation, in a press release Thursday morning.
“I want to thank everyone who helped with the planning and organization for the event,” Skehan wrote.
About a dozen local restaurants planned to participate in the event, providing trailside food to carnival-goers. And numerous volunteers were prepared to run activities and lead tours of the area’s trails.
Other events will be held at the Quarry Road Recreation Area this winter, said Skehan, and will be announced at www.quarryroadrecarea.org.