Deer Lake Winterfest kicked off Friday night at Bowater Field

Paul Hutchings
Published on February 8, 2014
Deer Lake Winterfest slogan contest winner Keegan Butt needed a little help lighting the flame from Deer Lake Mayor Dean Ball at the opening of the Tim Horton’s Deer Lake Winterfest Friday night. — Star photo by Paul Hutchings

Keegan Butt had a little trouble lighting the flame at the Deer Lake Winterfest opening Friday night, and he knows exactly why.

“I wasn’t tall enough,” he said shyly. “But once I got up there it went OK.”

Last month the Elwood Elementary Grade 4 student won the slogan contest for the annual winter event, with his entry, “Snowflakes are falling, good times are near, it’s Winterfest, so give a great cheer.”

Part of the prize was that he got the torch lighting responsibilities and when he proved to be a little too short, Deer Lake Mayor Dean Ball stepped forward to lift him, and a fiery crackle of lighted propane was the result, starting 11 days of winter fun in Deer Lake.

“Now I’m going to do some sliding,” Keegan said after the ceremony. “That’s my favourite part of tonight, but I’ll do lots of stuff for Winterfest.”

Approximately 200 residents attended the opening, which included a large skating rink and several sliding hills on Bowater Field. The Salvation Army was also on hand, giving out hot chocolate and hot dogs.

This year the Salvation Army had a contest with the hot chocolate cups and 12-year-old Abby Manuel won after finding the word “Lucky” on the bottom of her cup. She received a gift basket with snacks and gift cards to a local restaurant and a local grocery store.

“I can’t wait to go skating,” she said when asked what she was most looking forward to. “But it’s all going to be fun.”

Usually the Winterfest opening is attended and addressed by local MHAs and the MLA, but Dwight Ball, Gerry Byrne and Tom Marshall were all absent, with Ball sending a representative to speak. The Deer Lake mayor addressed the crowd, and several councillors were in attendance.

This year’s Winterfest will include some traditional events and some new ones. There’ll be a casino night, various children’s activities and many lunches and suppers. For more information check out the Town of Deer Lake’s web page or Facebook page.