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Van Cortlandt Park

The Daily Plant : Tuesday, January 14, 2003


On Saturday, January 11, Central Park’s East Meadow was filled with thousands of New Yorkers…and snow! Winter Festival 2003 was held this past weekend and to the delight of everyone, snow was created not by Mother Nature, but by snowmakers brought down from Vermont.

New Yorkers of all ages enjoyed a day full of free activities thanks to Hormel Deli, the main sponsor of the event. Ski Vermont, another sponsor, transported the best elements of the State of Vermont down to New York City for the day. Snow pros from Killington Mountain created snow ‘round the clock’ on Friday and Saturday in preparation for the festival. New York City experienced unseasonable high temperatures during the days leading up Winter Festival, but Mother Nature took over on Friday and dropped the temperature so that snow could be created. About 6" of fresh snow covered most of the East Meadow of Central Park and allowed New Yorkers to try their hand (or foot) at some winter sports.

Hormel Deli’s Winter Festival 2003 featured free snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and snow tubing. A snow sculpting contest was held and prizes were awarded. Participants watched trained professionals give an ice craving demonstration and one creation was a huge Parks leaf. Children got their faces painted and made picture frames. Urban Park Rangers also led snowshoeing tours around the park and gave orienteering lessons. The Urban Parks Rangers were a big hit with the kids because of their great uniforms. It was very cold and windy, but Hormel saved the day by providing a warming tent that included free samples of their deli meats for people to take home. Other free giveaways included Green Mountain coffee, hot chocolate, popcorn, and a maple syrup snack, made of syrup and ice.

During the event, Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe was joined by Mike Gyarmaty, District Manager for Hormel Deli and David Dillon, President of Ski Vermont to welcome New Yorkers to Central Park to give out raffle prizes. Deputy Mayor Patricia E. Harris attended the event with her daughter and helped give away the grand prize of a weekend getaway to Vermont.

Other sponsors of Winter Festival 2003 included the Cross-Country Ski Association, Tubbs Snowshoes, Viacom Outdoor, the New York Post, Q104.3, National Geographic Channel, WNET’s "Cyberchase" and Sesame Workshop’s Sagwa.

Saturday’s Winter Festival was just the beginning of an entire month of winter activities all over the city. Across all five boroughs, there will be over 500 winter activities, many of them free. Over the coming weeks events include a world chocolate exhibition at the New York Botanical Garden, luge lessons at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, a Lunar New Year celebration at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, a curling demonstration at Prospect Park in Brooklyn, professional ice dancing, speed skating at Central Park in Manhattan, and tours of Historic Richmond Town.

It Happened on Washington Square

Come to the Arsenal Gallery on Wednesday, January 15 at 6:00 p.m. for a lecture by Emily Kies Folpe, author of the new book, It Happened on Washington Square. Following the structure of the book, Ms. Folpe's talk will start with the Dutch Colonial period and extend to the present day. Throughout the City's history the park has changed with the times and has always been a focal point of activity. So if it happened in New York "it happened on Washington Square."

There will be a book signing reception following the talk. The author will be selling copies at a discounted price of $20 (and $5 from each book sold at the event will go to the Fund for Washington Square). Please call John Mattera, the Parks Librarian, at 212-360-8240 to reserve your seat.


"Far and away the best prize that life has to offer

is the chance to work hard at work worth doing."

Theodore Roosevelt


Directions to Van Cortlandt Park

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