Skaneateles Rotary Celebrates Winter Fest


Celebrating winter season

Annual Winterfest featuring A Taste of Skaneateles this year, offering samples from local businesses

By Jessica Soule / Skaneateles Journal

An established festival is giving people a taste of Skaneateles while taking in the winter beauty of the area.

The annual Winterfest will include a new feature this year that will incorporate area merchants and businesses with A Taste of Skaneateles.

During Winterfest, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Jan. 31, 2009 area businesses will offer food samples and appetizers. Over the years, a few businesses have attractions to coincide with the festival on the last Saturday of January, but this will be the first time the Sunrise Rotary Club will include these features in their fundraiser.

Winterfest is the group’s primary moneymaker to fund its projects.

This started as a service project to help Skaneateles, something Sunrise President Tom Seeley aims to do with the new feature Taste of Skaneateles.

People can buy tickets for a number of tastings, and walk in the village on Fennell Street, Jordan Road and Genesee Street, sampling dishes along the way.

Creekside did coffee tastings and Village Bottle Shop did a wine tasting last year.

“So this kind of evolved from last year,” Seeley said. “The idea was ‘Let’s try to build it up a little bit.’”

The group will release a list of participating businesses in the coming weeks.

“This is the first year we’ve formally done this,” he said. “The taste concept isn’t new, but this is the first year we’ve attempted to link them all.”

The Winterfest will have its usual attraction, a craft fair and vendor booths lining the Skaneateles Community Center, horses, ice sculptures, and stunt comedian Wacky Chad.

In celebration of the cold season, the festival will include many winter favorite activities. Baltimore Woods is bringing snow shoes for a hike in the woods, and there will be a Siberian huskies sled display. If there is snow, people can have rides on the sleds.

Seeley added that organizers can modify most of these activities in case there’s an unusual warm winter day.

“Certainly having snow makes the Winterfest more exciting … but the focus is to get people come down and celebrate winter in Skaneateles,” Seeley said.