Snowshoes sit in the snow outside the Schoodic Commons building at the Schoodic Institute, where a snowshoe walk is part of the Winter Festival set for Feb. 7-9. Photo courtesy of Schoodic Institute. PHOTOS COURTESY OF SCHOODIC INSTITUTE

Acadia Winter Festival set for Feb. 7-9

WINTER HARBOR — An event planned for the first weekend in February definitely won’t be canceled because of snow.

After all, what would a winter celebration be without snow?

This year’s Acadia Winter Festival is set for Feb. 7-9 at Schoodic Institute.

“We are excited to welcome people of all ages to campus, to get them thinking and learning and outside,” said Megan Moshier, the institute’s sales and hospitality manager. “It is such a great event to break up these long, cold winters.”

Outdoor activities include forest bathing, set for Friday, Feb. 7. Participants will explore nature through the senses and share in the practice of Shrinrin-Yoku with a certified guide.

Winter Festival participants do some cross-country skiing on the Schoodic Institute campus during a recent Winter Festival. This year’s event is set for Feb. 7-9.

An easy, informative 1-mile walk from campus to the Blueberry Hill Overlook and back is set for Saturday, Feb. 8. The walk, designed especially for children, will include discussion of forests, marine life and birds and participants’ observations, as well as answers to questions.

Retired forest ranger Rick Henion will lead a quarter-mile snowshoe walk on Sunday, Feb. 9. Before heading outdoors, participants will gather for a preliminary discussion of snowshoe history and modern snowshoe construction. Those who don’t have their own snowshoes can reserve a pair through the institute.

This is the only activity that could be canceled because of weather and that would not be because of too much snow but rather not enough, Moshier said.

Indoor activities include lectures, workshops and meals, with some designed specifically for children.

“We are excited about the partners who we are working with this year to bring programming,” said Moshier. “Littlefield Gallery pulled together an amazing exhibit of winter art.”

A reception for an exhibit titled “Winterscapes” by Maine Artists is set for 4-5:30 p.m. Saturday. Artists whose work will be featured include Scott Baltz, Vincent Hartgen and J. Thomas R. Higgins.

Steve Valleau of the Wendell Gilley Museum will teach a class in crafting bird silhouettes Sunday. Participants will use wood painting and burning to make birds that can be turned into ornaments or other decorations.

Other workshops include a glassblowing session in which participants will make a glass pendant and a winter bird drawing workshop that will have participants working from photos and mounted specimens.

Some events are designed especially for children.

“We are excited to welcome children’s author Annette Leblanc Cate to campus,” said Moshier. Reading from her book, “The Magic Rabbit,” Cate will discuss the ways illustrators tell a story and help participants create their own picture book illustrations. Maine magician Alan Drew will present a magic show and the movie “Abominable” will be shown.

To fuel all the activity, the festival will include meals. A lunch and learn set for noon Friday covers seasonal affective disorder and how and how people in Norway cope in the winter with only one hour of daily light.

Moshier said she is happy to report the Schoodic Arts for All Ukulele Band will perform during dinner at Friday. Meals are served through lunch on Sunday. There’s even an ice cream social Sunday afternoon.

Most activities are free, but there are costs associated with the meals and workshops. Reservations are also required for those activities and can be made until Feb. 3.

Lodging is also available. For more information, visit

Johanna S. Billings

Reporter at The Ellsworth American
News Reporter Johanna S. Billings covers eastern Hancock County and western Washington County. An avid photographer, she lives in Steuben with her husband and several cats. She welcomes tips and story ideas. Email her at [email protected]

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