Winter Festival participants build a Quinzhee snow shelter. PHOTO BY CRAIG NEFF

Acadia Winter Festival starts Feb. 26

WINTER HARBOR — Acadia National Park’s 100th birthday celebration this year will kick off with a winter festival at the Schoodic Institute in Winter Harbor and Camp Beech Cliff on Mount Desert Island.

The event will begin at the Schoodic Institute Feb. 26 to March 1 and end at Camp Beech Cliff March 2-6.

Activities at the Schoodic Institute will range from snowshoeing and bird carving to winter survival and outdoor Dutch oven cooking.

Camp Beech Cliff will feature indoor and outdoor activities as well, such as rug hooking, dog sledding and winter camping.

At least 20 community partners will join in offering the more than 50 activities.

The activities at the Schoodic Institute will begin Friday, Feb. 26, with snowshoeing and creating a winter car kit followed by dinner.

Acadia National Park snowshoe outing. PHOTO BY CRAIG NEFF
Acadia National Park snowshoe outing.

The snowshoe excursion will be led by Acadia National Park Superintendent Kevin Schneider and Schoodic Institute President Mark Berry from 2-4 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 27, will open with a workshop on using a GPS; beginning pyrography — burning a design on wood; cross-country skiing; kids’ wildlife winter survival; ice cream making; backyard birds; plein air painting; a lecture on traditional snowshoes; an artist’s reception with Bob Thayer and an evening photography presentation by artist and author Bob Thayer, “An Acadian Winter.”

The cross-country skiing will be hosted by Schneider and Berry from 9 to 11 a.m.

Bill Mackowski will lecture on traditional snowshoes and pack baskets. He has a collection of about 200 snowshoes, up to 70 pack baskets and a variety of fishing creels.

Mackowski has been a registered guide for 40 years and is an expert on survival crafts. He also is a craftsman and historian on traditional basket making.

His lecture is from 3 to 4:30 p.m., Feb. 27, in Moore Auditorium.

Sunday, Feb. 28, will begin with birding and brunch; cooking with a Dutch oven; kids’ embroidery; winter photography; a showing of the film “March of the Penguins”; bird carving; live music and an evening lecture on wintering birds.

Master bird carver and avid birdwatcher Ed Hawkes of Bar Harbor will lead a bird carving workshop from 1-5 p.m.

Hawkes starts each carving with a collection of bird photos and sketches to develop his design, which is then executed on basswood or, at times, tupelo or cedar.

Former Acadia National Park Superintendent Sheridan Steele baking bannoch bread. PHOTO BY CRAIG NEFF
Former Acadia National Park Superintendent Sheridan Steele baking bannoch bread.

Monday, Feb. 29, includes a class on drop spinning for beginners; a lecture on managing coastal woodlots and an evening film, “Winged Migration.”

Tuesday, March 1, will open with a hike followed by a class on beginning pyrography and an evening lecture on “The Art of Maine in Winter.”

Art historian and writer Carl Little will show slides and talk about artists who have been inspired by winter, ranging from Winslow Homer and Rockwell Kent to contemporary painters.

Little is author of “The Art of Maine in Winter” as well as several other books.

Registration for the entire festival is open until Feb. 19 at

More information about events at the Schoodic Institute can be obtained by calling 288-1356 or 288-1310 or by emailing [email protected].

Jacqueline Weaver

Jacqueline Weaver

Reporter at The Ellsworth American
Jacqueline's beat covers the eastern Hancock County towns of Lamoine through Gouldsboro as well as Steuben in Washington County. She was a reporter for the New York Times, United Press International and Reuters before moving to Maine. She also publicized medical research at Yale School of Medicine and scientific findings at Yale University for nine years.[email protected]
Jacqueline Weaver

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