ELLSWORTH — The Ellsworth Winter Carnival will be held on Saturday, Feb. 10, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. in conjunction with Great Maine Outdoor Week, which begins Feb. 9 and runs through the 19th.
Free events will be held statewide, including cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, bird watching, snowmobiling, wildlife programs and festivals.
“It’s a great opportunity to get outside, get moving, and enjoy Maine’s winter landscape,” said Eileen Hall, community outreach coordinator for the Frenchman Bay Conservancy.
In Ellsworth, events will be held on Feb. 10 at Woodlawn Museum and Gardens and Knowlton Park Ice Rink. This includes snowshoeing at Woodlawn from 8 a.m. until noon, hosted by the Frenchman Bay Conservancy, Woodlawn and the Ellsworth Green Plan (a rain date has been set for Feb. 17).
A limited number of snowshoes will be available free of charge on a first come, first served basis, and a food truck will serve up treats and hot beverages.
The 12th annual Cardboard Sled Races also will be held at Woodlawn. Registration begins at 9 a.m. and the event starts an hour later. There also will be snowmobile sleigh rides on the museum’s grounds.
Afternoon events will be held at Knowlton Park Ice Rink from noon to 2. There will be human bowling, a snow sculpture contest and open skating.
Also on Feb. 10, the 10th Winter Family Fun Day will be held at Holbrook Island Sanctuary in Brooksville. There will be cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, sliding and ice skating (ski or walk in) along with warm refreshments and a fire. The ski and snowshoe trailer will be on site for free equipment loans.
The following day, Feb. 11, the Frenchman Bay Conservancy will host a snowshoe or hike on the Simon Trail in Lamoine from 1 to 3 p.m. (rain date Feb. 18).
For more information about local and statewide events, visit www.greatmaineoutdoorweekend.org.
Also on Feb. 10 and 11, the Down East Family YMCA will hold its first ice fishing derby. Weigh-ins will be conducted by state of Maine biologists on both days from 3 to 6 p.m. at Dunn’s Hangar on Beech Hill Pond.
Door prizes will be drawn every 15 minutes during the weigh-ins. Tickets for the prize drawing, which includes a grand prize of a Honda 420 4×4, are $20 and can be purchased at 14 locations in Hancock County (visit www.defymca.org for full list).
Ticket holders do not need to be present to win. An awards ceremony will be held on Sunday at 6:15 p.m. Proceeds from the derby will benefit outdoor educational programming at Camp Discovery on Webb Pond.