| Angelica J. Core
EASTHAMPTON – Despite the pandemic, the Nashawannuck Pond Steering Committee is making sure families have something fun to do this winter. The 8th annual Easthampton WinterFest kicked off on Jan. 1 and will run through Feb. 13.
WinterFest Chair Liz Provo told Reminder Publishing that the event was created by the Nashawannuck Pond Steering Committee to bring awareness of the challenges the pond faces like invasive species, erosion, silt infiltration, and recently Cyanobacteria which has affected the water quality. She added that WinterFest is their major fundraiser.
Due to the pandemic, events will take place virtually or in a way that allows families to safely explore the community, have fun, be creative, and learn more about the pond. There are activities for all ages.
“Our community is filled with amazingly generous small businesses who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, we chose to focus on our community rather than fundraising in an effort to support them,” said Provo.
Provo shared that this year’s theme is “LOVE. Love the pond. Love our community. Love each other.”
There are eight events and possibly more to come. The eight confirmed activities include:
•Watching “Nashawannuck Pond”, a movie produced by Easthampton Media which features interviews with community members and historical photos and videos.
• Watching “On The Pond,” a film from 2012 featuring pond consultant, Gary Golas, as he reveals several plant species found in the pond.
• A paper snowflake making contest will run until Feb. 1. There are two categories, the first being a traditional snowflake, no decorations and the second category is a decorated snowflake with the use of art materials.
• A photo contest of the pond is open to professional and amateur photographers. Submissions of the pond in every season, in daylight, and at night are welcomed. A winner in each category will be selected by Easthampton City Art judges.
• Residents can test their skills by participating in a pond trivia contest. The person with the most correct answers will win a prize and be announced on the Nashawannuck Pond Facebook page on Feb. 13, if there are multiple winners, a name will be drawn at random.
• The committee teamed up with Mt. Tom’s Homemade Ice Cream for their first WinterFest ice cream flavor. Residents can create their own winter, pond, WinterFest inspired flavored ice cream flavor. The winner will receive two quarts of their creation and a Mt. Tom’s T-shirt. Entries can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org between Jan. 7 and Jan. 27.
• Participate in a window display contest to vote which Easthampton businesses have the best window display. Participating businesses include, Wedgeworks Art and Home, Sonnet and Sparrow, Comic’s N’ More, Water’s Fine Goods + Coffee, Corsello Butcheria, Big Bear Used Books and Cafe, Salon Solace, and The Boylston Rooms
• On Feb. 13, enjoy a walk in the woods at the Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. Walks will take place at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Each walk will be limited to 10 people, masks must be worn, and people will maintain a 6-foot distance at all times. To register for this program, call Arcadia at 584-3009.
For more information on each event, visit www.nashawannuckpond.org/winterfest.