By Julie Huss
---- — DERRY — Organizers of the 14th annual Frost Festival were happy to see snow falling last weekend.
Last weekend’s snow gave a big boost to plans for this weekend’s activities and will offer a better chance for people to get out and enjoy the schedule of skating, sledding, snowshoeing, skiing and ice fishing.
Past years have often offered little or no snow for the annual winter festival. This year, planners are optimistic.
“So far, it’s on track,” Parks and Recreation director Eric Bodenrader said.
With so little snow over the past several years, he said it’s time for a true winter weekend for the festival.
Frost Festival weekend kicks off Friday night with the annual Derry Village Rotary Club spaghetti supper at Gilbert H. Hood Middle School beginning at 5 p.m.
On Saturday, the day includes a free show from noon to 3 p.m. at Veterans Hall featuring a puppet show, “Small Brown Dog’s Bad Remembering Day,” Mad Science “Fire and Ice” show and an animal show hosted by Wildlife Encounters.
“Frosty’s Dueling Pianos” is scheduled for Saturday night at Promises to Keep on Route 28. The night begins at 6:30 p.m. with dancing, appetizers and special entertainment. The cost is $40 per person. Tickets are available by calling 845-5401 or 432-6136.
Saturday’s schedule also includes the Granite State FFA Association’s snowshoe race at J&F Farm on Route 102 in Derry. A 5K and 2K race begins at 11 a.m. with mini-races and open snowshoeing held from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Call 434-7086 for information or to check on snow cover prior to races.
The Derry Farmers Market will be open Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Upper Village Hall in East Derry.
On Sunday, there are events all over Derry from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Alexander-Carr Park hosts sledding on its hill and a bonfire beginning at noon. Face-painting and arts and crafts begin at 1 p.m. The Frost Festival King and Queen will be crowned at 2 p.m.
At Hoodkroft Golf Course, winter fun continues from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday with snowmobile rides hosted by Derry Pathfinders, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, with equipment and instruction by representatives of Benson’s Ski and Sport.
At Gallien’s Beach at Beaver Lake, activities run noon to 3 p.m. with ice fishing demonstrations, open hockey and skating, and a chili cook-off event featuring some of the area’s top chili chefs.
Town officials will be checking the ice this week at the lake to make sure it is safe for the weekend.
Ice Breakers will offer an ice sculpture demonstration in downtown Derry in front of Sabatino’s restaurant on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Frost Festival committee chairman Linda Benson said all are welcome to come out this weekend.
Call Parks and Recreation at 432-6136.