News Feature

The Island
Originally published in Island Ad-Vantages, January 17, 2013
Winterfest to feature family favorites
New this year: Parade of Lights

by Jessica Brophy

While unseasonably warm weather has melted away most of the snow cover, the Healthy Island Project’s eighth annual Winterfest will take place this weekend, January 18-20.

Winterfest organizer Barrett Gray said this year’s celebration includes favorites such as the annual cribbage tournament which starts at 10 a.m. on Saturday at the elementary school and the 4-on-4 double elimination basketball tourney at the Island Community Center on Sunday at 1 p.m.

Winterfest kicks off with a live performance with the Tardy Brothers at the Reach Performing Arts Center, featuring family comedy at juggling at 6:30 p.m. on Friday.

The newest event will be the “Parade of Lights” on Saturday evening, before the annual pit fire with hotdogs and roasted marshmallows at 7 p.m. The “Parade of Lights” at 6:30 p.m. will include boats covered with Christmas lights parading near the Stonington Pier, where everyone is welcome to gather for the best view, said Gray. The event is organized by Penobscot East Resource Center, and those who are interested in participating should call Penobscot East at 367-2708. A “huge trophy” will be awarded to the winner, who will have bragging rights for a year before handing off the trophy to 2014’s winner.

The ever-popular fireworks will go off at 7:45 p.m. on Saturday night at the Stonington Ball Field, followed by a family dance at the Stonington Opera House featuring Isle of Jazz, with “jazz you can definitely dance to,” said Gray.

The “Boat Overhaul” will be held again at Island Family Medicine from 6 to 9 a.m. on Saturday. This is a free health assessment for all Island men.

Saturday is the big day for Winterfest, with many events stuffed into the elementary school from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Bag lunches will be available for a small fee, and live music will play in the cafeteria. A free three-course lunch will be provided by the Island culinary Ecological Center. Performances by Tony Sohns “Life on Earth” and magician Conjuring Carroll will be held in the Reach Performing Arts Center. Other activities include face painting, kids crafts, planting a “garden in a cup” and more.

Another new event will be a “Story Booth” run by the Deer Isle-Stonington Historical Society, where stories can be recorded. Participants will get a CD recording of their story for participating.

To find out more about Healthy Island Project, visit