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Plans underway for first-ever winter festival in February

A new winter festival from Southold’s economic development committee, coined “’Tis the Season to be Freezin’,” has been slated for Saturday, Feb. 19.

The committee plans to host the festival in the hamlet of Southold. Specific locations haven’t been confirmed yet.

“The whole point of it is to get people mingling throughout the hamlet, so we’re going to try to have things located conveniently around for different areas to facilitate people moving about,” said Charles Barkley, a member of the committee. 

The committee is hoping to engage the local business community with the event. One reason they’re organizing the festival is to “enhance economic activity in the hamlet,” Mr. Barkley said, adding that the goal is also “to provide folks around here with something to do during what are typically dead months in the winter.”

The committee is working with local businesses and organizations to plan activities and events for the festival. Some ideas right now includea potential ice sculpting competition, hiring a DJ, face painting, a hot chocolate station and selling s’mores. Greenport Brewing Company has agreed to hold a cornhole tournament at the festival as well.

Mr. Barkley emphasized, however, that these are still just ideas.

“We’re tracking toward a lot of this stuff, but we just sort of got the full backing of the Town Board and we still have to put in a permit and without those things, folks didn’t want to go down the track of wasting resources planning for something that wasn’t completely definite,” he said. 

For now, next steps include filing for permits and working more closely with partners, he added. “We meet pretty frequently as a subcommittee and we’re trying to develop things as fast as possible because the date is coming up.”

Town Board members, who received an update on the festival at a town work session Tuesday, were supportive of the idea. 

Jack Malley said at the work session that the committee has spoken with the local police chief and attorney, and there “seems to be no issues going forward with this.”

“There’s a lot of businesses around town that are quite enthusiastic about this,” he said.