The 47th Stowe Winter Carnival has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the organizers hope to still be able to hold the annual event in March.
“Right now, with my financial sponsors and venues in agreement, now is not the time for any outdoor or indoor social gatherings,” lead organizer Huntley Armbruster said last week. “As much as we need a burst of enthusiasm and whimsical, magical ice carvings to ponder over, even the professional ice carvers agree that it is not safe for anyone, due to exposure of COVID.”
Armbruster said she thinks this is the first time in her 20-plus years involved with the event that it has been postponed or cancelled. She is hoping for an early March event, but said organizers “are just in limbo,” waiting for Gov. Phil Scott’s updates on outdoor gatherings, as the region experiences a spike in coronavirus cases from the holidays.
The current iteration of the Stowe Winter Carnival dates back to 1975, but ski historian Greg Morrill points out that the earliest carnival was held in Stowe in 1921 and drew more than a thousand people to the one-day event. It was held sporadically over the next 50 years by the Mount Mansfield Ski Club before settling into the annual routine in 1975.