SKOWHEGAN — Cardboard box sled races, a chili cook-off over an open fire, s’mores, marshmallows and an ice fishing derby featuring cash prizes are all part of Lake George Regional Park’s annual winter carnival Saturday.

This year’s event is the park’s 21st annual carnival held on the lake off U.S. Route 2 in Skowhegan and Canaan, park director Jeff McCabe said. Events are planned for 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“This is a community-driven event that is run with donations from businesses and individuals,” McCabe said. “We are lucky to have volunteers who help year after year. This is truly a family event.”

McCabe said the carnival has two door prizes this year and everyone has a chance to win, whether they catch fish or not. Prizes are an ice auger valued at $400 and a pack-basket full of ice fishing traps.

Admission is free, except for the ice fishing derby, which costs $5 per person.

Registration for the Sled Box Derby Race for children takes place at 10 a.m., with racing and judging starting 30 minutes later.

McCabe said all sleds must be made from cardboard boxes — no attached skis or commercial sleds are allowed. Creativity and sled decoration are stressed, he said. Awards are given for best crash, most creative, best looking and longest sled ride.

Corn chowder, baked goods and hot dogs go on sale about midmorning.

The annual chili cook-off starts at noon, with judging at 1 p.m. There is a $5 entry fee, and each dish must be in a container that can be warmed over a wood fire.

Early registration for the ice fishing derby is scheduled for 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Friday. Registration resumes Saturday morning. Derby winners will be announced at 3 p.m., and the top two finishers will be awarded prizes in four categories: bass, pickerel, white perch and yellow perch

The park’s ski and snowshoe trails are open all day.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367
dharlow@centralmaine.com