Ice King William Gannett Submitted photo

The Kennebec Historical Society’s February Facebook Live presentation, “1923 Augusta Winter Carnival,” is set for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 15.

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the carnival, Glenn Parkinson will lead viewers on a journey through photos, program books and newspaper articles to learn the story of Maine’s biggest and most elaborate winter carnival, according to a news release from Scott Wood, society’s executive director.

Parkinson, the author of “First Tracks, Stories From Maine’s Skiing Heritage,” is also the historian for the Maine Ski and Snowboard Museum.

“I, William the Conqueror of Ice and Snow, the King of the Augusta Winter Carnival for 1923, defender of all Winter Sports, do proclaim, that the Keeper of the Snows and the Winds grant my subjects clement weather and fair skies for their holiday.” With those words, printed in full page ads in several Maine newspapers, William Gannett, Augusta businessman and newspaper owner, announced the second annual State of Maine Winter Carnival.

Gannett traveled to Switzerland to see how the country celebrated winter. He came back with ideas and excitement and hosted a winter carnival that demonstrated to the world that Maine was the place for winter sports.

Gannett closed by writing, “In exercise of the power invested in me, that the nations of the world may know that Maine’s Kingdom of Ice and Snow can outdo Switzerland as a setting for Winter Sports — I make this proclamation.”


The free program also will be archived on the society’s Facebook page for those who want to watch it later.

For more information, call Wood at 207-622-7718.

1923 Winter Carnival program



Check out other upcoming area events!

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: