The 10-day Somerset SnowFest kicks off Friday, with one of the more popular events being Skijor Skowhegan, scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 25, at the Skowhegan State Fairgrounds. Skijoring features a rider on horse pulling a skier or snowboarder. Photo courtesy of Maine Mountain Media

Skijoring, downhill kayaking and an ice fishing derby are some of the activities planned for the fifth Somerset SnowFest, which kicks off Friday and continues to Feb. 26 in and around Skowhegan.

A triathlon to include cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and fat biking are also planned for SnowFest, which is organized by Lake George Regional Park and Main Street Skowhegan.

The lead sponsor of the 10-day event is the Hight Family of Dealerships. The park will host several activities on the lake and its expanded trail network.

“We are thrilled to bring Somerset SnowFest back for the fifth year,” Kristina Cannon, executive director of Main Street Skowhegan, said in a statement released to the news media. “Each year, we try to outdo ourselves, adding more activities and increasing the number of days the festival runs. The better the festival, the more people we can attract to Skowhegan, which will benefit our local businesses and the regional economy during the slowest retail season.”

At 9 a.m. Saturday, the children’s box sled derby begins at Lake George Regional Park West and the Ice Hole World Championships kicks off at the same time at the boat launch on the east side of the lake. Ice hole is similar to cornhole, a backyard game where participants throw bags of corn kernels into a hole on a ramp, except the SnowFest version is designed to have pucks tossed into holes in the ice. The game’s creation is rooted in the Skowhegan area.

Downhill kayaking is scheduled to begin at noon Saturday on the lake’s west side, and Skowhegan Outdoors, an initiative of Main Street Skowhegan, is set to host several free activities for families, including cross-country skiing clinics and a Yeti hunt.


On Sunday, an ice fishing derby is scheduled to begin at 5:30 a.m. and continue to 3 p.m., with awards presented at 3:30 p.m. on the east side of the lake.

Skijor Skowhegan, to be held at 11 a.m. on Feb. 25 at the Skowhegan State Fairgrounds, is expected to feature 50 teams competing for more than $2,000 in prizes. As part of the event, a horse and rider pull a snowboarder or alpine skier down a 1,000-foot track of gates and jumps.

Sponsored by Baxter Brewing Co. and underwritten by Franklin Savings Bank, the event is coordinated by Main Street Skowhegan. Partners in the event include Whittemore & Sons; Skowhegan Savings Bank; NewGen Powerline Construction; Hemphill’s Horses, Feed & Saddlery; and Sugarloaf.

Daily activities include ice skating on the lake, sledding at Coburn Park in Skowhegan and cross-country skiing at Coburn Woods, Philbrick Trails and at Lake George Regional Park.

The triathlon, sponsored by Redington-Fairview General Hospital in Skowhegan, is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. on Feb. 26 at the west side park.

A new feature this year is a Somerset SnowFest kickoff party to be held from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday at Bigelow Brewing Co. in Skowhegan and sponsored by Bigelow and Baxter Brewing Co. Also new: A weeklong ice bar hosted by Unwined, a wine bar in downtown Skowhegan. And on  Feb. 26, a Kite Fest is to be held on Lake George.


All SnowFest activities and registration are available at Those wanting more information should contact Cannon at or 207-614-4078.


Some of the fun happening at Somerset SnowFest:

• Friday: Festival kickoff party at Bigelow Brewing Co.
• Saturday: Ice Hole World Championships (kinda like cornhole), Lake George Regional Park
• Saturday: Downhill kayak race, Lake George Regional Park
• Saturday: Children’s box sled derby, Lake George Regional Park
• Saturday: Kennebec on Fire, Cleaver’s Landing boat launch, Skowhegan
• Sunday: Ice fishing derby, Lake George Regional Park
• Sunday: Sleigh rides, Coburn Park in Skowhegan
• Feb. 25: Skijor Skowhegan, Skowhegan fairgrounds
• Feb. 26: Winter triathalon (nordic skiing, snowshoeing, fat biking), Lake George Regional Park
• Feb. 26: Fly a kite at Kite Fest, Lake George Regional Park

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