Snow Village to return to River Mill Park in January
Huntsville Council approved the request from the Festival of Arts to waive the permit fee for their upcoming Snow Village at River Mill Park, in the December 12, 2022, meeting.
The winter village, themed, A Walk Down Main Street, is a free interactive winter playground for the community that includes building snowmen, a walking path made from snow, sculptures, interactive play, creation zones and colourful lighting.
Executive Director, Dan Watson, indicated that the permit fee for holding the event is $5,868 plus tax, and added, “The cost to the Town is a lot less than that.”
The idea for the Snow Village “came out of Covid,” said Watson, adding, “We were looking for different ways that we could still serve the community, still create art in public spaces, and offer it to people.”
According to Watson, last year’s event was successful with 4,500 people attending (600 a week), and the snow village included the Town Hall, bridge, and Portage Flyer.
The tentative dates are January 16th until March 19th but are weather dependent. They will begin the build mid-January and open it by the beginning of February and keep it ongoing into March.
Special events include creative workshops building with snow and ice, Friday night lights, music and hot chocolate, a snowman making competition and an outdoor puppet performance by local youth.
Watson said, “It’s really an invitation for people to get playful and come out and enjoy the outdoors.”
Local and professional artists will be hired to create the village work, and volunteers will also help with creation and maintenance, and the park will be monitored daily.
The total budget for the event is estimated at $40,000, however, Watson said the benefits will be “engaging the community, economy – encouraging visitation, brand enhancement – making Huntsville an attractive destination for with pictures of people having fun, enlivening an underused space, and perception – Huntsville as a supporter of community engaged arts.”