OSWEGO COUNTY – The Salmon River Winter Festival returns to northern Oswego County this weekend, with more than a dozen restaurants and taverns competing in mac and cheese, chili and wing challenges and related events.
The Salmon River Winter Festival begins Friday, January 28 and runs until Sunday, January 30 and includes food challenges, a snowshoe walk/run at Selkirk Shores, snow sculptures, children’s activities and more . The event is free to the public, but anyone wishing to serve as a judge in the food challenges must purchase a $5 ballot each day.
Pre-sale tickets for all three days are available for $13 at the Half-Shire Historical Society, located at 1100 County Route 48 in Richland, and Designs of Elegance Floral Boutique, located at 3891 Rome Road, Pulaski. Single-day tickets will be available throughout the weekend at these locations and at each of the participating properties.
The event kicks off Friday with a macaroni and cheese challenge from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. The chili challenge begins Saturday at noon and runs until 6 p.m., and the wing challenge runs Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.
Entrants can visit each location with their ballot and rate the food samples. Servers will sign ballots to validate.
The festival also features live music and entertainment, with venues hosting artists such as Crazy Al Karaoke, Joe Battles, Spencer Walker, Brett Falso and Dam Dog throughout the weekend.
Selkirk Shores State Park will once again offer free snowshoe rentals on January 29 and 30 as part of the festival. The park trails have been groomed and are ready for snowshoeing or hiking. There are a limited number of racquets in stock and rentals will be available on a first come, first served basis.
The Half-Shire Historical Society, which coordinates the event, will host a small craft show and activities for children throughout the weekend.
Bridge Street Makers, located at 20 Bridge St. in Pulaski, will also be hosting a free craft event for kids from 2-4 p.m. on Friday, January 28. All ages are welcome and children can create dyed snowflakes.
The following restaurants and taverns are participating in all three food challenges:
- Altmar Hotel, 6 Mill Street, Altmar
- Richland Hotel, 243 Main Street, Richland
- Fairways and Dreams, 6927 NYS Rte. 3.Richlands
- The Lakeside, 7116 NYS Rte. 3, Pulasky
- LD on the River: 4838 Jefferson Street, Pulaski
- The End Zone Sports Bar: 3435 Maple Avenue, Pulaski
- 11 North Bar and Grill: 5233 US Route 11, Pulaski
- Olde School Pub, 2066 Harwood Drive, Sandy Creek
- JD’s Tavern and Grill, 6059 S. Main St., Sandy Creek
- Pond Pit BBQ, 8883 NYS Rte. 3, sand creek
- Sandbar, 8431 NYS Rte. 3, Pulasky
- Amy’s Eddies Cove, 28 Lakeshore Road, Pulaski
- Kyle’s Wigwam, 45 Wigwam Drive, Pulaski
The following locations will participate in the Friday Mac and Cheese and Saturday Chili Challenges:
- Ma Barkers, 5095 US Rte. 11, Pulasky
- Millhouse Market, 3790 NYS Rte. 13, Pulasky
Organizers are asking attendees to adhere to existing mask requirements, and a sealed mask will be provided with ballots.
Proceeds from the Salmon River Winter Festival will help fund a community service scholarship in honor of the late Erma Schroeder, who was a full member of the Half-Shire Historical Society. The scholarship is awarded to a local high school senior who exemplifies the characteristics of community service that Erma Schroeder valued.
The additional revenue supports other initiatives at Half-Shire, including the relocation of a 1907 railroad depot to the Richland property.
For a complete schedule of activities and registration information, visit https://www.facebook.com/OswegoCountywintercarnival/ or contact Shawn Doyle at [email protected] or 315-602-6388.