What's A"Moosestomper's Weekend"
and hey ....
should we call animal rights leaders to let them know about the event?
No..."Moosestompers Weekend" is a celebration of winter..with something different every year from fireworks, horse drawn sleigh rides.
Always the favorite kids scrambling in different age groups thru piles of snow for hundreds of half dollars donated by local banks, snowsled club breakfasts and suppers and trail rides. The Wild Katahdin Snow Run foot race part of the hoofing it if you have been a regular celebrater to avoid the mid winter blues. To shake off the cabin fever.
Colored light parades with snowsled brought up thru Houlton's Main Street to a Bonfire, special dances and the "Moosestomper's Ball", youth events including human curling, human dog sled and sliding competition on Derby Hill. Hockey games, public skating..and the best part?
It's free and put on by community minded local businesses and three area snowmobile clubs with the support of the local Greater Houlton Chamber of Commerce.
The event was featured on Nickelodeon a few years back and the idea originated at Loring Air Force Base in Limestone, Maine. Colonel Allan Bean, the commander during the Loring AFB mothball when we became friends with the Russians and start dismantling bases around the country, became Houlton Maine's town manager.
Bean told the local Rotary Club and town council how much fun it was for the entire family during the middle of winter in the Caribou-Limestone Maine area and the idea sparked to continue the tradition in Houlton.
It needed and got the support of the Linneus Sno Sports, Meduxnekage Ramblers in Littleton and the Smoki Haulers Sled Club in Oakfield.
The Southern Aroostook Agricultural Museum also holds a public supper and had museum tours to make the event something for everyone.
Horse drawn open sleigh rides for everyone too! Local merchants do their part with savings and incentives built around the "Moose is Loose" theme.
There is a lot of work that goes into this "Celebration of winter in Maine" event. I know, in the past was chairman through all the planning sessions and coordinating all the groups. And keeping my fingers crossed that the weather channel worked in our favor for maximum turn out.
The local public works puts up "Moose is Loose" signage and hard to drive thru Houlton and miss the banners, the local WHOU radio remotes and the Houlton Pioneer Times coverage of the event.
When you live in the snowbelt of the northeast with what is ranked in the top four of state sled trail systems, the event is a shoe in to pull off with lots of volunteers helping make the fun for communities of Southern Aroostook and visiting winter enthusiasts.
So when you hear "The Moose is Loose" and "Moosestomper's Weekend" don't think the worst and be calling the Humane Society or the Animal Rights People, it's a good thing to celebrate the midway point of winter.
Prize drawings, free hot chocolate by the bon fires Friday and Saturday night, Poker Run trail rides, radar speed runs, demonstration of the real old pioneer snowsleds from back in the early 1960's on up.
Free local movies....restaurant and lodging deals geared to involve the entire family.
Cross country ski courses are also set up around the sled club and near the Houlton International Airport.
Plus an ice fishing derby is another element of the weekend celebration so something for everyone involving all the fun events of winter in Aroostook County.
Hockey games thru out the weekend involving tournaments and all age groups thru high school level are played continuously at the Millar Arena.
The outdoor games and sliding are behind the arena so everything is centralized making it easy for parents to know where their youngsters are as the entire family enjoys the celebration. This event is a tradition in Houlton Maine! Plan to snowsled in "Moosestomper's Weekend" which is always the first weekend of February! More from the Moosestompers site!