JAMESTOWN – Whether you love winter or can’t wait for it to end, you are sure to love Audubon Community Nature Center’s Snowflake Local Living Festival.
Now in its 36th year, the Saturday, Feb. 3, family-friendly celebration is all about enjoying local places, weather, activities and products.
Festival hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admissions are $6, $2 children 3-15, and free for children 2 and under. Parking is free.
Animal lovers will delight in live animals including sled dog demonstrations, alpacas in a petting pen from Dun Roving Farms (weather permitting), Wild Spirit Education’s live owls, hawks, amphibians and insects, and Chautauqua County Humane Society animals. They join Audubon’s resident fish, reptiles, and amphibians, as well as Liberty, the non-releasable Bald Eagle who lives in her outdoor habitat behind the Nature Center building.
Snowflake Local Living Festival emphasizes learning to live lighter on the planet. You can explore hands-on activities that can be done at home to have a smaller impact on the environment. These include wool spinning, knitting, leather working, grinding your own flour, drilling maple taps and syrup making.
Other activities included with the admission fee are trying snowshoes courtesy of Evergreen Outfitters, kayak-sled races, hiking with a naturalist, games, building an insect house, customizing a walking stick, a scavenger hunt, tools and taste tests, take-home projects from some of the vendors, and demonstrations of winter camping and cooking by Boy Scout Troop 169, with free samples. You are also welcome to bring your own equipment for sledding and cross-country skiing.
Activities that have a small fee are Magic Moments horse-drawn carriage rides, making a basket, and building a nest box or bird feeder. You can also enjoy a basket raffle and great shopping at the Blue Heron Gift Shop. There is no ATM on site, but credit cards can be accepted for purchases in the building.
With seating in an outdoor heated tent, you can treat yourself to lunch or snacks of local food purchased from Franklin’s Honey and Apples and 3 C’s Catering.
Other vendors and exhibitors to date are Penn State Extension Master Gardeners, Royal Wind and Solar, Knitting 4 Peace, Chautauqua County Master Gardeners, Girl Scouts of Western New York, and Steady Plow Farm LLC.
Some of the booths will have locally made or eco-friendly items for sale. Come with a smile and ready to meet some of the amazing people and wildlife that live in the region.
The schedule of activities includes:
- 10:30 a.m. – Hike with a Naturalist
- 11 a.m.-2 p.m. – Wild Spirit live birds of prey Meet and Greet
- Noon-4 p.m. – Magic Moment Carriage Rides
- 12:30 p.m. – Hike with a Naturalist
- Until 3:00 p.m. – Sled dog demonstrations
Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts of any age group, and other interested boys and girls can earn a Winter Fun patch by completing activities at the Festival. Visit the Reception Desk in the Nature Center when you arrive for a list of requirements.
To see a video of the Festival, click on youtube.com/watch?v=QY4L5m3DEWM or go to youtube.com and search for Snowflake Festival 2015. To learn more, call (716) 569-2345 during business hours or visit auduboncnc.org/snowflakefestival.
Volunteers are still are needed to do everything from selling snacks and operating the elevator to assisting with bluebird house building and children’s crafts. All volunteers receive access to the hospitality room and free admission to the Festival before or after their volunteer shift. For more information, call (716) 569-2345 or visit auduboncnc.org/volunteer.
Audubon wants to thank its sponsors: Kwik Fill, Williams Restoration and Construction Company, Orkin Pest Control, Welders Supply Co., Cattaraugus County Bank, Jamestown Awning, 3 C’s Catering, Courier Capital LLC/Randy Ordines, James M. Smith CLU, and Metallic Ladder Mfg. Corp.
Audubon Community Nature Center is conveniently located at 1600 Riverside Road, one-quarter mile east of Route 62 between Jamestown, N.Y., and Warren, Pa.
Audubon Community Nature Center builds and nurtures connections between people and nature by providing positive outdoor experiences, opportunities to learn about and understand the natural world, and knowledge to act in environmentally responsible ways.