MOUNT DESERT — Among the first events to celebrate Acadia National Park’s 100th birthday this year will be a winter festival at the Schoodic Institute in Winter Harbor and Camp Beech Cliff on Mount Desert Island.
The festival will begin at the Schoodic Institute Feb. 26 to March 1 and end at Camp Beech Cliff March 2-6.
Camp Beech Cliff will feature indoor and outdoor activities, such as rug hooking, dog sledding and winter camping. Some programs require reservations. Some, not all, require fees.
An opening reception and Winter Works fine art exhibit will start the Camp Beech Cliff portion from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 2. The reception in the camp’s great room will be co-hosted by Friends of Acadia and will welcome the park’s new superintendent, Kevin Schneider.
Participating artists include Judy Taylor, Scott Baltz, Nicole Herz, Jane Yudleman, Hugh Lassen, Katie Noble Churchill, George Soules, Donald Rainville, Mary Hays, Howie Motenko, Michael Rosenstein, Holly Meade and Cheryl Coffin.
Introduction to rug hooking, a children’s art-and-craft session, stargazing with the Acadia Astronomical Society and a nighttime owl prowl in Acadia are set for Thursday, March 3.
On Friday, March 4, the camp is hoping folks will turn out to create MDI’s largest snow sculpture. A bonfire, hot cocoa, and chili and chowder event to benefit the Bar Harbor Food Pantry begins at 5 p.m.
Throughout the weekend, the public is invited to participate in ice skating, sledding, outdoor gear and ice carving demonstrations, hay rides, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.
On Saturday, March 5, a sunrise hike in Acadia is planned at a location to be announced. On that day, a snowshoe tracking guided hike will be held at the Somes-Meynell Wildlife Sanctuary from 8-11 a.m.
From 9-11 a.m., an ice fishing demonstration is planned at Camp Beech Cliff.
A mobile performance of “Alice in Wonderland,” by the Barn Arts Collective (see related story) also is planned for Saturday.
A search-and-rescue dog demonstration is set for 2 p.m.
Indoor activities throughout the week include the climbing wall, broomball and yoga.
The big event that Saturday is the Winter Boot Bash, which will feature an ice bar, signature bites by area restaurants and dancing in winter boots. The cost is $45 per couple. It runs from 7:30-11 p.m.
Events on Sunday, March 6, include a snowshoe fun run (see related story in sports), tractor hay rides and a snow-shelter building demonstration at 10 a.m.
Archery, dog sledding, massages and more also are scheduled.
At 1:30 p.m., there will be a demonstration on how to cook delicious desserts over an open fire.
Human bowling, using saucer sleds, is scheduled for 2 p.m.
Activities at the Schoodic Institute, which begin the week before the Camp Beech Cliff activities, will range from snowshoeing and bird carving to winter survival and outdoor Dutch oven cooking.
At least 20 community partners will join in offering the more than 50 activities.
The activities at the Schoodic Institute will begin a week earlier on Friday, Feb. 26, with snowshoeing and creating a winter car kit, followed by dinner.
The snowshoe excursion will be led by Acadia National Park Superintendent Kevin Schneider and Schoodic Institute President Mark Berry from 2-4 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 27, will open with a workshop on using a GPS; beginning pyrography – burning a design on wood; cross-country skiing; kids’ wildlife winter survival; ice cream making; backyard birds; plein air painting; a lecture on traditional snowshoes; an artist’s reception with Bob Thayer; and an evening photography presentation by artist and author Thayer, called “An Acadian Winter.”
The cross-country skiing will be hosted by Schneider and Berry from 9 to 11 a.m.
Bill Mackowski will lecture on traditional snowshoes and pack baskets. He has a collection of about 200 snowshoes, up to 70 pack baskets and a variety of fishing creels.
Mackowski has been a registered guide for 40 years and is an expert on survival crafts. He also is a craftsman and historian on traditional basket making.
His lecture is from 3-4:30 p.m., Feb. 27, in Moore Auditorium.
Sunday, Feb. 28, will begin with birding and brunch; cooking with a Dutch oven; kids’ embroidery; winter photography; a showing of the film “March of the Penguins”; bird carving; live music; and an evening lecture on wintering birds.
Master bird carver and avid birdwatcher Ed Hawkes of Bar Harbor will lead a bird carving workshop from 1-5 p.m.
Hawkes starts each carving with a collection of bird photos and sketches to develop his design, which is then executed on basswood, or at times, tupelo or cedar.
Monday, Feb. 29, includes a class on drop spinning for beginners; a lecture on managing coastal woodlots; and an evening film, “Winged Migration.”
Tuesday, March 1, will open with a hike followed by a class on beginning pyrography and an evening lecture by art historian and writer Carl Little on “The Art of Maine in Winter,” one of his books. Little will show slides and talk about artists who have been inspired by winter, ranging from Winslow Homer and Rockwell Kent to contemporary painters.
Registration for the entire festival is open until Feb. 19 at www.acadiawinterfestival.org