Cathy Walton-Smith: Groundhog Day a highlight for those counting days until spring |

Cathy Walton-Smith: Groundhog Day a highlight for those counting days until spring

February is the shortest month of the year and has more holidays than any other month.With the added excitement Winter Carnival and the Superbowl, let us not forget Groundhog Day. This is a very special holiday for those of us who look forward to the end of winter. If that little guy somewhere in Pennsylvania doesnt see his shadow, then spring will be early. Dont get me wrong. I think winter is a fine season for December and January.Since in real life, we pretty much have winter around here from October to May, I do lots of rationalizing tricks to make winter shorter in my mind. Groundhog Day is like a turning point. There are less than eight weeks to the first day of spring, and five weeks until were back on daylight saving time. Of course, our own groundhogs (known more commonly around here as marmots or whistle pigs) never even check on the light of day until sometime in April when we will probably have six more weeks of winter.Winter Carnival is this Saturday, Feb. 2. You can still enter the bed sled races right up until race time. Or stop by the Chamber office with your $25 entry. This years theme is The Age of Aquarius, which it is hoped will be reflected in the parade, snow sculptures, bed sled designs, snowman contest and Mardi Gras costumes. Tickets for the Mardi Gras Ball at Pancho & Leftys are now on sale for $10 per person. Get yours at Pancho & Leftys, RE/MAX or the Chamber office. The ball will have a much bigger dance floor this year, with live music by MOGAMBUS an excellent band.The King and Queen candidates will be out to get your votes. And the field has narrowed to just five contestants including dogs. One vote costs $1. The point is to raise the most money for the Fireworks Fund and other local needs. Vote early and vote often. Donna & Rick Howard sponsored by Grand Mountain Bank; Schelly & Jeff Olson by The Rustic Urn; Laura & Don Summers by The Waconda; Liza & Jason Allen by The Lariat; Cloe & Cowboy by Water Garden Services.Here is the events schedule:ALL DAY KIDS SNOWMAN CONTEST Free Entry/All entrants get an ice cream cone/Must complete by 1:30 p.m./Judging at 2 p.m.9:30 a.m.TEA POT CURLING on town rink8 teams, bonfire, hot chocolate, free11 a.m. to 4 p.m.Kauffman House open for historic tours, model train display, admission by donationALL DAYSNOW SCULPTURES Vote for your favorite!12:30 p.m.PARADEAFTER PARADEPARENT & CHILD SLED PULL free entryNEXTBED SLED RACE 3 to 4 people push with one rider /on Grand Ave in front of park, age group is 18+, $25 entry fee AFTER BED RACESHUMAN BOWLING Adult & Kid divisions 2 lanes, 1 rider with 2 bowlers aiming the saucer at 10 empty water jugs, $10 entry, cash prizes4 p.m.TOWN BEACHBONFIRE & TUG-O-WAR THRU THE SNOW BANK, GUNNY SACK RACES ON THE LAKE Free / Adult & Kids 6 p.m.FIREWORKS ON THE LAKE 8 p.m. to midnightMARDI GRAS DANCE at Pancho and LeftysA free Homebuyers Workshop, will he held next Tuesday, Feb. 12, 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Grand Lake Town Hall board room. This class will help you to become a successful homeowner, but is also great for Realtors, lenders and all buyers and sellers. Learn about down payment assistance, special loan programs, and new tax credit programs. The class also includes a free workbook. Please register in advance by calling (970) 887-7271 or online at Sponsored by the Grand County Housing Authority and the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority.I read an article that said the way to achieve inner peace is to finish things already started. Today, I finished two bags of potato chips, a chocolate pie, a bottle of wine and a small box of chocolate candy. I feel better already.

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