ST. ALBANS – Snow or no snow – the eleventh annual Winter Carnival is set to take place Sunday, Feb.  17. But snow is always better, St. Albans recreation director Kelly Viens said.

The event kicks off with a fireworks presentation in Taylor Park Saturday night, followed by a full day of family fun at Hard’ack Recreation Area Sunday. From horse drawn sleigh rides to the much anticipated Duct Tape Derby, the weekend is expected to be packed full of fun and snow.

But, if the weather doesn’t hold up, Viens says the event will still go on, just with a bit more mud.

“We’ve only had to cancel one year, because there was absolutely no snow,” Viens said. “After that year we decided to come up with a back up plan, so if we didn’t have snow, it didn’t matter.”

If the weather doesn’t hold up, the sleigh rides will be turned to wagon rides. There will still be a nature hike in the woods, just without the snowshoes. The Annual Flag Football Snow Bowl will go on as expected. Viens also says thanks to the snowmaker at Hard’Ack, there will be one slick strip of snow no matter what, designed for the Duct Tape Derby.

No matter the weather, there will also be sugar on snow offered by Howrigan Sugarhouse. A bonfire will also be set up during the day, where smores, hot dogs, and hot cocoa can be enjoyed.

All events at the Winter Carnival are free, thanks to numerous community partners. A full schedule of the event will be listed in the Messenger’s community calendar next week. It may also be found on the recreation department’s website,

“It’s a fun day for families, and it’s all free,” Viens said. “So come up and enjoy being outside. Don’t let a lack of snow keep you away!”