Catching the Carnival

MAYFIELD – Mayor Jamie Ward willingly dove into 20-degree water on Saturday for the polar dip event at Mayfield’s Community Winter Carnival.

“I try to jump in first so that I know it’s safe for everyone else that’s participating in the polar dip,” Ward said. “I like to show the community that I’m one of them, that I’m crazy enough to do something like this because it’s fun. It’s very cold, but it’s fun.”

About 300 people attended Mayfield’s third annual winter carnival. Ward said the community always wanted to have a winter event, and when he came into office he got the ball rolling.

“Without the help of local businesses and the enthusiasm of the community this event wouldn’t happen,” he said.

One of Saturday’s biggest events was the polar dip. Ten people were brave enough to hit the frigid water with Ward on Saturday. Among the 10 participants were sisters Lashonda Gifford and Megan Hayner.

Gifford, who was a swimmer and diver at Gloversville High school years ago, said she guilted her sister into doing it with her for the second year in a row.

“She made me do this,” Hayner said. “But I don’t regret anything. It’s just really cold.”

Saturday’s carnival also included a children’s snow-box derby. The snow box had to be made out of cardboard and could be decorated any way the child desired. Designs ranged from Hello Kitty, to pirates, to the Boston Red Sox. The children slid down a hill unto the frozen Mayfield Lake to see whose box traveled the farthest.

Six-year-old Connor Kohn of Gloversville had the farthest-traveling box. He designed the snow box with his father, Richard Kohn. He credited the speed of his box to the “Skylander” stickers he had all over it.

“It only took us a couple of hours to make this,” Richard said. “We love it, this is a great time and it brings us all together outside.”

Other activities on Saturday included an ice fishing contest, children’s ice hockey, a bon fire and ice skating. Refreshments were provided by Nanny & Pops Small Town Cafe and the Mayfield Grill.