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Waterbury Winterfest Ends With a Sweep: Broomball!

For 10 days, there were singing competitions and cross-country skiing. Ice sculptures still line the streets of downtown.
WATERBURY, Vt. -

Sunday wrapped up the 2nd Winterfest in Waterbury, Vermont. The festival honored winter and actually spending time outside.

People went out with a bang, playing a little game they like to call Broomball.

It looks like hockey and works like hockey. But there's no skates and let's just say, more falling.

Bill Minter, Waterbury Winterfest Planning Committee Chair said, “This is the most fun that we can imagine because you can't use your skates to stop and go, you're slipping and sliding."

Gordon Miller, a broomball expert agreed, “Slipping and sliding and you're fighting for your life just to stay up. It really works your core though. It takes your whole body just to stay upright. It's actually fun once you start playing. The more you play, the more you enjoy it.”

Broomball was the cherry on top of over a week of winter-fueled activities for the 2nd Waterbury Winterfest. The mission of Winterfest is to embrace winter and celebrate recreation in Waterbury.

“Last year we came up with the phrase 'Rebound with Recreation' because we're kind of part of coming back from Irene. How are we going to replace the business that's lost in the State Complex? We think recreation is it,” said Minter.

For 10 days, there were singing competitions and cross-country skiing. Ice sculptures still line the streets of downtown.

So much going on that several restaurant managers we spoke with say, they've been busy all week, including at the Prohibition Pig.

“Having the Waterbury Festival is nice, to have a community-based  thing and maybe bring a lot of people who are outside of town into town, to see around Waterbury, see our restaurant. It's probably a little bit busier than it has been. I'd attribute that to the Festival,” said Prohibition Pig Manager Emily Schmitz.

A festival that says, just because it's winter, doesn't mean you have to hibernate.

“It's never too cold to come out and play,” said Minter.

Organizers say they don't know how many people participated in Winterfest just yet but they believe it was very successful and look forward to next year.


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