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Plans for new Severn Winterfest shaping up

Polar bear dip, demolition derby, dance and winter fun events planned

Like many, organizers of Severn Winterfest were surprised to learn that the Orillia Winter Carnival has been cancelled for 2019, with its board ceasing operations.

Chad Cooke, Chair of Severn Winterfest, was formerly president of the Orillia event and offered his thoughts:

“It’s sad in a way, to see a longstanding community event with a great reputation for family fun, shutdown,” said Cooke, now a Severn Township businessman and resident.

“Mark Earl has been the face of the Orillia event over the years and anyone who has worked with him knows just how passionate and hard-working he has been. But like many community events, there is a burn-out factor when too much work falls on too few shoulders.”

The cancellation leaves Orillia Agricultural Society’s Severn Winterfest as the only winter carnival in the area. According to Cooke all the wheels are in motion to deliver a first-class event at ODAS Park from Jan. 25-27, 2019.

There will be a polar bear dip, the demolition derby is booked, a dance is organized and a full slate of winter fun events will be featured.

Severn Township Council has generously stepped up to support the event and Cooke is hoping sponsors who have traditionally aligned themselves with the Orillia event will see value in supporting Severn Winterfest.

Like many events staged at ODAS Park, organizers expect to draw their audience from the township, from Orillia and from the surrounding Simcoe County area.

You can find Severn Winterfest on Facebook and watch for the Severn Winterfest website coming soon.

For further information and details contact Chad Cooke, chair, Severn Winterfest, phone 705-325-0353 or email