NORWAY — The Norway Snowshoe Festival, a uniquely Maine event, is returning for its eighth year. Organized by the Western Foothills Land Trust (WFLT), the weekend event celebrates Norway’s rich cultural heritage of arts, crafts and outdoor activities. The theme this year is polar explorers, with events honoring Norway’s own WF Tubb, and pioneers Admiral Byrd and Robert Peary.
The Snowshoe Festival will kick off Friday, Feb. 16, with a family contra dance from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Norway Grange. Fiddler Pam Weeks will supply the music while caller Bill Olson will lead the dancers. This will cost a donation of $5 to $10.
WFLT will hold the WF Tubbs snowshoe races on Saturday, Feb. 17, at Roberts Farm Preserve, 64 Roberts Road. The races — 2K, 5K and 10K — will start at 10 a.m. Snowshoes will be available to borrow.
The annual Family Snowshoe Games will follow the race and will include a three-legged race, pulk pull, egg and spoon race and more. A fire pit lunch will be provided during the snowshoe fashion parade. The Hortense Gates Snowshoe Fashion Parade will go back to the time when people traversed the snowy landscape in woolen clothing and wooden snowshoes.
The highlight of the afternoon will be the World Championship Snowshoe Wife Carry. Participants will strap on snowshoes and run a 125-yard winter obstacle course. The Wife Carry will be held from noon to 1 p.m. at Roberts Farm Preserve. Entry fee of $25 adult and $10 high school pairs is required. Participants can preregister at tinyurl.com/y8bqq8dr. Registrations ($30/$15) will be accepted on the day of the competition.
The festival will end with the snowshoe tug of war. Teams of four will compete for a prize of darn tough socks, a fitting reward for the team with the most muscle.
The fat bike race will be held at 10 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 18, at Roberts Farm Preserve.
For more information on GMOW and to find other WFLT events, visit the Great Maine Outdoor Weekend website at greatmaineoutdoorweekend.org or email WFLT at firstname.lastname@example.org.