Punxsutawney Phil wasn't afraid of his shadow this year, so we were supposed to have an early spring. But in Lowell, winter's going to last a little longer than we thought.
Lowell will host its annual WinterFest celebration Friday, Feb. 22, and Saturday, Feb. 23. WinterFest was originally supposed to be held this weekend, but it was postponed on Wednesday morning because of the impending snowstorm.
The two-day festival will start Friday, Feb. 22, at 6:15 p.m. with the Opening Ceremony, which will feature the fire performance group Hydra and the crowning of WinterFest's first King and Queen.
The ceremony will also include the first round of the annual Human Dog Sled Competition, where grown adults in teams of six can suffer through the experience of being an Iditarod racing dog.
The North Bowl Soup Competition also will be on Friday night from 7 to 9 p.m. and on Saturday, Feb. 23, from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Masonic Center at 79 Dutton St.; admission is $5. The 2nd annual Microbrew Showcase and Competition, featuring 22 brewers offering 50 unique beers, will be held from 7 to 10 p.m. on Friday at the Fahrenheit Sponsor Tent on Fr. Morissette Blvd.; $25, 21-plus only.
Warm up in the giant heated tent on Arcand Drive at the Polar Party at Club Celsius. The tent will have food, beverages and live music (including a U2 cover band on Saturday night). Open Friday 6:30 p.m. to 12 a.m.
The afternoon of Saturday, Feb. 23, the All-You-Can-Eat Chocolate Festival will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at St. Anne's Episcopal Church Hall; $5, kids under 5 admitted free. There will also be live ice sculpture demonstrations, horse-drawn carriage rides, a meet-and-greet with real sled-pulling Husky dogs and the Light & Laser Show Grand Finale at 5:40 p.m. on Saturday.
For a complete list of events, visit http://lowell.org/Pages/WinterfestActivities.aspx or call 978-674-4260.