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Songs of Snowtown: Karaoke brings festival-goers to Maggie’s

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The Snowtown USA celebrations continued Thursday night at Maggie’s on the River, where patrons braved the elements to turn out for the first karaoke night the waterfront restaurant has hosted in more than a year.

The fun-filled night was only one of many events scheduled as part of the Snowtown USA celebration. Watertown City Parks and Recreation Superintendent Erin E. Gardner was on hand and was pleased with the turnout.

“I’m impressed,” Ms. Gardner said. “It’s been a little scary at all the events early on because people have been coming 20, 30 minutes after the event starts, but the turnout has been great.”

Some of the more popular events, Ms. Gardner said, were the public skates held at the Watertown Ice Arena. The theme changes each day, and she estimated at least 150 people came out in their best ugly sweater for skating Thursday. For today, the theme is favorite sports teams, so all are encouraged to don jerseys or other sports clothing and come out to the arena.

The frigid weather has been the culprit for the postponing of some outdoor events and likely canceling the Red and Black Snow Football Game scheduled for Saturday morning, but it did not keep away the 25 to 30 people who gathered on the first floor of Maggie’s to hear the singers as of 9 p.m. Thursday, a number that Ms. Gardner and Nichole M. Fiacco, a server and bartender at the restaurant who was in charge of the night’s entertainment, assured would grow as the night went on.

“We’re hoping for a big crowd tonight,” Ms. Fiacco said before the show began. “Hopefully the weather doesn’t have much of an impact.”

For those in attendance, the return of karaoke to Maggie’s was a welcome addition.

“It’s great for building community,” said Shaun H. Cunningham, a music teacher at Ohio Elementary School and H.T. Wiley Intermediate School, who had just finished performing his second song of the evening. “It allows people to interact with other people that they may not have otherwise.”

Those turned off by the weather may have been turned back on by the promise of prizes for the top performers. According to Ms. Gardner, gift cards to Jreck Subs and Dry Hill Ski Area were up for grabs.

Dry Hill also will host a free concert by Annie in the Water, an Albany-based band that has toured across the county and extensively throughout the north country. The concert will be held from 9 to 11:30 p.m. Saturday, and Ms. Gardner said those interested can turn out Saturday afternoon for a day of skiing and snowboarding with the band, further expanding on the variety of events being offered during the six-day Snowtown celebration.

“We’re trying to hit all ages,” Ms. Gardner said.

With events ranging from a sharing of collective history of the area at the Flower Memorial Library on Thursday evening to a chicken-wing-eating contest at Buffalo Wild Wings starting at 6 tonight, where contestants must eat a dozen boneless wings with their hands tied behind their back the fastest, or at 6:45, when the bone-in competition begins, hands allowed, there is a Snowtown USA event designed for everyone.




TODAY’S EVENTS
The Snow Softball Tournament originally scheduled for 5 p.m. at the Fairgrounds has been postponed.
• Favorite Sports Team Public Skate: Watertown Ice Arena, noon to 2:30 p.m.
• Chicken Wing Eating Contest: boneless wing contest, 6 p.m., bone-in wing contest, 6:45 p.m.; Buffalo Wild Wings, 1290 Arsenal St.
• Wounded Warrior Tournament; Ice Arena, 7 p.m.
• For a full list, go to http://wdt.me/SnowtownUSA-schedule
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