Warm spirits at Winterfest | The Bennington Banner – Vermont News

Warm spirits at Winterfest | The Bennington Banner – Vermont News

NORTH BENNINGTON — The village became a winter wonderland again on Saturday, as the annual Winterfest returned for another year.

Dozens of people donned warm clothes for the annual event of the Bennington Chamber of Commerce, which kicked off with a parade. With snowflakes occasionally falling from the sky and temperature hovering around 40, numerous attendees said the weather was agreeable and reported warm spirits.

A variety of activities were offered for all ages, from craft events for children to the annual plunge into Lake Paran.

Many gathered for another chili festival at St. John the Baptist Church, hosted by the NorShaft Lions Club. Piping hot pots were filled with sustenance, including some with family recipes that were passed down for years. More than one was made from venison. Others included Texan chili with enough spice and heat to make you forget it’s January.

A chocolate cherry dessert chili, with a dollop of cinnamon whipped cream, was made by Lions member Lisa Harrington-Redding

“I always like to make something different,” Harrington-Redding said.

The fundraiser by the local Lions chapter benefited the group’s local efforts. That includes free vision and hearing screening, the purchase of eyeglasses and hearing aids for people in need, and supporting local food pantries.

Brave souls plunged into the ice-cold water of Lake Paran for the annual dip, which this year benefited Paran Recreations.

A quick tractor ride would take folks from one end of the village to the other, and spaces in between. McCullough Library hosted a book sale and story time. The Southshire Community School offered arts…

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