Warmth forces castle switch from ice to snow

The Snow Castle, the centerpiece of this weekend’s Presidents Day Weekend Festival in Mayville, is pictured with the Chautauqua Belle, a steamship that travels Chautauqua Lake in the summer months, in the background. (Provided photo — Jay Young, Post-Journal)

MAYVILLE — Volunteer construction crews in this Western New York village are almost done building the castle for the 34rd annual Presidents Day Weekend Winter Festival, but they are building with a new material this year.

Due to unseasonably warm winter weather, this marks the first time crews have been forced to make the castle from a combination of snow and ice rather than simply ice, the Post-Journal of Jamestown reports.

The festival of events, activities, crafts, food and contests — including a Polar Plunge and Chili Cookoff — kicks off a 6 p.m. Friday with the lighting of the castle as well as the Queen of Hearts Ice Ball, featuring live music. The festival runs through Sunday. A full schedule of the weekend’s events can be found on the festival’s Facebook page.