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Go a little snow crazy in Stowe, Vt.

January 18, 2009
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STOWE, Vt. - "Zany" is often used to describe the multifaceted Stowe Winter Carnival, the 35th annual edition of which begins tomorrow and runs through Sunday.

What makes a New England celebration of winter zany?

Start with snow volleyball, in which players in parkas and gloves dig, set, and spike, all the while trying to see the outline of that white ball against the snowy landscape.

Not zany enough? How about snow golf, played on a frozen, nine-hole course prepared by snow grooming equipment. Players use customized clubs, usually with oversized heads, to drive a neon-yellow ping-pong ball. Sleds replace golf carts. And did we mention the golfers are in costume? Add a film by extreme ski maven Warren Miller, an ice-carving competition, a kids carnival, and fireworks, and the result is more than your average winter bash.

Miller's 59th feature film will be shown Thursday night at 7 at the Vermont Ski Museum. The ninth Annual National Ice Carving Association-sanctioned competition takes place Saturday from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at Spruce Peak Plaza, with awards announced at 4:30. The Kids Carnival Kaos Saturday afternoon at Stowe Elementary School features games, costumed characters, and music. And Saturday's Village Night features outdoor performances by local dance and theater groups, followed by fireworks, all wrapping up by 8:30.

Stowe Winter Carnival, Jan. 19-24. 800-247-8693, 802-253-7321, www.stowewintercarnival.com.

ELLEN ALBANESE

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