BOONVILLE- Once again, the North Country is experiencing yet another strange winter so far and officials are hoping that the weather holds out for the upcoming snowmobile races at the Boonville-Oneida County Fairgrounds.
"Our fingers are crossed," Board Treasurer Susan Alger told us. "The great snow we received Saturday was phenomenal and the track grew ever since we had the cold snap that started Thursday they have been at the track."
The track crew, consisting of many volunteers, take shifts that revolve around the clock by spraying water down on the 1/2 mile oval track, creating a solid, thick ice base for racing. Alger tells us that so far, crews have put in well over 60-hours of work since last week's cold snap began.
The 11th annual Boonville Snow Festival II is set for the weekend of Friday, January 31-Sunday, February 2, 2020.
In terms of having another odd North Country winter, Edy O'Rourke, an official weather keeper for the Boonville area, reported to us Tuesday that she has only measured 57.1" of snowfall this season (as of January 20), compared to having 70.1" last year at the same time.
According to local snowfall totals kept by George Capron, the Boonville area has not seen a winter with snow accumulation over 200" since the winter 2008-2009 (213.1"). In fact, the greatest snowfall for Boonville in that decade was only 162.1", records show.
In years past, is was very common for parts of the North Country to see over 300" of snowfall each winter.
It used to be a given that a winter carnival could be held anywhere in Northern New York from late December and into March. However, the Boonville Snow Festival II endured a stretch of years where the annual races were postponed multiple times, only to be ultimately canceled. "It's very frustrating to have things come down to the wire when it comes to the weather," Alger added. "It never used to be that way."
Be sure to listen to our featured discussion with Susan Alger and check out this year's flyer for snowmobile racing: