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B'ville's winter festival returns this weekend

Bundle up for the second annual Big Chill.

This weekend, Baldwinsville will be filled with events for everyone beginning with a Snow Ball at Mohegan Manor. Featuring a casino gaming floor from 7 to 11 p.m., guests will enjoy a semi-formal Friday evening with hors d'oeurves and music by Alter Ego and pianist Mark Angilillo.

"People who enjoy a nice evening dressed up with music and casino activity should join us at the Mohegan Manor Friday evening," said Lee Wilder, executive director of the Baldwinsville Chamber of Commerce. "If you're more the outdoors type person we have a full day of activities planned at Mercer Park [Saturday]."

The best way to start any day is with breakfast, and the First Presbyterian Church answers that need with the Winter Snowflake Breakfast held from 8 to 11 a.m. at the church. Afterwards, head to Mercer Park for a snowman building contest, children's activities and a chili cook-off, which is even bigger this year with 16 entries and local celebrity judges.

"We added a tent for our chili cook-off," Wilder said. "It was such a big success last year, and this year we have six more chili entries to taste."

In addition to the chili cook-off, organizers have traded dog sled rides for last year's horse drawn wagon rides and the chamber is still looking for more participants for the Polar Bear Plunge, which will begin at 3:15 p.m. Saturday. If you haven't already, willing plungers can register between 1 and 3 p.m. with a minimum $100 sponsorship. Corporate competitors are also welcomed this year with a minimum $500 per team sponsorship and 10 or more team members.

"If nothing else, come to the park to watch the craziness," Wilder said.

Admission is free along with a bon fire to keep everyone toasty warm. The event will wrap up at 5:30 p.m. with a fireworks display over the Seneca River.

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