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Feb. 7-9: American Legion Post 31 winter carnival in 50th year

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By Lisa Carolin

Chelsea American Legion Post 31 has been celebrating some impressive milestones of late.

Last year was the legion’s 100th anniversary, and in February is the Legion’s 50th Annual Winter Carnival.

The carnival kicks off Friday, Feb. 7, at 4 p.m. at American Legion Post 31, located at 1700 Ridge Road in Sylvan Township. Events will include a fishing derby (weather permitting), breakfasts, games, and a kid’s carnival along with plenty of food and beverages.

Craig Maier, finance officer for American Legion Post 31, says that it’s creativity that has kept the Legion and the Winter Carnival going all these years. However, the number of attendees has been down at the carnival the last few years.

“The demographics have changed so much in the community,” said Maier. “You don’t get all the old-timers who used to come out and spend the whole weekend playing cards and carrying on. We get quite a few for our breakfasts and the Kids Carnival, but the afternoon/evening bar crowd just isn’t there anymore.”

He says that despite good weather for the carnival last winter, lots of ice and snow, attendance was down. Attempts at a craft beer tasting and a wine tasting didn’t help, but ideas are being worked on for appealing events at the Legion like a pig roast this summer, which will be in addition to the annual Fourth of July chicken broil.

Maier says American Legion Post 31 is an important venue.

“It’s a gorgeous facility, and it’s where all the local veterans come,” he said. “We have the Heroes on the Water event, and it’s a local gathering spot for different community events.”

Whatever the weather, the 50th Annual Winter Carnival will go on from Feb. 7-9 with the only uncertainty being the ice. If there is no ice or it’s unsafe, the fishing derby will be cancelled.

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