Now in its eleventh consecutive year, WinterFest is again being held in Lowell, Massachusetts. This unique festival combines winter recreation activities with friendly competitions among local businesses to celebrate the season. This year, the festival will be held February 4th and 5th, 2011.

On Friday, February 4th, the Snowman competition begins at 10am at JFK Plaza. This contest to build “WinterFest’s best snowman” will end at 12pm. Snowmen will remain on display throughout WinterFest at JFK Plaza at City Hall.

From 6pm to 9pm, Lowla’s Dance Party will be held at City Hall, located at 375 Merrimack Street in Lowell. The Dance party includes children’s activities, face painting, live music, and more. Also from 6pm to 9pm, free public skating is offered at the Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell, 300 Martin Luther King Jr. Way. Ice skates will not be provided at this event, so visitors must bring their own ice skates if they wish to skate.

The Lowell Rotary Club is sponsoring a hot roasted marshmallows activity from 5pm to 9pm off Arcand Drive. Donations are $3 per stick.

The festivities continue into Friday evening from 7pm through 11pm, with the National Human Dogsled Competition off Arcand Drive at the Trinity E.M.S. Track and the North Bowl Soup Competition at the Masonic Temple located at 79 Dutton Street. The Polar Party hosted by Club Celsius is also Friday evening. The club features live music, dancing and activities for guests age 21 and older. Admission is $5.

The Polar Party continues into Saturday at Club Celsius, as well as the soup competition, dogsled competition, roasted marshmallows, and free public skating.

New this year is the Meet and Greet live dogsledding huskies from 1pm to 3pm on Saturday.

WinterFest comes to a close on Saturday at 6pm with a fireworks display over UMass Lowell’s Tsongas Center.