Shriners call off winter carnival

JACKSON HOLE, WYO – Sheesh, what did the Shriners ever do to Mother Nature?

Funky winter weather forced the cancellation of last year’s cutter races. Too much snow. This year, there isn’t enough snow to host the 6th Annual Skijoring in its place.

Now comes word the Jackson Hole Shrine Club is going to have to scrub its planned 1st Annual Winter Carnival that was to have taken place in Melody Ranch on February 17.

Unseasonably warm temperatures paired with a low snowpack in the valley has created a scenario where any traffic on the Melody Ranch property, traditionally used to host the historical Jackson Hole Cutter Races, would be too damaging. Additionally, the lack of snow and intermittent rain in the valley has made it impossible to set a groomed track.

The Winter Carnival was announced less than two months ago, when the Shrine Club was forced to cancel the Cutter Races due to lack of racer participation. The club was excited to still host an event over the President’s Day holiday, providing an opportunity for valley visitors and residents alike to attend a fun outdoor activity while supporting the Shriners Hospital for Children in Salt Lake City.

“The Jackson Hole Shrine Club would like to express our continued appreciation to Paul Von Gontard and his wonderful staff at Melody Ranch,” said event committee member and former Shrine Club president Rod Everett. “Their generous support of the Shriners Hospital in Salt Lake City via the JH Shrine Club events hosted at the Ranch has been paramount to the club’s fundraising success since 1972.”

The Carnival cancellation comes on the heels of the cancellation of the Shrine Club’s other major fundraising event: Jackson Hole Skijoring. The combined cancellations are a major blow to the Shrine Club’s annual fundraising efforts. The club plans to host an evening gala later in the winter, with a date and more details to be announced soon.

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