Oswego County Public Information Office, 46 East Bridge St., Oswego, NY 13126

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Feb. 4, 2004

Winter Events Bring Cold Cash to Oswego County

Oswego County is well known for record amounts of snowfall, bringing many winter sports enthusiasts to the area.

"All year around, tourists travel here making a positive impact on the community," said Legislator Kim Seager, chairwoman of the Oswego County Legislature's Economic Development and Planning Committee. "Each season lends itself to a variety of outdoor activities, bringing different groups of visitors to different areas of the county."

The IFSS World Cup Qualifying Tug Hill Challenge brings tourists as well as mushers from all over the country and Canada for dog sled and skijor races at Winona State Forest in Boylston.

"It's one of the biggest sled dog events on the East Coast," said Steve Yelle, one of the coordinators for the event. "Approximately one thousand spectators braved the frigid temperatures and came to see the races. Most were families with children 8 to 12 years of age."

Throughout the winter, the Tug Hill attracts tourists from Florida, California, Washington, Idaho, New England states, and Canada.

"Oswego County has a variety of winter events to offer that generate tourism dollars from lodging, meals, and shopping," said Christine Gray, director of the Oswego County Promotion and Tourism Department.

The Tug Hill Ski Club grooms the Oswego and Jefferson County trails which are available free to skiers, mushers, and snowmobilers. The Adirondack Mountain Club holds their state winter outing on Tug Hill.

"Even before the Tug Hill 'Try It' Cross Country Ski Race on January 17, skiers were calling me to find places to stay because all the hotels they called were filled," said Clara Bingham, Tug Hill Ski Club Race Director. "We have groups from Washington, DC that have started heading north two and three times a year to ski Barnes Corners, Osceola Ski Resort, Salmon Hills, Tourathon trails, and even the beaches at Lake Ontario. The volunteers who worked so long and hard to develop the Winona Forest recreation trails have helped the North Country economy tremendously."

A complete listing of winter events in Oswego County can be found in the "Winter Calendar of Events" distributed by the Oswego County Department of Promotion and Tourism. To obtain a copy contact them at 349-8322; 46 E. Bridge St., Oswego, NY 13126 or visit the Oswego County Website at www.oswegocounty.com.

The Oswego County Legislature's Economic Development and Planning Committee oversees the promotion and tourism department. In addition to Legislator Seager (District 10 (Schroeppel, Volney, Granby), members include Barbara Brown, District 8 (Palermo, Hastings, Schroeppel); Jack Beckwith, District 21 (Hannibal); Thomas Bullard, District 14 (Scriba); Francis Hoefer, District 19 (Minetto, Granby, Oswego Town, Hannibal); Paul Santore, District 16 (Oswego); and David Waters, District 3 (Richland).

MUSH! - Hundreds of competitors, spectators and sled dogs enjoyed the trails in Winona State Forest at the Tug Hill Challenge sled dog races in January. The groomed recreational trails extend several miles through forestland in Oswego and Jefferson counties.

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