The first carnival was held in 1936. The Sunday prior to the event saw almost a thousand people using the newly constructed facility on Hosmer's Pond. The scheduled events included: ski, snowshoe, and skating races, skating relay races, obstacle races, ski jumping, downhill ski race for women, cross country ski and snow shoe races, hockey matches and house racing.
Priscilla Bates was crowned "Queen of the Carnival". In evening the Big Carnival Ball was held at the Opera House. On Sunday it was estimated that between 2500 and 5000 people attended the festivities.
The carnival was such a success that it was decided to make it an annual event. The construction of the lodge began on September 27., all by volunteer labor. By the end of the year, the construction was almost completed. The skate house was dubbed "Hotel Rockport" because most of the building was done by Rockport residents. Open house for the new facility was held on Jan 15th and 16th , with hundreds in attendance. At this point over 1000 people had volunteered their time for the project.
Photo courtesy of David Dickey
In 1938 the carnival included an Inter scholastic Meet with seven local high schools participating. Events included wood-sawing, wood-chopping and nail-driving.
In 1941 the festival included the world's largest bobsled. Entitled "Miss Maine" and weighing 1,800 lbs. it could hold 113 people.
The Snow Bowl continued to flourish with a few limited seasons during the war. In 1955, the president of the Outing Club requested help in rejuvenating the Snow Bowl after 2 years of very little snow. It was hopped that the facility could be used in the summer also.
In 1956 a horse ring was constructed and in August a first Class A Horse show was held with 72 horses entered.