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Monday, 25 January 2016 16:17

Beloit Wintefest 2016: Fun in any weather

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BELOIT -- Winterfest is all about fun in the snow, with a dash of creativity. For about 20 years, the event has remained popular.

This year’s event, held Friday through Sunday, Jan. 29 through Jan. 31, will feature several new activities, including snowman building. Beloit Memorial High School students will work with children and their parents to help them create a snowman masterpiece. Residents should register ahead of time by calling 608-364-2890, ext. 1.

"Hopefully, we will have nice, fluffy snow with sunshine," said Sonya Baden, recreation coordinator. "Hopefully, it won’t be too cold so we can do it outdoors. If not, we have a back-up plan in place where we can do it indoors."

Another new activity is the open family swim Saturday, Jan. 30, at the Beloit Memorial High School pool. The cost is $3 per person or $10 for a family of four.

The Welty Environmental Center will host several events at its new location in Big Hill Park, including snowshoeing and birds of prey tracking.

"Now that the bike trail at Big Hill Park is almost finished, we can also have snowshoeing," Baden said.

Some of the popular activities include open skate at Edwards Ice Arena, family bingo at Grinnell Hall Senior Center, sledding on Hospital Hill and horse-drawn sleigh rides at Big Hill Park.

"One year, we had about 500 people for the horse-drawn sleigh rides," Baden said. "(Attendance) is usually weather dependent. Even in the worst of weather, usually a 100 or 200 people show up for the sleigh rides.

"Most of the events are free or have a minimal cost. It’s something to do with the family."

For people who have a more competitive nature, the four-on-four co-ed adult volleyball tournament will be held Saturday at the Beloit Memorial High School, and the euchre tournament is set for Sunday at the Krueger Haskell Golf Course clubhouse.

Baden said many people participate in both tournaments each year.

"Some of the events we have to plan a year in advance," said Baden. "We don’t have a huge department, so if somebody has an idea for an event we will usually put them to work and have them help us organize it."

For more information: 608-364-2890, BeloitRecreation.com.

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