No snow, no problem for fourth annual Howard City Winterfest


By Kelli Ameling • Last Updated 9:37 am on Monday, January 21, 2013

During Winterfest on Saturday in Howard City, an artist showed off his talents by carving a bear out of a log using a chainsaw. — Daily News/Kelli Ameling

HOWARD CITY — Although snow did not make much of an appearance in Howard City this weekend, the fourth annual Winterfest still showcased fun events for all ages.

Panhandle Chamber of Commerce Secretary Millianne Lewis said some events at Winterfest were altered, but the weekend went on and nothing was canceled.

The events she referred to included the Snow Treasurer Dig, which the snow was replaced with sawdust and the bed racing event where instead of using skis, wheels were placed on the bedposts.

Although snow was not present during Winterfest in Howard City on Saturday, the frozen-turkey bowling still took place in front of the library. Conner Baker, 9, of Coral, enjoyed participating in the event.

“We have a creative bunch of people,” Lewis said of the volunteers over the weekend.

Although the absence of snow did not hinder the events, Lewis believes it caused people to think Winterfest in general was canceled.
“This year, the weather hurt us,” she said of the turnout. “People thought it just wasn’t happening.”

But for those who did come had fun and plan on coming again in the future.

Conner Baker, 9, of Coral, attended Winterfest for the first time this year and really enjoyed it.

“Probably the (frozen-turkey) bowling is my favorite,” Baker said of his favorite event at Winterfest.

He said he was excited to participate in other events as well.

Winterfest veteran Trevor Stevens, 10, of Howard City, has attend all of the Winterfests over the years.

Although he said he usually enjoys the snow games — such as snowboarding that is usually at Winterfest — he also liked frozen-turkey bowling this year.

“I like (bowling), I got a strike,” Stevens said, adding he was going to participate in the event in future Winterfests, too.

Volunteer Valarie Campbell said she wasn’t sure what to expect at first with the turnout of events like the frozen-turkey bowling because of the lack of snow.

“We made it work,” Campbell said. “Things are going really well.”

Not all events were outside during Winterfest.

Throughout the day on Saturday, vintage snowmobiles were on display for all Winterfest goers to admire.

Some events, such as the Dogs on Parade Dog Show, took place inside the Howard City Fire Department.

Volunteer Donna Ericksen said awards were given for cutest dog, ugliest dog, best dressed and best behaved, adding about nine dogs in total participated in the event.

While at the dog parade, dog owners were able to treat their pups to nail grooming and other booths.

Midwest Boston Terrier Rescue also was at the parade to help raise awareness of dogs that need to be adopted.

The library and other downtown businesses held events for all ages including an art show and entertainment tent.

“We get better and better each year,” Lewis said of this year’s Winterfest.

New events were brought in this year including the very popular horse-drawn carriage rides by Grand Carriages.

Also very popular this year was the artist who carved a statue out of a log, which was auctioned off Saturday evening.

“(Winterfest) is for everyone to enjoy,” Lewis said. “We have events for kids up through older ages.”

She noted the event would not be able to go on without the help of the local volunteers.

Along with local businesses and the Winterfest committee, Lewis thanked Robin Zemla, Mitch and Donna Ericksen, Brian Campbell and Tri County softball and football teams who all helped make Winterfest possible.

“I can’t say enough about the people and business community that helped,” Lewis said.

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