Village of Whitehouse kicks off first WinterfestWritten by Sarah Ottney | Managing Editor | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Village of Whitehouse has the cure for your winter blues.
The inaugural Whitehouse Winterfest, which kicks off at 11 a.m. Feb. 12, will include a cardboard sled race at noon, snowman building contest at 2 p.m., snow angel contest at 3 p.m., snowball throwing contest at 3:30 p.m. and 5K race at 4 p.m.
For those who prefer more low-key activities, there will be horse and carriage rides from Bowers Carriage Service running noon to 4 p.m., an ice carving demonstration from Chad Hartson and his team at Ice Creations from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., ice skating all day and a photography contest to be judged this spring. There will also be warming shelters, food and music. A Snowy Night Light Parade at 6:30 p.m. will wrap up the day’s activities.
All the events are free and family-friendly — and there “might also be a few surprises throughout the day,” said Barbara Knisely, community development coordinator for the Village of Whitehouse.
Billed as “The Coolest Event this Winter,” Winterfest was planned in response to a 2009 survey in which many Whitehouse residents said they would like to see more things to do in the village.
“Last summer, we started the Summer Concert Series, which went over really well, so we decided to do something this winter to get people out of the house and give them something fun to do,” Knisely said. “I’m hearing lots of positive things. If it’s a sunny day, I’m sure we’ll have a really good crowd.”
Whitehouse resident Marianne Duvendack, who is in charge of the sledding contest, said prizes will be awarded in several categories, including Fastest Sled and Most Creative Sled and Costumes.
“We’d like for people to register ahead of time, but if you get a whim Friday night that you’d like to paint up a cardboard box, bring it over,” Duvendack said. “The idea is, the wackier and the funnier the better. It’s just a good, fun, silly way to start the day.”
Snowman building teams are allowed to bring their own snow and the village has also been trucking in extra snow to use for the event, Knisely said. Residents can embellish their creations with items brought from home.
Each entry in the Snowy Night Light Parade, whether a person, animal or vehicle, “must be illuminated in some manner.” Knisely said there are 10 entries so far.
“We’ve always had a parade at Cherry Fest, but this is the first time we’ve had a light parade in town, so just a lot of firsts for Whitehouse,” Knisely said.
The Whitehouse Library will be selling soup, hotdogs, coffee and hot chocolate for a fundraiser. In the warming shelters, Boy Scouts will be selling hot drinks and snacks while Girl Scouts will be selling cookies.
The village hopes Winterfest will become an annual event.
“I think this is something that will grow each year as people see what it is and how much fun it is,” Knisely said.
Alternate activities are planned if there’s not enough snow, but organizers don’t think that will be a problem.
“I think we’ve got the snow thing pretty well covered,” Duvendack said. “When we picked the date, we picked the one most likely to have snow. We figured instead of being sick of it, let’s go have some fun with it. There are no other festivals this time of year, so come on out, have some fun and play around.”
Event sponsors are the Village of Whitehouse, Whitehouse Inn, Whitehouse Christmas Tree Farm and Toledo Roadrunners.
For more information or registration forms, visit www.whitehouseoh.gov under “Play in Whitehouse,” or call (419) 877-5383.