LAPORTE | WinterFest features a mix of events and activities from a fun run and ice sculpture creations to carriage rides and a Chicago Blackhawks street hockey clinic.
The LaPorte Park Department’s annual festival celebrates the winter season with a range of opportunities to bust through cabin fever.
“WinterFest is a great opportunity to get out and enjoy the cold weather activities that LaPorte has to offer as well as some fun indoor activities, too,” Parks Department Superintendent Brian Niksch said.
The event launches with a special Fitness Friday from 4:15 to 6:15 tonight at the Civic Auditorium. This free event is highlighted by a Zumba fundraiser for cervical cancer as well as yoga and walking offerings as low-impact options. Participants can attend the last hour and need to wear clean gyms shoes and workout clothes. It is presented along with the IU Health LaPorte Hospital and LaPorte County Family YMCA.
Ice sculpture artists will carve their designs from 3 to 6 p.m. today along downtown locations at sponsoring shops. Local businesses hosting sculptures include Roxy Music, Thaddeus C. Gallery, Engstrom Jewelers, Cookery Tried and True Café, Zelden’s Shoe Store, Magic Sports, Goose Feathers Gifts, Rocco’s Gallery, Mucho Mas, As Time Goes By, B& J’s American Café, Suds on State, Kessler Lofts and the Vintage Rose.
The Chicago Blackhawks are offering kids the opportunity to participate in a free outdoor street hockey clinic from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Civic Auditorium. The clinic is free for boys and girls ages 9 to 16, with equipment and instruction provided by the Blackhawks organization.
Participants register the day of the event beginning at 9:30 a.m. and they must have a parent or guardian sign a waiver. Free hot chocolate will be available in the Civic lobby.
Other festival activities include:
• Horse-drawn carriage rides will be from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday in Soldiers Memorial Park. After a trot through the park, hot chocolate will be available by the fireplace at Cummings Lodge.
• A noncompetitive, 3.5-mile fun run will be at 1 p.m. Sunday in Soldiers Memorial Park. The free event starts and finishes at Cummings Lodge, followed by refreshments and prize drawings. This is an untimed event and no awards will be presented.
• The Kiwanis Club pancake breakfast is from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sunday at the National Guard Armory, 2391 W. Ind. 2. The club will serve pancakes, eggs, sausage and beverages. The cost is $6 for adults, $3 for children and free for children ages 5 and under.
• WinterFest wraps up with the Rotary Club Perchin4Polio ice fishing derby on Feb. 1 beginning with registration at 6 a.m. at Cummings Lodge. Prizes will be awarded in various categories. The weigh-in concludes the day at 4 p.m. at the lodge. The cost is $15 for adults or $7 for children, if registered by Jan. 31. Chili will be available at the lodge throughout the day.
For more information on WinterFest, visit www.cityoflaporte.com or call (219) 326-9600.