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Drive away winter doldrums with these area events

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Catherine W. Idzerda
January 28, 2012
— Complaining about the cold is a Wisconsin winter pastime.

We’ve raised it to an art form and can carry on entire conversations with strangers about how miserable it is, how rotten the roads are or about the time—in the middle of April—you had to scrape the ice off your windshield with a credit card.


This year, let’s start a new trend. Let’s embrace winter. Let’s celebrate that we live here instead of Florida. Florida residents can’t build snowmen, snowshoe in the woods or experience the Zen of ice fishing.


Plus, they have alligators.


Here are just a few ways to adjust your attitude and embrace winter:


-- Beloit Winterfest, Jan. 27-29, Beloit.


The event includes a free family carnival, ice skating, a DJ, cross country skiing, an adult volleyball 4-on-4 tournament, movies, a snowman making contest, wagon rides and hikes, and more. For more information, call (608) 365-4838 or visit visitbeloit.com.


-- Winterfest and the 16th Annual U.S. Nationals Snow Sculpting Competition, Lake Geneva, Feb. 1-5.


Snow or no snow, and no matter what the temperature, Winterfest and the snow sculpting competition will take place.


From Wednesday, Feb. 1, to 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 4, competitors work on their sculptures in Riviera Park lakefront. On Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 4 and 5, there will be activities for families both indoors at the Riviera building next to the park and outdoors in and around the park. Hayrides, live music and magic shows are just a few of the choices.


Grand Geneva Resort & Spa, 7036 Grand Geneva Way, presents its Winter Carnival the same weekend. Highlights of the event are an 8 p.m. torch-lit ski and fireworks.


For more information, visit lakegenevawi.com or call 1-800-345-1020.


-- Freezefest and Polar Plunge, Feb. 18, Whitewater.


More outdoor nuttiness. Local celebrities and other ordinary folks will jump into Cravath Lake to raise money for Special Olympics.


Other events include ice carvings, an ice-fishing derby, a program featuring show dogs, free wagon rides and a chili cook-off. For more information, visit discoverwhitewater.org.


Understanding the outdoors at Beckman Mill

Welty Environmental Center and the Beckman Mill County Park host a variety of programs throughout winter. The park is located at 11600 South County H, west of Beloit.


Many of the events and programs require advance registration. For more information, call (608) 361-1377 or email info@weltycenter.org to register.


-- There will be a full moon ski, hike and snowshoe event at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 7, at the park. Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing will be featured, conditions permitting, and winter hikers always are welcome. The event is for all ages, but children must be accompanied by an adult. Cost is $5 per person, or $20 family maximum, and includes use of snowshoes on a first-come, first-served basis.


-- Nature Rocks Family Nature Club will meet at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 11, at the environmental center. Advance registration is required. The program, “For the Birds” will include information about building a feeder and bird identification tips. Cost is $10.


-- A program titled “Making Tracks” will take place at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, at the environmental center. Advance registration is required.


The program will explain which animals are active throughout winter and which ones start to come out of hibernation toward winter’s end. Participants will learn to identify footprints and other tangible signs of animal activity. Children should be accompanied by an adult.



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