April 24, 2014

Elyria
Mostly sunny
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Don’t hibernate — celebrate at Winter Fest

It’s winter, and the cold temperatures and bad weather keep many people indoors counting down the days until spring begins. But why hibernate when you can celebrate?

The Lorain County Metro Parks will celebrate the glory of the season during the third weekend in January at its annual Winter Days festival.

WINTER DAYS FESTIVAL
Where: Mill Hollow Reservation
When: 10 a.m. to
4 p.m. Jan. 19 and 20 Also: Family fun night 7 to 9 p.m. Jan. 18. More info: (440) 967-7310

Located at Vermilion River Run/Mill Hollow Reservation, the festival will include many winter-related activities, including favorites such as skiing, sledding and an ice-carving competition. If there is snow, there will also be a snow sculpting contest.

Local culinary students will compete in the ice-carving competition making sculptures out of large chunks of ice.

The competition will be judged 1 p.m. Jan. 19, and the sculptures will be on display throughout the weekend at the park.

The creations will be on display at other Metro Parks throughout the winter as long as the cold weather lasts.

Hot cocoa will be served in the carriage house alongside a fire to warm the chill. A demonstration of ice harvesting will be performed on the Vermilion River, and a video will be on display in the carriage house.

If you find your belly grumbling, a local chili vendor will be on site to serve up a hearty, warm meal. Dog-sled demonstrations and horse-drawn carriage rides are also planned.

Parks Naturalist Lindsay Miller said the parks expect 700 to 1,000 people to attend the growing event.

“It really depends on the weather,” she said. “This year, though, we’ve made a lot of new additions to the program, so we expect this year to be even better than the last.”

Miller said the program started in 1992 and was originated at the Wellington Reservation but moved to Vermilion in 2002.

“It’s been going strong ever since,” she said.

Contact Lee Ann Mullen at (440) 329-7155 or metro@chroniclet.com.