Having a blast at Winter Fest

Madison Orf, 5, of North Branch, enjoys sitting on the back of this polar bear made of ice, as sculptor Rob Graham adds a finishing touch in the back. Photos by Jon Tatting Claiming their free books from the Cat in the Hat are Ryer and Kaylie, from Grand Forks, and Austin of Rush City. These children attempt to put a snowman together with the lumps of coal and carrot sticks made available at the event. From front to back, Stacy Johnson, Scott Johnson, Katie Flandrick and Chad Flandrick find it difficult to walk in concert during their first time with the team smooshing event. Walking through the deep snow at Central Park. Ice sculptor Rob Graham began his work in the morning and continued into the afternoon Saturday. From left, Jessica Walberg, Matrum Johnson and Arlys Walberg bring these ice creations to life. Seven-year-old Jackson challenges an adult in a game of Giant Jenga. Despite the chilly weather, several families made it out for the Olympic Fun with Games event in Central Park.
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From front to back, Stacy Johnson, Scott Johnson, Katie Flandrick and Chad Flandrick find it difficult to walk in concert during their first time with the team smooshing event.

Families found plenty of fun at the Olympic Fun with Games event in Central Park on Saturday during the North Branch Area Chamber of Commerce’s 14th annual Winter Fest.

Kids received a free book from NBA Community Education, created snowmen, played a little turkey bowling and had their names entered into a drawing for more prizes. Parents and adults also joined in the fun with the Giant Jenga game and the smooshing event.

Hardly a simple task, smooshing involves a team of three or four people that walks step by step atop a duo of two-by-four boards (with each foot strapped in), while holding on as best they can, until the team reaches the finish line.

Families particularly enjoyed watching Rob Graham use his chainsaw, chisel and creative eye in bringing a few ice sculptures to life under the park’s gazebo. Parents took many photos of their children sitting atop some of the works, which included a snowmobile, polar bear and even penguins pulling a sleigh.

Kids of all abilities and ages also put on their ice skates for the Family Ice Skate with Frosty event at the Municipal Skating Rink. Winter Fest concluded Sunday, Feb. 9, with “S’more Fun” Sliding with Frosty at Stacy Lion’s Park in Stacy.