City hosts fifth annual Winterfest

The city will be breaking up the dreariness of February by hosting its fifth annual Winterfest this weekend.

Activities will span throughout downtown, city park and the University ranging from public ice skating, live bands and local business deals.

“It’s an opportunity to get people out of the house because people get cabin fever, and there’s over 30 different events,” said Wendy Stram, director of the Convention and Visitors Bureau, who helped organize the event.

One of the new events this year is a Sandwich Stroll hosted by the BG Arts Council, where participants pay $10 to sample sandwiches from five of seven participating restaurants, said Barbara Ruland, director of Downtown Bowling Green.

“It’s a way to introduce people to the different dining options the city has to offer,” Ruland said.

Aside from the stroll, downtown will also feature carriage rides, ice carving, a Red Cross benefit at Cla-Zel featuring live bands and the University Juggling Club and open houses at several businesses along Main Street.

The celebration isn’t only restricted to downtown, as City Park will also be hosting events.

Students can join an 18 and up cornhole tournament Sunday, play dodgeball or take part in a one mile run, said Kristin Otley, recreation coordinator of Parks and Recreation.

The run is for serious and casual runners and a “good way to get in your New Year’s resolution,” Otley said.

Winterfest started in the city in 2008 as a way to celebrate winter sports and the native Scott Hamilton’s achievements as an Olympic ice skating champion, who made an appearance that year, Stram said.

“It started for him and we continued that tradition,” she said.

While Hamilton may not always return for Winterfest, Stram said the festival has something for everyone.

“[Winterfest] is a way to give back to the community and have fun in the middle of February, which is not the most fun month of the year,” Ruland said. “It’s a great opportunity to see what we’re like during the day.”