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Kids catching cabin fever? Put them on ice

Winter Fun Day offers cool outdoor activities

Posted: Tuesday, February 22, 2005

What do you do to entertain a bunch of kids, but it's not quite time for an Easter egg hunt?

How about a colored ice-cube hunt?

That's just one of the children's activities planned for this Saturday at Winter Fun Day in Sterling.

Broom hockey, a frozen T-shirt contest, snowshoe races, radar hockey puck shooting and fireworks are among other events planned for the day-long festival, according to Bob Oakes, one of the Sterling organizers.

Boys and girls of all ages will be pitted team against team in broom hockey on the community ice rink near the intersection of the Sterling Highway and Swanson River Road.

Children — not wearing ice skates — will compete in a hockey-like game using brooms to sweep the puck along. Helmets are required, according to Oakes, who said bicycle helmets will suffice. As with all the other competitions, which run from 4 to 8 p.m., prizes will be awarded.

The best broom hockey players also will receive medals similar to those awarded at Peninsula Winter Games, and inscribed with "Sterling Winter Fun Day" on the back side.

Oakes said kids really have a lot of fun participating in the frozen T-shirt contest, conducted annually.

"Kids get a rolled up, frozen T-shirt, they have to unroll it and then they put it on. It's lots of fun," Oakes said.

Fifteen pairs of snowshoes will be available for snowshoe races for kids of all ages. They will be vying for prizes, which have been donated by area businesses.

An event called the "snow-shovel toss" involves placing a snowball in a snow shovel, tossing it up and back over one's head, and trying to get it into a basketball hoop.

With the aid of a donated law enforcement radar gun, kids' hockey puck shooting speed will be measured, Oakes said, and kids also will hunt for colored ice cubes hidden around the Sterling Community Club grounds.

Each ice cube will have the name of a prize frozen inside.

A pie auction and general outcry auction for adults will help raise operating funds for the community club, which hopes to build a restroom facility this summer.

All during the festival, families are invited to warm up next to a roaring bonfire, and hot dogs, pop and hot cocoa will be served free of charge.

At dark, the community club will put on a pyrotechnics display.

Oakes, who has been assisted in organizing the events by Krissy Mahan, Brenna Talbot and Grace Merkes, said the fun usually lasts until 10 or 11 p.m. Sterling has held its midwinter festival for more than 10 years.



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