The annual WinterFest, organized by the La Porte Park and Recreation Department, returns in late January, with many of the events enjoyed over the past years as well a couple new twists to bring a blast of winter fun to town.

NOTICE:  THE ICE SCULPTING EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED UNTIL FEBRUARY 9.  The events kick off with Ice Sculpture Demonstrations, presented by Downtown La Porte and local businesses and organizations. The theme in 2018 is Celebrate La Porte with the sculptures downtown at Plaza 618 beginning at 4 p.m. Friday, January 26. The carvings offer shoppers an opportunity to peruse the offerings of downtown shops while admiring the creative designs.  Flyer

For creative adults and children alike, Family Ceramics runs from 9 a.m.-noon Saturday, January 27, on the lower level of the Civic Auditorium. Participants can paint seasonal gifts such as snowmen, Valentine’s Day boxes and figurines or think ahead with spring items such as Easter eggs. The cost is $6 which includes paints and brushes but not the bisque item for decorating. All children must have a parent or guardian present. Flyer
The “Snowball Softball” Adult Coed Tournament returns to Lions Field at 9 a.m. Saturday, January 27, and will be held come snow or more snow. The double-elimination tournament is limited to the first eight teams to register. NSA coed rules apply. Team awards for first, second and third place and individual awards for first place. The cost is $165 per team. The registration deadline will be Thursday, January 18, at 4 p.m. Turn in rosters & waiver forms to the Park Office (250 Pine Lake Avenue).  Rules  Flyer   Tournament Bracket

Breakfast with the Birds, sponsored by the La Porte County Parks, will be held from 9:30-11 a.m. on Saturday, January 27, at Luhr County Park Nature Center (3178 S. 150 W. La Porte). Come and learn about our feathered friends and enjoy breakfast treats while watching our birds grab a bite at the bird-feeding station.  No pre-registration is require. This program is open to all ages but children must be accompanied by an adult. Flyer

NOTICE:  THE POLAR PLUNGE HAS BEEN CANCELLED.  Take the plunge and help renovate a neighborhood park! Join the DeCamp's Band of Brothers Foundation for the inaugural Polar Plunge at 10 a.m. Saturday, January 27, in Stone Lake. Participants are asked to raise a $100 donation to the benefit the renovation of Clarke Park. Not into freezing cold water? Consider chipping in to sponsor a brave friend. Participants can warm up after the plunge with refreshments, including hot chocolate, by the fire in Cummings Lodge. 

Move those winter blues away! No dance background required for our
Barre Class! If you are staying on top of fitness trends, you know that barre workouts which are designed to give you a long, lean dancer-like physique, are all the rage. Come and join certified instructor Becca Masters for a new type of workout. This class will be held in the Civic Auditorium's lower level (use the Plain Street ramp) from 11 a.m.-noon on Saturday, January 27 and is FREE to all who attend.  Donations will graciously be accepted to support the La Porte Park and Recreation Department's Youth Scholarship Program. Flyer

Feeling the winter blahs? Susan Taylor is ready to help increase your flexibility, re-balance the body, relieve pain and scar tissue in joints and muscles. Strengthen By Stretching provides a gentle, safe, low-impact workout that is respectful to the body. Attend this FREE class on Saturday, January 27, from 1-1:30 p.m. in the Civic Auditorium's lower level (use the Plain Street ramp). Donations will graciously be accepted to support the La Porte Park and Recreation Department's Youth Scholarship Program. Flyer

Community Snow Angel event! How many people can we join in one place to make snow angels simultaneously? Let's find out! We will be meeting behind Cummings Lodge at 1 p.m. on Saturday, January 27. Tell your neighbors! Bring a friend! Come one, come all! Bring back your childhood memory of playing in the snow!

Stone Lake Beach will be hopping during our Family Beach Day in the middle of WinterFest! We are planning an afternoon of family "beach" activities immediately following the snow angel event from 1:30-3 p.m. Saturday, January 27.  Bring your beach pail and shovel to build a "sand" castle, participate in a volleyball game, tug-of-war, Frisbee golf, limbo, "parachute" game (beach ball with blanket), fly a kite, or play hopscotch!  Warning:  these activities may trigger squeals of fun and laughter!  Hot chocolate will be available at the beach house.

Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides are offered for free from 1:30-3:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 28, in Soldiers Memorial Park. After a trot through the park, hot chocolate will be available by the fireplace at Cummings Lodge. Flyer

A Wheel Throwing Pottery Demonstration by local artist Alayna Bublitz will take place on Sunday, January 28, from 2-3 p.m. in Ceramics Room of the Civic Auditorium, 1001 Ridge Street (enter through the ramp on Plain Street). The art of wheel throwing is both a therapeutic and expressive way to create pottery. The event will include time for individuals to sit at a wheel and get their hands dirty. Maybe you will hear "Unchained Melody" playing in the background. Flyer

 For more information on WinterFest or updates the weekend of the event (cancellations due to lack of snow), follow the La Porte Park and Recreation Department Facebook page or call (219) 326-9600.