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.

The weekend events kick off with Ice Sculpture Demonstrations, presented by Downtown La Porte and local businesses and organizations. Celebrate La Porte with the sculptures downtown at Plaza 618 beginning at 4 p.m. Friday, January 25. The carvings offer shoppers an opportunity to peruse the offerings of downtown shops while admiring the creative designs.  

For creative adults and children alike, Family Ceramics runs from 9 a.m.-noon Saturday, January 26, 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.
The “Snowball Softball” Adult Coed Tournament returns to Lions Field at 9 a.m. Saturday, January 26, 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 Friday, January 18, at 4 p.m. Turn in rosters & waiver forms to the Park Office (250 Pine Lake Avenue). 

Breakfast with the Birds, sponsored by the La Porte County Parks, will be held from 9:30-11 a.m. on Saturday, January 26, 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.

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 26 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.

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 26. 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 26.  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 Wagon Rides are offered for free from 1:30-3:30 p.m. Sunday, January 27, 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 27, 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 weekdays from 8 a.m.-4 p.m.