Moraine State Park to hold Winterfest on Saturday

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Butler County's biggest celebration of winter will feature a host of cold-weather activities, including a chili cook-off, ice carving, skating and sledding.

Winterfest at Moraine State Park is set for 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free.

"This is a way to feature all the things you can do to enjoy Moraine in the winter," said Patti Jo Lambert, a spokeswoman for the Butler County Tourism and Promotion Agency, a sponsor of the event.

Presuming the cooperation of Old Man Winter, the park will host cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, sled riding, sled-dog demonstrations, ice fishing and ice skating, among a slate of activities that will fill the day.

New this year will be free horse-drawn carriage rides and a chain saw carving demonstration. The chain saw carving -- in addition to ice carving -- will preview a chain saw carving invitational May 10-12 at the Butler Farm Show grounds in Connoquenessing Township.

Anyone interested in spicing up the event by participating in the chili cook-off must register at morainepreservationfund.org. There is no entry fee.

Last year, the event drew 1,200 visitors. The center of activity will be McDanel's Boat Launch on the north shore of the park.

Ms. Lambert said the event -- hosted by the Moraine Preservation Fund, which is a volunteer nonprofit that supports the park -- is an opportunity to make use of a facility that too often is thought of as a summertime venue.

"There's a lot of ways to make use of the park in the winter," Ms. Lambert said. "This event is a way to showcase that."

neigh_north

Karen Kane: kkane@post-gazette.com or 724-772-9180.


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