SLED DOGS LINE up as they prepare for a 1970s-era sled dog race on Green Lake, held in conjunction with a Winterfest of yesteryear. 					        submitted photo
SLED DOGS LINE up as they prepare for a 1970s-era sled dog race on Green Lake, held in conjunction with a Winterfest of yesteryear. submitted photo

     WITH WINTER WEATHER finally behind us, I almost hate to bring this up, but ...

     Do you recall the traditional winter festival held in Green Lake for decades and decades?

     For so long, Winterfest was one of the area’s stalwart festivals.

     Though the activities changed over the years, one could count on Winterfest to heat up a weekend in February.

     But then, for reasons such as ACTUAL warm ups in February that melted ice prematurely,  Winterfest was discontinued after its 2007 run.

     Next winter, however, look for this old friend to return after a 12-year hiatus.

     But what the Green Lake Area Chamber of Commerce chooses to call it could be up to you.

     From now through Friday, May 18, the chamber is taking suggestions for a new name for this phoenix of a festival when it returns.

    “It actually [originated] in the ’50s,” said Alyssa Paulsen, marketing and project coordinator for the Green Lake Chamber.

     She noted that it “more or less [started] as an ice fishing competition,” but that grew greatly. “It peaked in the 1970s, when they had antique snowmobiles, helicopter rides, volleyball, truck races out on the ice, dog races ... kind of like a mini-Iditarod. These aren’t necessarily events you would typically see in the winter in a small town.”

     The chamber is soliciting new names from the public. No rules, really, other than it must be “appropriate.” (Think: no bathroom humor.)

     “I threw around Polar-Palooza,” Alyssa said of her suggested name. “Town Square ... sent some over.”

     “One off-the-wall [idea sent in by a Green Lake resident that] I happen to like is, ‘Up to Snow Good,” Executive Director Liane Walsh said. “One came today that I absolutely love is ‘The Big Chill.’” ...

     Do you have any ideas? ... Give the Green Lake chamber a call at 294-3231 with your (much superior) ideas. ...

     To read the entire column, see the May 9, 2018 edition of The Ripon Commonwealth Press.