Winter is back, and so is Tomah Rotary Club’s and Tomah Parks and Recreation’s Freeze Fest for its eighth year.

Robert Bollig of Tomah Rotary Club said Freeze Fest should be a good time and that there are plenty of events for everyone.

“It should be a good event,” he said. “I’m excited for the inflatables; we got some new ones this year to spice it up, and it should be a good time.”

Freeze Fest was kicked off Monday with the medallion hunt, which runs through Friday night. Two clues will be given daily, the first in the morning and the second in the afternoon and will be available for viewing online at tomahrotaryclub.org at 5:30 p.m. The winner will receive $400 in Tomah Bucks and a Freeze Fest t-shirt.

From Jan. 29 to Feb. 4 Freeze Fest participants can attend a class at Alleycat Yoga with a Freeze Fest button, which costs $1 and can be found at city hall and the Tomah Area Chamber of Commerce and Convention & Visitor’s Bureau office. They will also be sold at Winnebago Park and Recreation Park on Friday and Saturday.

On Friday the festival will begin at 5 p.m. at Winnebago Park with the snowshoeing and cross country skiing across the lake as well as a sky lantern release beginning at 5:30 p.m. Lanterns cost $5 a piece.

Also on Friday, Freeze Fest participants are invited to roller skate at Flying Wheels Roller Rink from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. for half off if they have a Freeze Fest button.

On Saturday activities will begin at 2 p.m. at Recreation Park’s Gold Building with the Kid Zone, which includes inflatable obstacle courses, bounce houses and an inflatable basketball game.

Kid Zone is more than inflatables, Bollig said.

“Also at the event we have the Parenting Place doing some arts and crafts, we have face painting and one of our sponsors, Partnership Bank, is doing Kid ID,” he said. “They’re putting together packets for your children so in case something were to ever happen, you’ll have it all ready to provide to the police. That’s free of charge.”

The packets will include the child’s physical description and photo.

After Kid Zone at 5 p.m. is the presentation of Cars 3 on an inflatable screen followed by a skate exhibition by 7 Rivers Figure Skating Club at 6:30 p.m. with open skate to follow from 8-10 p.m.

Bollig said Friday events might not happen this year due to the lack of snow on the lake, however Saturday events will go ahead as planned no matter the weather.

“It’s still up in the air if Friday night is going to happen just because of Lake Tomah being glare ice, you can’t really ski or snowshoe on glare ice,” he said. “We’ll make that announcement probably within the next day or two on our website. ... That’s this Saturday that will be one no matter what. It’s all indoors, no matter what the weather is, we’ll definitely have that.”

Winners of the Freeze Fest Button Design contest were announced Monday.

Kailyn Falashi was the overall winner. Her design is featured on the Freeze Fest buttons, brochures, posters and t-shirts.

Emma Pickering won in the eight-and-under category, and Jeremy Kuhn won in the 13-17 age category.

Jeremy attends Queen of the Apostles Catholic School, while both Kailyn and Emma attend Lemonweir Elementary School.

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