Snow place like Winterfest: Lake Katherine’s antidote to cabin fever returns Saturday

 

A week after our region hunkered down for the fiercest snowstorm of the season and its fifth deepest on record, Lake Katherine’s annual Winterfest this Saturday will almost certainly be blanketed by plenty of snow on the grounds.
               Fun-seeking families dreaming of a snowy white Winterfest can get outdoors and enjoy Palos-Orland’s yearly cure for late-winter cabin fever by soaking in its restorative doses of entertainment close to nature.
               The annual winter festival will be held from noon to 4 p.m. at Lake Katherine Nature Center & Botanical Gardens in Palos Heights.
               Look to see a wolf and other animal attractions at Winterfest 2015. The noble, furry canine closely related to man’s best friend will be brought from the Big Run Wolf Ranch. Other creatures will come from the Little Red Schoolhouse. An animal on the outside, Waddles the Penguin, the mascot of the Palos Heights Parks and Recreation Department, will make a special appearance, greeting families and children. 
               The festival will also include hayrides around the grounds, children’s crafts, face-painting and snowshoeing.
               Throughout the afternoon, Lake Katherine will host educational displays, including an ice rescue demonstration by Palos area firefighters on the lake, winter survival tips, advice on pruning in winter and how to attract birds to your backyard and monitor their visits. 
               There will also be stories by the lake and a reading from “The Secret Drawer” by Nancy Gee, of Orland Park, read by The Center’s Raye Ann Saunoris, who illustrated the book.
               Winterfest entry costs $5 a ticket, with no fee for children 3 and under.
               Food will be available for purchase at Winterfest. Hot dogs, chips and soda will be sold by the Kiwanis Club of Palos Heights. Popcorn and roasted marshmallows are also planned.
               The events timeline is as follows:
Noon: Owl from Little Red Schoolhouse
12:30 p.m.: Stories by the Lake Sponsored by Target
1p.m.: Winter Survival talk from Lt. Matt Gruca of Palos Heights Fire Protection District
1:30: Ice Rescue Demo by Palos Heights Fire Protection District
2 p.m: Pruning in Winter with Heather Valderrama.
2:30: Project Feeder Watch with Karrie Chapman.
3 p.m.: Waddles The Penguin photo opportunity.
3:30: A book reading from Nancy Gee’s “The Secret Drawer.”
               A new reading program for young children called Stories at the Lake will also begin at this year’s Winterfest. The initiative will begin with Lake Katherine educator Marian Sinkus reading aloud from ‘When Winter Comes’ by Nancy Van Laan at 12.30 p.m. For more on that, see the story on Page 12.
               The non-profit park’s winter festival is among Lake Katherine’s popular signature events, along with the Monarch Butterfly Festival in September and the Arbor/Earth Day celebration formerly held in April. This year a habitat restoration event will replace the Earth Day event.Lake Katherine is located at 7402 W. Lake Katherine Drive.

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Supplied photos

Hayrides around the grounds, animal visitors, children’s crafts, face-painting and snowshoeing are a just few of the attractions planned at Lake Katherine’s Winterfest on Saturday.

Color-1-col-page-one-Winterfest-wolf-copy

Wolf

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Waddles the Penguin will again greet the kiddies.

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Palos Heights firefighters will give a winter survival talk and ice rescue demonstration on the lake for Winterfest-goers.

 

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