What better way to fight cabin fever than by getting out and enjoying some winter activities? The village of Frankfort’s cure is its Winter On The Green.
Mary Canino, Frankfort manager of community relations, said Winter On The Green has evolved over the past 20 years from what was originally just two events to six consecutive Sundays.
On Sunday at Breidert Green Park in Frankfort, the Frankfort Lions Club co-sponsored the Winter Games events that included kite flying, street hockey, ice bowling and a cardboard Iditarod. Rod Campbell and Dean Shoucair of the Lions Club were on hand to help keep things moving. Campbell said the Lions Club has been involved in Winter On The Green for the past three or four years.
Although the weather was cold and there was blowing snow, there were a few people willing to try flying kites. Ethan Mills and Alex Desjardins, sixth-graders from Hickory Creek School, were able to get their kites airborne with a little help from Shoucair and his wife, Camille.
Riley Clark, 10, and Michael Svehla, 9, tried ice bowling and hockey, while Svehla’s younger sisters, Chloe, Willow and Laurel, preferred the hot chocolate and cookies. Their father, also named Michael, built a cardboard sled for the cardboard Iditarod. Christened Willow 4 for his daughter, he gave all the girls a ride around the green in the purple sled. The Lions Club also provided a couple cardboard sleds, and Svehla and his wife, Holly, were the first to have a race across the snow, pulling their daughters behind them.
Caitlyn Lim, 5, also had a sled ride across the green, but she preferred the ice bowling. Balloons filled with water were frozen to replace bowling balls, presenting quite a challenge since they do not freeze perfectly round. Caitlyn didn’t seem to mind, however, and had more luck tossing the balls at the pins than rolling them.
A roaring fire and complimentary treat of hot chocolate and cookies helped keep participants and visitors warm. Cassidy Clarke, a ninth-grader from Frankfort, enjoying the warmth of the fire, said it was a first-time visit for her family, and she thought the events were fun.
“Actually more fun than I expected,” she admitted.
One older couple, Bill and Sandy Laude of Frankfort, said they try to get over to the green every Sunday to check it out.
“It’s a nice time out,” Sandy said.
According to Mary Canino, the two biggest draws are the Ice Fest and the chili cook-off, each of which tend to draw between 200 to 300 people, she said. Admitting that so much depends on the weather, she did make it clear that if the temperature were too cold or too inclement, the chili tasting would be moved indoors to the Founders Center.
Although Sunday’s weather might have hampered the turnout, Canino still felt that overall it was “pretty good.” Those who did show up were having fun.
“And that’s all that matters,” she said.