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Family fun returns to downtown Oconomowoc for Chili-Fest Feb. 9

Dan Jones, left, and Max Geliche of Gift of Wings work to get a giant teddy bear kite aloft on Fowler Lake during Chill-i-Fest 2011 in Downtown Oconomowoc.

Dan Jones, left, and Max Geliche of Gift of Wings work to get a giant teddy bear kite aloft on Fowler Lake during Chill-i-Fest 2011 in Downtown Oconomowoc. Photo By Todd Ponath

Jan. 23, 2013

City of Oconomowoc -Treat yourself to some winter fun with the schedule of events planned for Chili-Fest 2013, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 9.

The downtown festival features an array of outdoor activities to enjoy as well as well as an ice-carving contest that will bedeck Wisconsin Avenue with ice sculptures.

Each block of ice is sponsored by a business and they will be judged," and the top three will be announced at 4 p.m. at the Village Green.

The family- friendly event includes a hockey and a softball tournament, kite flying and open skate, all taking from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Fowler Lake; then from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., an ice fishing clinic will be held at the same location.

Bring your appetite and taste the chili offered at 15 different businesses from noon to 2 p.m. as they vie for first, second and third place awards.

"It's a competition with a panel of judges that will be tasting all the chili and a people's choice award will also be awarded," explained Michelle Finley of Downtown Oconomowoc, the merchant association sponsoring Chili-Fest.

A warming house tent will be set up on the Village Green that will offer music by a DJ and beer.

"The beer will be coming from a couple of different taverns that belong to the organization," Finley said.

In addition, local Boy Scouts will be serving up hot chocolate.

Returning this year will be the popular kite show that debuted at the 2012 Chili-Fest.

Paul Schultz, of the Downtown Oconomowoc merchant group, said the kite show is called "Gift of Wings" and is a professional presentation.

"They have these really big kites that are anchored to trucks out on the ice and they fly all day," Finley added.

Kites will also be available for purchase.

A downtown business mainstay, Sherper's, will be conducting an ice-fishing demonstration.

"It's open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. It's for kids so they can get involved too," Finley said.

The event will also feature a guest appearance made by the mascot for the Milwaukee Admirals Hockey team; the time of that appearance was not certain as of press time.

Schultz said this event has been held, in different incarnations, for about the last 14 years.

He said they expect at least 1,000 people will take part in Chili-Fest

"Attendance depends a lot on the weather," he noted.

Art on ice

Downtown businesses will sponsor ice sculptures that will take shape throughout the day. The following businesses will have ice carvers.

Fiesta Cancun

Lakerz/Vino Etc.

Oconomowoc Realty

First Bank

Amalia's

The Gallori

Beverly Designs Boutique

The Inn at Pine Terrace

Capital-Richter Insurance

Vic's Flooring

2012 Chili-Fest

What: Family-friendly downtown activities including ice sculptures, fishing clinic, chili tasting, kite show

When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 9.

Where: Downtown Oconomowoc, participating businesses include: Splash, The German Bar, Lakerz, Vino Etc., Fiesta Cancun, The Gallori, Capital-Richter Insurance, Wingers, Bootleggerz, The Next Bar, Soleil-Bleu, Todd's Bar and Grill, Artesian Market, Olde Towne Comfort Shoes & Repair, Ambiance Salon and Spa, The Doggy Bag (chili and beer for dogs), and Oconomowoc Chamber of Commerce

A hockey and a softball tournament, kite flying and open skate, are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Fowler Lake; then from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., an ice fishing clinic also on Fowler. A warming tent, DJ and beer is available on Village Green

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