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Winter fun set for Saturday in New Richmond

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If you're looking for a cure for cabin fever, this Saturday may offer just what you need.

The fourth annual Fire & Ice event is slated from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9, at the ice rink near Starr Elementary in New Richmond. This year's gathering is bigger and better than ever, according to organizer Christine Melby of Messes & Masterpieces.

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Skating, sledding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, mini-ice sculpting, ice painting, horse-drawn sled rides and more will be offered to Fire & Ice participants of all ages. There will be bonfires burning to provide extra heat to the grounds.

Music will be provided by Lyle Orr and A Notable Event. Concessions will be available throughout the day.

To help take the chill off during the day, a heated tent will be installed to give people a chance to get out of the cold.

Also new this year will be carnival games for kids under the tent. Kids can vie for various prizes while playing various carnival games for a minimal fee. The games are being coordinated by Messes & Masterpieces and proceeds from the carnival will benefit the non-profit organization.

For the second year in a row, Vitalympics will join forces with Fire & Ice to provide some winter fun for young people and adults. Teams are currently being sought for the second annual Vitalympics competition.

Vitalympics teams can consist of up to 10 people, with a minimum of five members required for each team. Two team members need to be age 21 or older. Young people ages 15 and older are welcome to participate.

Teams can be formed by local businesses, organizations, families, schools and more. There is no entry fee for participating teams.

Vitalympics teams will compete in eight challenges as they accumulate points toward the final tally. The top team will receive a trophy for their efforts. This year's competitions include snow golf, frozen pizza toss, Smoosh boarding, snowshoe relay, broomball relay, Klondike pull, sledding relay and turkey bowling.

Entry forms are now available at the New Richmond Civic Center, The New Richmond Area Centre and New Richmond News offices.

A new addition to this year's event is a snow kick ball tournament, which is being coordinated by JA Counter and Associates. Teams interested in participating are encouraged to sign up by emailing Dave Mehls at davenrparks@frontiernet.net.

The weekend of winter fun ends Sunday, with a pancake breakfast planned from 8 a.m. to noon at the Knight of Columbus Hall in New Richmond. Money raised from the breakfast will benefit the new Freedom Park irrigation system for soccer fields.

Sponsored by the Friends of Freedom Park, the breakfast will be $5 for adults (11 and older) and $3 for kids age 4-10. 3 and under eat free.

Organizers hope this year's Feb. 9 event is the start of something bigger in New Richmond. The plan is to continue to expand the offerings that will eventually result in a week long winter festival in the community.

Volunteers are still being sought to help with Saturday's and Sunday's events. Anyone wanting to help those days is encouraged to call Christine Melby at 651-308-2938.

The weekend is sponsored by Messes & Masterpieces, Vitality Initiative, JA Counter, New Richmond Area Centre, New Richmond Parks Department, City of New Richmond, Ready Randy's, Oh Ship, First National Community Bank, Blue Ribbon Feed, WESTconsin Credit Union, Royal Credit Union and Warners Dock.

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