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Sign-up begins for Feb. 9 Vitalympics

Teams are being sought for the second annual Vitalympics competition Saturday, Feb. 9, in New Richmond.

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.

For the second year in a row, the annual Fire & Ice celebration for youngsters and families and the Vitalympics will join forces to provide some winter fun for all ages.

This winter's version of the festivities has a few nice additions.

The joint event will be from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9. Fire & Ice, along with Vitalympics, will be held on and around the ice rink at the corner of Knowles Avenue and 11th Street (adjacent to Starr Elementary). 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.

Skating, sledding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, mini-ice sculpting, ice paint, 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.

A snow kick ball tournament is being coordinated by JA Counter and Associates, in conjunction with the day's festivities.

For the Vitalympics itself, 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. Or email davenrparks@fron

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. Kids 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.

Anyone wanting to help with the organization of the event or help on the day of the event is encouraged to call Christine Melby at 651-308-2938.