Winter festivals in jeopardy due to warm weather
Some events postponed or even may be cancelled
Jesse Ritka reports Video by tmj4.comvideo
February 3, 2011 Team USA Snow Sculpture works on getting a sculpture called Fleeting Glimpse carved in downtown Lake Geneva. The snow sculpture contest is part of Winterfest in Lake Geneva. Here team members look at a model of the sculpture in a plastic box, to orient themselves properly while carving. From left to right are Tom Queoff of Milwaukee, Michael J. Sponholtz of Milwaukee, and Mike Martino (back to camera) from LaCrosse WI. Voting for the Peoples Choice winners takes place on Saturday. MICHAEL SEARS/MSEARS@JOURNALSENTINEL.COM Editor's note: NEEDS REFER FOR VIDEO. Image by Michael Sears
RACINE - It's usually assumed that we'll have snow for winter events and festivals, and that's got some organizers worried right now.
With near record temperatures and no snow on the ground, many winter festivals in southeastern Wisconsin are in jeopardy.
Krystyna Sarrazin doesn't mind the mild weather she tells TODAY'S TMJ4's Jesse Ritka, "It feels like a great November."
And so she's taking advantage of the warmer weather by bringing her son Henrik to the Racine Zoo, "Typically wouldn't be able to do this in the middle of January."
Despite wreaths still lining the downtown streets, it doesn't look or feel like winter, and that's trouble for festivals like the Big Chill in Racine. Terry Leopold is the Director of Special Events in Racine and was not expecting temperatures in the 50s in January, "Who would have thought I'd have this problem this week? This is the first year we've ever had to worry about no cold weather!"
With the sun threatening to melt snow and ice sculpture events, Racine is postponing their winter festival scheduled originally for this weekend.
Leopold says it will now take place January 20th-22nd, "We can't make snow so we're hoping that if we postpone it until next weekend, we'll be able to start making snow this Thursday because I think the weather's going to change."
But if it doesn't, Racine isn't the only community who will make changes.
The Waukesha Janboree may have to cancel half of their events if it's not cold or snowy enough.
And while they are not changing dates, they're hoping for at least a touch of winter, just like the Sarrazins. Five-year old Henrik Sarrazin wants to go sledding, "He's asking for snow every day," his mom explains.
He'll get some, even if it is man-made, and Krystyna is ready for it, "I think people are in the mood for winter, at least a few weeks of it and then we can have spring. It's really exciting that we're having that fest here."
But until the grass is covered in a blanket of white, communities will have to continue to make changes until the weather does.