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Winterfest is a winner

Riley Asher (left) races volunteer Lauren Yates both Hebrpotasack races during annual HebrWinterfest held HebrMiddle School Feb. 9 2013. |

Riley Asher (left) races volunteer Lauren Yates, both of Hebron, in the potato sack races during the annual Hebron Winterfest held at Hebron Middle School Feb. 9, 2013. | Charles Mitchell~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: March 23, 2013 6:13AM



Maybe the weather wasn’t very winter-like, but that didn’t stop more than 325 kids and their families from stopping by Hebron’s ninth annual Winterfest.

The weather wasn’t cold enough for a planned ice-skating rink, but the rest of the fun, including rides on the Li’l Obie train provided by Canadian National Railway and a slew of family-friendly activities at Hebron Middle School proceeded on schedule.

Indoor activities included movies, a coloring contest, a bounce house, and games with enough prizes so all the kids would leave with something, said Mike Reick, a member of the town’s Redevelopment Commission, which sponsors Winterfest.

“We were looking for something off-season, when nobody does anything, to get the kids out and have some fun,” Reick said, adding the festival had 21 kids its first year. “Originally we did this at the community center, but we outgrew that in four years.”

Local restaurants provided hot dogs and other snacks for the Feb. 9 festival, and members of the school’s National Junior Honor Society held a fundraiser for the bouncy house and helped staff the games, Reick said.

The festival also now draws from southwest Michigan and Chicago’s south suburbs, in part because of additional advertising through Indiana Dunes Tourism.

“All the kids have fun, and it’s just a good day. People have more time this time of year,” Reick said.

This year’s festival drew a number of first-time visitors, including Christine Konja, who came with friends and brought along daughter Madeline, 3, who wanted to ride the train.

Konja, of Hebron, said the event was good for the community’s kids, and it was great that the festival’s organizers got donors for the snacks.

“It would be nice if they did a lot more of this with the weather being yucky and the kids being inside,” she said.



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