By Jessica Bagley
The Tonawanda News
Tonawanda News — Another fun, snow-themed event is scheduled for Saturday, as the Tonawanda PTSA is hosting the 3rd Annual Winterfest with the help of the Tonawanda Recreation Department.
And the best part — all the events are free and open to everyone.
“It is a way to bring the whole community together ... that was my thought,” said Elizabeth Olka, who started the event in 2012. “Plus, I absolutely love the winter, and in the city, we have never really done anything for the winter.”
The fest, held at the Tonawanda Middle and High School, begins at 1 p.m. and ends at 5 p.m., and a number of competitive events are scheduled.
Indoor three-on-three basketball games will take place for fourth-graders through 12th-graders.
“I think we have about 22 teams right now,” Olka said.
Teams will also get a chance to beat out their competition during a snow sculpture competition, and hopefully, there will be enough snow on the ground for some fun.
Cooks will also face off in a chili cook-off. The chili must be in a crock pot and can be dropped off between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Judging in two categories, traditional and nontraditional, will began at 2 p.m.
“Last year, the winner in the nontraditional category made a chicken wing dip chili,” Augie Beyer, an organizer of the cook-off, said. “And for the last two years, Mayor Pilozzi has been the victor in the traditional category.”
The chili will be sold at 50 cents a bowl and first prize winners will receive prizes.
In addition to the competitions, there will also be snow fort building, and kids will have many chances to go inside and warm up. Movies will be playing on the auditorium throughout the day, and the pool will also be open with lifeguards on duty.
Other activities for kids include crafts and video games, like Just Dance. Those with the highest video games scores will receive prizes.
Food and drinks will be sold at the Cafe and a Chinese auction for kids will also take place.
The PTSA is looking for volunteers to set up, sell raffle tickets and help with the raffles.
Olka said outside organizations will be on site for the first time this year. The National Guard will attend, as well as the fire department explorers’ club and UNYTS, a blood and organ donor organization.
“They approached us and asked if they could come, just to spread awareness.” Olka said.IF YOU GO • WHAT: Third annual Tonawanda Winterfest • WHEN: 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday • WHERE: Tonawanda Middle/High School • COST: Admission is free; food and drinks including chili to be sold Contact reporter Jessica Bagley at 693-1000, ext. 4150