Warm Weather Doesn’t Cool Winter Fest Spirits

Unseasonably mild conditions this past weekend lent a helping hand in a record turnout at the 25th annual Fish Creek Winter Festival, February 3-5. “Judging by our sales and the feedback from our non-profit organizations, this was quite possibly our best turnout to date,” remarked Winter Festival Chairman, Bob Spielman.

A balmy, sunny day in the 40’s greeted the throng of visitors on Saturday in and around the large heated tent in Clark Park. Volunteers from Door County non-profits were kept busy all day running food concessions and the traditional wacky games such as ice bowling, the bike toss, minnow races, marshmallow shoot, toilet seat toss and the wheel of meat.

A local crock of chili made by Chuck Lebrun of Egg Harbor won first place honors in the annual Chili Cook-off. Twenty participants shared a crockpot of their favorite chili in which Fox 11’s “Good Day Wisconsin” host Rachel Manek was one of the celebrity judges. Scott Whitley of Menasha and the team of Nielsen & Gould of Racine placed second and third respectively.

The conditions were not ideal but twelve teams braved the muddy and slippery court in the 2nd annual Human Foosball tournament held all day Saturday on the ice. Peninsula Pub edged out Grizzly Bears in the championship game, and took home the coveted traveling foosball trophy.

In honor of the 25th year, hundreds of people enjoyed a unique winter fireworks display over the frozen bay of Fish Creek. Patriotic music played while the spectacular show cracked the winter air and lit up the white ice and night sky.

Ninety-nine runners and a dog participated in the 3rd annual Fruit Loop held on Sunday morning. Participants were decked out in quirky costumes and enjoyed a festive ½-mile jaunt through downtown Fish Creek, followed by a breakfast of Froot Loops. Jake Danen of Baileys Harbor was this year’s men’s champion, while Kayla Swain won the female division.

Following the Fruit Loop awards ceremony, the winner of the Winter Festival grand prize of $2,500 cash was drawn. Surprisingly, Jean Keuck of Carol Stream, IL (who also owns a home in Fish Creek) happened to be present and was excited to hear her name called.

The dates are set for next year’s Winter Festival, February 1-3. For further information, follow “Fish Creek Winter Festival” on Facebook, or visit